Archie #600 (Archie Comic Publications)
by Michael Uslan, Stan Goldberg & Bob Smith
This comic book — in which Archie Andrews proposed to one of his long-time objects of affection, Veronica Lodge — is definitely a success purely from a marketing perspective. The people at Archie Comics have done well to get this noticed in the mainstream media, but it comes as little surprise given what pop-culture icons these characters are. As for the storytelling within, it’s cute and diverting, but it’s not nearly as impressive as this issue’s promotional campaign. It reads a bit like one of those Silver Age Superman stories edited by Mort Weisinger, in that it’s a bit of an “imaginary” story. That makes sense, since these characters aren’t meant to change drastically. Furthermore, writer Michael Uslan also leaves the door open for Archie to explore what would happen if he’d proposed to Betty Cooper (with whom, I think you’ll agree, we all think he should end up). Despite the kitsch factor, I came away from the comic feeling as though it was entirely missable. I wasn’t disappointed I picked it up, but neither was I all that taken with it either.
Stan Goldberg’s art for this milestone is rendered in a classic Archie style, though I found most panels and pages to be rather cramped. It was interesting to see how Goldberg tweaks the looks of the Archie gang as adults. They still look like the characters we’ve come to know and love over the years, but there definitely is a slightly more grown-up look at play. 6/10