Peace Out, Archie Andrews

This post originally appeared on Panels, which is now Book Riot Comics

You know that thing where you find a pun around 80 years after everyone else, and the entire world is over it, but you think it’s hilarious?

Reggie’s last name is Mantle.

Reggie Mantle.

Reggie. Mantle.

Regimental. The dude’s name is a play on regimental.

This is amazing. This is one of the most beautifully doofy things I’ve seen this week, and now I’m imagining Reggie as one of the officers Lydia Bennet would flirt with. How did I not know this?! How did I not find this out until the end of Archie?

Well, not the end, but sort of the end. The main Archie title just ended with issue #666. It relaunches next month with writing by Mark Waid, art by Fiona Staples, #HotArchie, and as much of my money as they’re keen to take.

There have been Archie books where people get zombified, or Predatored, or shot thwarting a political assassination. But at the center of everything was a version of Archie Andrews who was a constant. And he’s kind of a mess.

archie-666I never really noticed it before now. My Archie reading has historically been impulse bought double-digests that I skimmed for Betty and Veronica, Sabrina, or Pussycats. But issue #666 is all about how kind Archie can be, and how caring he can be, and how much he can screw everything up while being completely well-intentioned. He’s a force of well-meaning destruction. This is the guy that EVERYONE IN TOWN has been chasing for the better part of a century?

Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great guy! Sort of. I mean, everyone else seems to think so. The whole final issue is people coming together to protect him from the consequences of causing a public school thousands of dollars in damage on a regular basis for four years. Clearly people love him more than they love Riverdale High have enough money left in the budget to fund the marching band or whatever. And enough to forgive him giving half of the school the runaround. But maybe in the new series things can be different. Maybe Archie can slow down, ease up, and stop DESTROYING EVERYTHING IN HIS PATH. Maybe even, you know, take some Archie time. Just leave the dating scene behind for a bit, and find himself. But what of the romance, you ask? I can’t possibly suggest Archie without any relationship stuff.

Of course I wouldn’t! I just vote we change it up. What better time than a relaunch to get all up in that continuity and see if some ships are seaworthy?

Ladies of Riverdale, let’s chat.

Midge Klump: Midge. Come on.You’re awesome. You’re lovely. You’re a delight to know. If your boyfriend can’t solve his jealousy problems, go free agent. Just go be you and let the chips fall where they may. You don’t need that mess.

Ethel Muggs: Ethel +Jughead 2kNever. You’re way too cool for that dude, and burgers every night would get old fast. It’s a whole new Riverdale -there’s bound to be some new players in the game.

Veronica Lodge: Reggie. You get Reggie. Have fun together. Bye.

Betty Cooper: Have you considered taking up an instrument? The bass, perhaps. You could get lessons from Valerie. One day, as you struggle with “Smoke on the Water” (you’re not very good at the bass), you’ll look up and realize it’s her. It’s always been her. Then you can join her in the Josie and the Pussycats ongoing that I’m desperately trying to will into existence through sheer pure-hearted hope.

Valerie Smith: Seriously, girl. Think about it. I think you two would be good together.

Cheryl Blossom: NOPE. Peace out, CB. I don’t like your attitude.

Follow your bliss, girls. Just follow it away from Archie Andrews. You can do it. I have faith in you.

But seriously, how fun would an Archie/Pride & Prejudice crossover be? I’m not alone on this, right?

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