In “Archie Loves Veronica: Get Out the Vote!” Betty and Reggie grow closer as the rest of the gang waits to see if Moose wins the mayoral race. Meanwhile, Mr. Lodge searches for a fall guy to take the heat for his illegal activities. Over in “Archie Loves Betty: Farewell,” the gang gathers to reminisce about Ms. Grundy-Weatherbee as they wait for news about her condition.
Paul Kupperberg brings the first Life With Archie: the Married Life story arcs to strong and satisfying conclusions. It’s a shame that “Farewell” has drawn the most publicity for introducing the concept of death in the Archie-verse as “Get Out the Vote!” has some equally touching, if different, moments. The scenes with Archie and Veronica working as a team are a relief after the earlier issues showing their estrangement and prove that this couple can make a go of it. Moose has some absolutely wonderful moments as he feels guilt for lowering the tone of political debate and is nervous about the election results. Kupperberg has done an excellent job of maturing this character who was formerly known best for his temper and lack of intelligence.
It’s Reggie, however, who’s really the star of these chapters. Kupperberg has stated the former practical joker is one of his favorite characters and it really shows here. Reggie remains self-absorbed and oblivious at times, but he’s taking the first steps to becoming a responsible and mature man. His budding romance with Betty in “Get Out the Vote!” feels like a natural extension of their previous relationship, while his decision to take charge of his life in “Farewell” also flows out of previous events.
The art teams do their usual lovely job. Glenn Whitmore’s colors in particular stand out this issue. The purple, violet, and orange tones he uses for the night scene at the track in “Get Out the Vote!” are extremely effective. They create the feeling of a peaceful Fall evening being shattered by an explosion of lights and cameras.
Besides the Dan Parent drawn posters and Valentine’s Day themed articles, this issue also features the debut of the new teenaged Jinx by J. Torres and Rick Burchett. Except for the fact that the characters are drawn in a more realistic style, these one-page gags wouldn’t be out of place in any of the core Archie titles. Torres does a superb job of using jokes to introduce the cast and their relationship to one another, while Burchett’s art is attractive and clean. I’m curious to see what these two have planned for these characters.
Life With Archie: the Married Life #6 is another strong issue that sets up intriguing new status quos for the characters. Fans won’t want to miss it, while new readers looking to see what the fuss is all about will find it easily accessible.