An Archie Freebie

Copyright © 2003, Glenn Walker

This one will be hard to miss as it’s a free giveaway (is there any other kind?) probably available at the counter of your comics shop as you check out but by all means get a hold of one. It’s the size of a mini-comic but in full color and in my opinion much better than most of the crap out there I’m paying two to three dollars for.

Sandwiched between ads for Previews and Archie Comics trade paperbacks is a wonderful, ironic and thoroughly entertaining little twelve-page story. Archie and his pals go to see the new movie version of “The Shield,” an old MLJ Comics hero that Archie Comics still owns the rights to.

I’ve never been an Archie fan, being more into the superheroes, but the story “Celluloid Heroes,” really got to my geek soul. The gang dress up like superheroes to get into the flick half-price and they all get into gear as MLJ heroes like the Web, the Comet, the Jaguar and of course the Shield.

The gang basically MST3Ks the flick like all comic book geeks do as they watch, commenting on the differences between the books and the movie and all that other crap we like to bitch about. It’s a joy and extremely timely considering we have Hulk and X2 ahead of us and Daredevil in our recent past. We’re treated to superhero fights on screen and Archie-type romance in the theatre, great stuff.

One has to wonder though if Archie still holds the rights to these grand old superhero characters—why aren’t they using them? Oh well.

Extra comic book geek points if you can spot Phoenix, the Melter, Giant-Man and Chameleon Boy in this story.