Saturday, August 13, 2022

Comics Review: "ARCHIE &FRIENDS: Thrills & Chills #1" Finds Wacky Fun at the Carnival


STORY: J. Torres; Tom DeFalco; Frank Doyle; Mike Pellowski
PENCILS: Rex Lindsey; Pat & Tim Kennedy; Dan DeCarlo
INKS: Rex Lindsey; Bob Smith; Rudy Lapick; Jon D'Agostino
COLORS: Glenn Whitmore; Digikore Studios; Barry Grossman
LETTERS: Rex Lindsey; Jack Morelli; Bill Yoshida
EDITORS: Jamie Lee Rotante; Vincent Lovallo; Stephen Oswald
EiC: Mike Pellerito
COVER: Dan Parent with Rosario “Tito” Peña
32pp, Color, $2.99 U.S. (October 2022)

Rating: All-Ages

Eternal high school student and teenage boy, Archie Andrews, and his friends made their debut in M.L.J. Magazines' Pep Comics #22 (cover dated: December 1941), and before long, Archie was the publisher's headliner character.  In 1946, the company changed its named to Archie Comic Publications, also known as “Archie Comics.”

In 1992, Archie Comics began publishing the title Archie & Friends, and it would run for 159 issues, ceasing publication in 2012.  Since 2019, Archie has published a number of single-issue Archie & Friends titles built around a theme, such as Archie & Friends: Beach Party, Archie & Friends: Fall Festival, and Archie & Friends: Superheroes.

Archie & Friends: Thrills & Chills #1 is the newest Archie & Friends themed release and is issue #14 in the series.  Described by Archie Comics as a “collection of thrill rides, exciting adventures, and odd occurrences,” Thrills & Chills #1 contains four stories – one new story and three reprints.

“Return to Mirrordale” is the opening story.  It is written by J. Torres; drawn and lettered by Rex Lindsey; colored by Glenn Whitmore.  Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Reggie are visiting a local carnival when Archie starts acting strangely.  It seems that he is very frightened of the “House of Mirrors,” but the others insist on going inside even if Archie won't.  Soon, Betty, Veronica, and Reggie will discover the absolute weirdness of the mirrors inside.

THE LOWDOWN:   The current Archie & Friends series presents art and stories in the classic Archie Comics style.  Archie & Friends: Thrills & Chills #1 even includes a “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” story (“Carnival Capers”) that is drawn by the progenitor of the classic Archie Comics house style, the late Dan DeCarlo (1919-2001).

In fact, the theme of the four stories in Archie & Friends: Thrills & Chills #1 is wacky fun at the carnival.  The lead and new story for this issue, “Return to Mirrordale” is a delight and could have been longer than its five pages in length, which does leave it with untapped potential.  This story is also a sequel of sorts to “Welcome to Mirrordale,” a story about an alternate dimension that appeared in Archie #647.  I hope that the creative team of Return to Mirrordale,” J. Torres and Rex Lindsey (or another team), return to “Mirrordale” at some point in the future.

Dear readers, I have to be honest.  I have enjoyed what little of the modern Archie Comics that I have read, but I grew up on classic-style Archie Comics.  Thus, I will always recommend such Archie titles, so I am giving Archie & Friends: Thrills & Chills #1 a hearty recommendation.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of classic-style Archie Comics will want to find a copy of  Archie & Friends: Thrills & Chills #1 and copies of other Archie & Friends comic books.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2022 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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