“The Lost Land, Part Two of Two: Prisoners of the Prehistoric!”
Tom DeFalco does a superb job wrapping up the “Lost Land” storyline. There’s humor and plenty of dinosaur action as Archie remains behind with the Amazon women while Reggie, Jughead, Raj, and Dilton try to find Betty and Veronica before they’re trapped in the underground realm forever.
If you think about the plot too critically, trying to apply scientific fact to it, it immediately falls apart. If you accept it on its own terms, however, it works beautifully. This is an internally consist fantasy that is willing to laugh at itself, but isn’t stupid.
Jughead and Reggie get all the best lines this issue. They play off each other very well. Jughead also gets in a few zingers on the Archie-Veronica relationship. I especially enjoyed his “Have you ever seen Archie and Veronica go at it? Nuclear explosions rarely reach such intensity.” Really, though, everyone gets at least one moment to shine. Betty’s solution to promoting teamwork at a key moment is not only in character, but leads to some fun visuals.
Artists Fernando Ruiz and Rich Koslowski do a great job on the dinosaurs. Are they perfectly on model with the dinosaur books the kids in the library devour? No. But they look very good. Ruiz and Koslowski capture their immensity and inherent sense of menace perfectly. There’s a sense of weight and fluidity to the scenes where these ancient creatures charge and battle our heroes. You can practically hear them thumping across the page. The dinosaurs and their battle with the cave people will be a major selling point for the boys in my library. And the Amazons will have their share of fans too.
I’m not sure if it’s Ruiz, Koslowski, or letterer Jack Morelli responsible for the Lost Land language, but it’s a nice touch. The hieroglyphics look like they have an internal logic and add a sense of authenticity to the story.
Archie #622 is a fun issue with a B-movie sensibility. If you enjoy dinosaurs and/or lost world stories, you really need to pick it up.