Friday Comics Pull – Year-End Teamup Edition

I was going to blow off a post today, much like the comics publishers have done this week, but it’s the last day of 2009. Finish strong!

Not like it’s a big week, either. In fact, I’ve got only two books, and it’s probably the oddest pairing I could have gotten. Archie Andrews of Riverdale … RISE.

Archie #604 ($2.50 shelf grab) – The “Archie gets married” storyline nears its conclusion, as does my time reading Archie comics. If you recall, last time Archie rebooted this Elseworlds storyline to propose to Betty instead of Veronica. The Betty storyline as a whole has been a lot more interesting. The Veronica story was essentially three issues of “Archie and his wife have everything and are really successful,” but this one is about as close to serious as an Archie story can get. The couple has no money, can’t afford a wedding (or a cake), and Betty has to earn money as a teacher because her husband can’t get a job. And that was last issue.

I actually wound up a little disappointed with this issue, not because the story wasn’t good but because it almost was. Betty gets a fashion job in NYC and they have to move out of Riverdale (beats me how they found an apartment, let alone afforded it with only one earner), and Archie the deadbeat wanders the streets until he falls bass-ackwards into a music gig. Things go well until Betty’s boss insults Archie and she tells him off, essentially throwing away the only job they’ve been able to get. Everything’s coming up Archie!

Things could have gotten kind of interesting from here, but they don’t. Then again, they really can’t – the whole point of Archie is that its universe resets like a sitcom after every episode, so why fault the authors for doing their job? Gimmick or not, the Archie people deserve credit for trying this storyline, especially for having the nerve to write some mildly unpleasant elements into the Betty story after a fairly uninteresting Veronica plot. I won’t be sticking around after the credits roll, but it was more interesting than I had expected.

Blackest Night #6 of 8 ($3.99 shelf grab) – After waiting a week for this (DC distributed this last week to be held until this week), it had better be good. It pretty much was. Last issue, Necron essentially lampshaded the superhero vogue of being not-quite-dead by turning every living hero who’s ever been “revived” into an undead Black Lantern. This includes Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow … well, pretty much all the big ones. Including Flash and Green Lantern, who as of last issue hadn’t yet been converted.

That’s a pretty tough act to follow, but BN #6 does just that. Not only is this a chapter worth reading, it doesn’t just pull an Ultimate Nullifier out of its ass to deal with those events. <SEMI-SPOILER> Ganthet reveals that, since all of the power rings are based on the Green Lantern technology, all of them can be duplicated (like the green power rings) to enlist a short-term deputy Lantern. Rather than yet another deus ex machina, this is an idea that’s already established – it’s part of the reason why Earth has more than one Green Lantern – so it’s actually reasonable that the power would expand to the other rings.

You heard me. SOMETHING PLAUSIBLE (or at least consistent with existing canon) HAPPENED IN A CROSSOVER EVENT.

Not only that, but the deputies that get chosen are some pretty awesome picks, ones that make it clear that the writers have put some thought into setting this up. All those spin-off issues they’ve been putting out? Turns out several of them were relevant, especially that sweet Wonder Woman tie-in from a few weeks back. And the choice for Orange Lantern? Perfect. Some of the spin-offs have been a little trying, but whenever the main Blackest Night book comes out, I’m reminded of why I’m enjoying this story.

To close out, here’s a completely non-comics-related image from here in Morgantown.

This New Year’s Eve, remember: Friends don’t let friends rock the handlebars. Be safe out there.

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