5) Mr. Lodge Is EVIL
Remember when I mentioned To Riverdale and Back Again
? It really was a terrible attempt to rebrand the Archie characters as twentysomethings with issues in hopes that a weekly dramedy series would take off. Instead it just alienated fans and subjected viewers to Jughead's hip-hop version of "Sugar Sugar." Anyways, in the flick, Mr. Lodge a greedy sociopath, a portrayal that Life with Archie
is happy to run with. Basically, Hiram Lodge spends his scenes discussing how he is going to "crush" Archie and make Riverdale into a bustling metropolis overrun by chain stores. I think that artist Norm Breyfogle has shown remarkable restraint by not having Mr. Lodge twirl his mustache in every panel as the character's evil traits become more and more defined. If he isn't shooting lightning bolts at Archie by the time issue 15 rolls around, I'm gonna be really pissed.
4) Jughead Marries Midge
Suspension of disbelief is the key to enjoying comics. Without it, you'd never believe that Superman could actually fly or any of the shit that went down in Spider-Man comics over the past decade. Which brings us to the case of one Forsythe P. Jones. A longtime bachelor, Jughead, as he is known to his large group of (mostly male) friends, would rather spend his time eating hamburgers than romancing the fairer sex. While many readers suspected that the introduction of the Kevin Keller character was the first step in Juggie's journey of self-discovery, Life with Archie
tossed aside expectations and definitively stated once and for all that he is all about the ladies. Specifically, Midge, Moose's old emotional -- and maybe physical, we don't know yet -- punching bag/girlfriend. Jughead and Midge's relationship first started as a business agreement but quickly blossomed into love. Or so we are told. Outside of Jughead's Chok'lit Shoppe we don't really get much of a sense of their relationship. Unlikely though they may be, the pair is Riverdale's most stable couple at this point. As for Moose, the big oaf actually seems okay with their nuptials, even going so far to attend their wedding -- a low-key affair in which they tied the knot alongside of Mr. Weatherbee/Ms. Grundy and Ms. Beazly/Mr. Swenson (does anyone give a crap about these two?). So yeah, Jughead is straight. Sorry fellas!
3) Miss Grundy Dies
Um, spoiler alert! Unlike the recent death of the Human Torch, Miss Grundy's passing went unreported by the mainstream media. This is a shame, because the event wasn't a publicity stunt but rather a genuine plot point that would facilitate Betty getting Grundy's old job at Riverdale High. It created some drama for Mr. Weatherbee as well, helping to make him a, um, more well-rounded character. For longtime Archie fans, her demise was shocking because people just don't die in these comics (you wouldn't expect to read an issue of Sonic the Hedgehog
and suddenly discover that Tails has died from cancer, and the same mindset applies here). Perhaps the deepest tragedy is how the folks over at Archie Comics have ignored my repeated requests for a public memorial service. Without grieving, how can we possibly move on?
2) Betty Is Officially a Starfucker
So, if Betty has dated a plethora of teen heartthrobs over the past 70 years but not aged considerably, does this mean that Riverdale is a purgatory where times passes differently than how we normally perceive it? This makes a lot of sense actually. I mean, I know this panel is a clever throwaway gag for most people, but it's really disturbing to me. How old are Archie and the gang supposed to be in Life with Archie?
In their 20s right? Then why do they look exactly like they did when they were teens? Is Mr. Lodge secretly profiteering from a Fountain of Youth that lies somewhere within Riverdale's city limits? If only the city had a resident genius who could sort this shit out for me. Wait a minute...
1) Whatever the Hell Dilton Is Up To
When the first issue of Life with Archie
was released, the biggest shitstorm it stirred up involved Riverdale's resident genius, Dilton Doiley. In the dual storylines featured in the book, Dilton is missing. Archie takes his disappearance especially hard, spending one issue crafting an e-mail to his vanished pal that may or may not ever reach him. My guess is on the latter; because Dilton is, wait for it, alive and actually traveling between several of the convoluted universes that Archie comics have featured during its 70 years (from the Little Archie
stories to the spy-themed offshoots). Jesus.
Like a nerdy, Mennonite-bearded version of The Watcher/Sam Beckett, Dilton observes events in the timeline where Archie has married Betty/the one where Archie tied the knot with Veronica. Sometimes Dilton pushes a character in a certain direction, like when he places a newspaper in front of Midge that helps her assist Jughead in his quest to buy the Chok'lit Shoppe. By doing this, he sets in motion a course of action that allows the pair to fall in love with each other. But does Dilton have knowledge of future events, and is he trying to make things right? It certainly seems so. The above picture of the Riverdale gang indicates that Veronica may be marked for death as well. The prospect of a Riverdale without her is shithouse bonkers, and you've got to admire that Michael Uslan would even fuck with the fans by suggesting this. It was a great way to rope in readers of the comic, and it certainly hooked me and I haven't picked up an Archie comic since he fought the Punisher.
Unfortunately, Dilton's shadowy antics have been noticeably absent for the past couple of issues. I hope that it hasn't been decided to drop this storyline, because my desire to find out what he's up to is reaching Lost
finale proportions. This odd little storyline packed inside of the soap opera that is Life with Archie
has utterly captivated my imagination .Whether this reflects poorly upon me or the comic industry in general is best left unexamined, but maybe throw down the $4 and experience what strange and sublime pleasures the title has to offer and make your own mind up. Frankly, I'm dizzy from all the thinking about this I've been doing of late.