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‘Chilling Adventures Presents…Weirder Mysteries #1’ (review)

Written by Frank Tieri, Joanne Starer, Ron Robbins
Art by Federico Sabbatini, Juan Bobillo, Ryan Jampole
Published by Archie Comics

 

Chilling Adventures Presents…Weirder Mysteries #1 is the latest entry in the Archie horror universe, sorta-kinda reviving the title from the 1999 cult-favorite TV tie-in series, Archie’s Weird Mysteries.

That’s all the two have in common, though. This new one is simply an anthology, with three different short tales, followed by a whole bunch of full-page ads.

The first story highlights Archie, Betty, and Pop Tate. It’s the best-drawn, by Federico Sabbatini, and it has some funny dialogue, credited to Frank Tieri.

The story, about aliens in Riverdale, isn’t particularly original and the space given it doesn’t allow for much development or even appropriate pacing.

And does Betty curse now? She does here, twice!

Oddly, on a third occasion, Betty resorts to the traditional comic book symbols for cursing, instead.

Still, Archie co-founder John Goldwater, literally the man who ran the Comics Code for years, would likely not be happy. A lot of my women friends over the years, of all ages, have had some creatively foul language. It doesn’t bother me. Just doesn’t seem at all in character for Betty.

The second story, credited to Ron Robbins and Juan Bobillo, offers the unusual teaming of Bingo Wilkin (That Wilkin Boy), Pussycat Valerie’s brother Trev, and someone who may or may not be meant to be Big Ethel, although she’s short and kind of petite here. There’s also a character who looks to be a cross between ‘80s virtual icon Max Headroom and the “Customer Service” character on the old Kirby cartoon. Oh, and Pop Tate, again. This one’s about Bingo being tired of being immortal and having his friends enter his dreams to try and help end his suffering.

Characters are unrecognizable and again there’s just not enough room to develop a good story.

Bringing up the rear we find a Josie tale set in the future. Well, actually an Alexandra Cabot tale, by Joanne Starer and Ryan Sampole. It’s another Twilight Zone-style piece with a twist ending and once again the artwork—with some notably obvious anime influences—is the best part.

Chilling Adventures Presents…Weirder Mysteries #1 isn’t great comics, but most comics aren’t these days. It’s a quick read and kind of fun. It reminds me of reading the old post-Atlas/pre-hero Marvel monster mags like Tales to Astonish or Tales of Suspense.

Booksteve recommends.

 

 

 

 

 

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