This Halloween, Archie Comics offers up a collection of traditional Archie stories. They’re all written by longtime fan-favorite Dan Parent. “Archie’s Halloween Spectacular” includes three light-hearted Halloween-themed tales and a collection of “party tips” from Betty and Veronica.
Written by Dan Parent
Penciled by Bill Golliher, Jeff Shultz, Bill Galvan
Inked by Bob Smith, Jim Amash
Colored by Glenn Whitmore
Lettered by Jack Morelli
Get ready for a horrifyingly hilarious collection of some of the best Halloween stories Archie has to offer!
If you’re reading comics as an adult, there’s a good chance you read at least a few Archie comics as a kid. They were about a bunch of teens that lived in a small town named Riverdale. Time moved differently there than it does here, and few things changed from 1946 to the early 2000s. Since then, things have changed a lot for Archie and his pals. They exist in a few different worlds, including a few that look a lot like ours and others that most definitely do not.
It’s nice to take a trip down memory lane and see the original Riverdale from time-to-time, and “Archie’s Halloween Spectacular” is one of those opportunities. Archie and the gang, Riverdale, and even Pop’s Choklit Shoppe look much like they did in the classic books. The stories feature the same misunderstandings, misbehavior, and mistaken identity common to those classic Archie tales, too.
Even though three different artists pencil the four chapters, they all look very similar. They’re done in Archie “house style” with grid panel layouts that n’They’re Creepy and They’re Kooky’ offers up a moral about judging people based on their appearance. Despite being the same five pages in length as the other two tales, it feels short because it occurs in a single scene. While Golliher had a chance to show a some action with trick-or-treating, but Jeff Shultz is restricted to histrionics. Betty and Veronica work themselves into a lather over new neighbors moving into the “Wellington House,” leading to an Archie-style misunderstanding. That said, the “haunted house” stands out with its impressive lines and coloring. Shultz also has some fun making the creepy family look enough like the Addams Family for a laugh. Veteran inker Jim Amash keeps the style consistent, and only a very close examination can find any difference between Bob Smith’s work and his.
‘A Bewitching Tale’ is a ‘Betty and Veronica’ story about a Halloween play. Veronica refuses to play along because of her vanity, and Betty outsmarts her in the end. Fans wathcing the two female leads play off each other will enjoy this story, and it’s a welcome inclusion in the collection. Bill Galvan pencils the story and with more Jim Amash inks, it too hews to the Archie house style.
The final section is four pages of five-page of party tips from Betty and Veronica. Dan Parent seems to have both written and illustrated the chapter, but there are no credits for inking and color. A few of the images are entertaining, especially a reference to “Afterlife with Archie,” and a pumpkin carving scene that captures the essence of five of the main characters in a single image. But the tips themselves feel like filler, and I would have preferred a fourth story.
“Archie’s Halloween Spectacular” is a pleasant throwback to classic Archie Comics, and is sure to please any fan of the earlier books. Jughead is his lazy self and doesn’t fail to toss a quick insult at Veronica when they meet. Veronica is still the queen of Riverdale; just ask her. Betty only has eyes for Archie, even when he wastes no time dating the new girl. Riverdale is still exactly as you left it, and sometimes that feels great.
Final Verdict: 8.0 – “Archie’s Halloween Spectacular” is a nice collection of classic Archie tales from longtime Archie Comics creators. It’s sure to please any longtime Archie fan.