Fantastic Comic Fan: Archie’s Girls, Betty and Veronica

Archie Comics gets a lot of credit for how innovative they are with reimagining their vast library of characters. What they don’t get enough credit for is the archiving of the entire run of Archie’s Girls, Betty and Veronica. I cannot think of any publisher that has an entire archived run of 347(!) issues that spans from 1950 through 1987. That’s straight from the Golden Age through the Bronze Age.

Wait! Archie’s not done! They had also gone on to archive the follow-up series, Betty and Veronica, which ran another 158 issues going on until around 2015 when Archie started their New Riverdale titles, which was a successful relaunch of the Archie titles. However you look at it—that’s a multi-decade, continuous run of over 500 issues. Find me another publisher that can match that feat!

One of the great things about ALL Archie— past and present comic books—is they are available to borrow from ComiXology Unlimited. I don’t recommend that’s how you read Archie Comics because I think these unlimited services are good places to sample comics. Maybe a few ‘borrows’ from CU, and you might be more inclined to pick up one of those digests that can be found at supermarkets.

Older fans know something newer comic fans: there are fantastic reads from all the comic book eras within the context of the times the comic was put out. Will those first B&V issues read like today’s Archie comics? Probably not– but they are still fun reads!

Another reason to browse through is the legacy value of creators and the introduction of certain characters. Dan DeCarlo did his first work for Archie in issue 4 and thus began a 50-year stay at Archie. And, if he doesn’t ring any bells—he SHOULD! I believe fans should at least be aware of the creators who made comics what they are today. Riverdale’s Cheryl Blossom first appeared in issue 320 way, way back in 1982.

Yet, there is another misconception about Archie Comics—they are kid’s comics. Really, they are All-Ages comics. It doesn’t matter: Archie Comics are good fun for everyone, whether you are new to comic books or have been a reader for decades.

While digging around and researching these hidden gems, I came across so many fantastic reads! One that caught my eye was an interesting six-issue arc—unusual since most older Archie Comics are done in one. It was “Farewell to Betty and Veronica,” published from November 2014 to August 2015 and running through issues #272-277 of the second series.

After reading the first issue, I was like, wow! Everyone gets their chance to shine—sometimes in some surprising ways. I cannot wait to finish reading this arc and delve into more of the world of Betty and Veronica.

If you’re like many fans—it’s been a long time, if ever!—since you read anything, Archie. Taking it from the Bronze Age Baby: you are missing out on some fantastic read! And, remember: Archie was one of three publishers publishing comics since the Golden Age. They must be doing something right after all these decades. Go! Not only pick up some Archie but also recommend what you read to other fans. Trying and reading comics outside of the Big Two is essential for comics to continue to grow and for new fans to discover fantastic comic books.

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