Looking at the current comic book industry, I would say the longest running current comic book series has just come to an and… Archie Comics recently ended Archie, making issue #666 the true end of era. There may have been books published earlier, like Detective Comics and Action Comics, but nothing that has been published consistently as a “Volume 1” series that has run as long.
The final issue of Archie was written by Tom DeFalco, who started his career working for Archie Comics back in the early 1970s, writing Archie. This was fitting farewell for such a long lived series. DeFalco is a huge name in comics, having created such amazing characters as Dazzler and having introduced Spider-Man’s black costume. His iconic work in comics is only bolstered by having been the writer of Archie #666.
This issue had a great story, in effect summing up the life of Archie and his friends and not-so-friends in Riverdale. Once again, his eagerness to help had clashed with his clumsiness and put him in hot water. Archie was facing his 666th detention and Mr. Weatherbee was ready to expel him. His friends are worried that things would not be the same without him. But, all signs point to the fact that there may be no coming back from this mistake.
Archie is offered one solution, and that is to clean up the mess that he made of the school hallway. This seems like a monumental task, especially considering how clumsy Archie can be. But, he is committed to doing what he can to make things right. This is one of the standards of Archie Comics since they were founded in the 1940s. Archie, albeit seen as a troublemaker and problem child, still consistently tries to do what is right, whatever the cost.
In the end, the truth of Archie’s popularity and the impact of his personality, willingness to help, and overall friendliness with everyone in town, is what saves the day. As Archie rushes to school early on a Saturday to correct his error and save his butt, he finds his friends and neighbors, teachers, and family already working hard to make sure that Archie’s place at Riverdale is secure. In that same way, this issue ties up a long run and does a great job in making sure that this classic comic book series’ place in our hearts is also secure.
We look back fondly on 73 years of true comic book history, but we also look forward to new stories, changes, and adventures with a more modern take on the great characters of Riverdale as Mark Waid, Chip Zdarsky, and many other big names in the comic industry to bring Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, and the whole gang in a more modern setting that may be considered more relevant to the current generation(s) of comic book readers. I will still always have a love for the classic Archie Comics, but I am very excited to be following this company on a bold new adventure.
Stay tuned to Comic Booked for reviews of the new books as they are released and news as it becomes available. For now, why not ogle all of the retailer exclusive variant covers for Archie #1 due out in July 2015.