Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Josie and the Pussycats Revisit LIFE WITH ARCHIE // My Favorite Five Archie Comics Characters that I Want to See In the Future!!! // Updated to Include Husband Mark's Favorite Four Choices!!! // Further Updated to Include Speculation about the Pussycats' Return!!!

(Originally written on 06/12/12): Bleeding Cool published a great variant cover for Archie Comics' LIFE WITH ARCHIE #24 comic book by Fiona Staples. As you can see, it features adult version of Josie and the Pussycats, minus their cat-ear-and-tail performance costumes that they've worn for years. Unlike the recently released LIFE WITH ARCHIE #23 zombie-themed variant cover (AKA AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE) which is pretty cool but likely won't feature actual zombies within the storyline, I'm hopeful that we will see what Josie, Valerie, and Melody (as well as Alexandra and Alexander Cabot!) have been doing with their lives since high school.

One of the things I enjoy about LIFE WITH ARCHIE -- besides its willingness to explore more serious topics such as breast cancer, marital strife, aging, dying, divorce, and marriage equality -- is the ability to look a few years into the future to see what our favorite Archie Comics folks are up in their adult lives. The first dozen issues or so looked at the major Archie Comics characters like Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, Moose, and Reggie. Gradually, we began seeing more of less prominent and/or newer Archie Comics characters like Jughead's little sister Jellybean, Kevin Keller, and Ambrose Pipps.

After reading about Josie and the Pussycats showing up one way or another, I got to thinking about some of my other favorite Archie Comics characters who we have yet seen show up in LIFE WITH ARCHIE. I want to know if these characters got married. I want to know if they are parents. Have they gone to prison? Have they become famous? Maybe they traveled the world and learned some deep dark secret that will shake the foundations of Riverdale itself! Or maybe they just moved back home with their parents after getting laid off.

Here is my Favorite Five List of Archie Comics Characters that I Want to See in LIFE WITH ARCHIE!:

5. Jinx Malloy: Jinx is one of the Archie's classmates who is perpetually unlucky. He walks in the room and the power goes out. He brings you a glass of milk and the cup is likely to fall on your lap. People do their best to keep away from Jinx, much to his confusion. He doesn't seem to be aware of the bad luck that he generates or why others avoid him. Anyway, I got to thinking that it would be neat to see if Jinx's bad luck has stuck with him post high school? I'm imagining a scenario involving him working as a really bad insurance agent.

4. Anita Chavita: I have actually only seen one Archie Comics strip with Anita Chavita in it, but I really want to see more of her. She is a black paraplegic teen who appeared back in the 1990s. She apparently was a love interest for both Jughead and brainy Dilton Doiley, which would have made her part of Archie Comics' first interracial romances. That doesn't seem like much these days but years ago, the Powers That Be at Archie Comics were not very keen on interracial romance. Anita faded into obscurity, but I think she needs to come back and provide a bit of extra diversity for Archie and his friends. Jughead (in the "Archie Married Veronica World" just connected romantically with Ethel Muggs. Imagine Anita rolling back into Riverdale and into Jughead's heart. Imagine those sparks indeed!

3. Pureheart the Powerful: Long before the current LIFE WITH ARCHIE comic book, Archie Comics published another version of LIFE WITH ARCHIE featuring (at least for a while) superhero versions of Archie and the Gang. Archie's superhero alter-ego is Pureheart the Powerful. When trouble arose, Archie was tap into his pure-hearted "PH Factor', which magically transformed him into a spandex-wearing hero with super-strength and flying jet-boosters. His stories are typically cheeky and he doesn't really fit the more serious tone of today's LIFE WITH ARCHIE comic book. However, we have already experienced one story in this book featuring quantum physics and parallel dimensions. Who is to say that Pureheart the Powerful (or one of the other Super Teens) won't burst out Riverdale's interdimensional conduit, Memory Lane, and create confusion and mayhem?

2. Ginger Lopez: Ginger Lopez is a Hispanic girl with blond bangs who was created to replaced Archie Comics' bad girl Cheryl Blossom. She pops up occasionally in different Archie Comics story lines, but always seems like someone who is fun to be around -- unlike Cheryl Blossom! It is very possible that Ginger has been seen in earlier issues of LIFE WITH ARCHIE before I got involved with the book, but I'm pretty sure that we haven't seen her yet. I'm not quite sure what role she would play in the future Riverdale. Maybe she could join the local police force? She could be Riverdale's youngest investigative detective. Or a private detective! Maybe she could help one of the main characters out of a legal jam with her investigative skills! I think I'm liking this one already!

1. Sabrina Spellman: There is no way that Archie Comics' magical maven, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, couldn't be on this list. In fact, I would be shocked to learn that the Powers That Be weren't already trying to insert her into a future storyline as we speak! Sabrina Spellman is a young half-witch who frequently causes trouble with her mis-cast magical spells. I've actually been watching several old episodes of the 1970 Sabrina the Teenage Witch cartoon series a lot recently. Here is the plot of pretty much every episode. Her aunts tell her not to use her magic to make things easier for herself or to help her friends. She doesn't listen to them. Her spells backfire and create mischief. She fixes things, but ends up in trouble. I wonder what a twentysomething Sabrina would be like. Would she have better control over her magic? How would she use her powers? What if she began dabbling in black magic? Personally, I think it would be kind of cool to see a darker version of Sabrina running around Riverdale in LIFE WITH ARCHIE. Hmm...

How about you? Which older version of an Archie Comics character would you like to appear next in LIFE WITH ARCHIE? I want to know!!!

Updated Later on 06/12/12: I shared with Mark that I spent way too much time this evening coming up with this particular post. He decided that he had his own list of Archie Comics characters that he wants to appear in future issues of LIFE WITH ARCHIE. Fortunately, they're linked characters so this shouldn't take as long to update...

President Barack Obama and Governor Sarah Palin: A few years ago, Archie Comics published a storyline where President Obama and Governor Palin visited Riverdale, set aside their differences, and shared a milkshake. Mark thought it would be fun to reintroduce them to Archie Comics. His initial idea included a sub-plot where Bristol Palin gets into an argument with Kevin Keller. I told him that Bristol can't be part of the package, which he grudgingly accepted. Instead, he came up with an idea that Palin and Obama would argue over stimulus funds being used to keep one of Lodge Industries' factories afloat.

Alexandra Cabot and Sebastian the Cat: Like me, Mark was a fun of the old Josie and the Pussycats cartoon series. I'm totally behind his idea of bringing back Alexandra. Who knows? She might actually show up in the few months when the Pussycats appear in LIFE WITH ARCHIE #24. But I told him that it's unlikely that Sebastian would still be alive in the future timeline where these particular story lines take place. I suggested that he might choose Salem the Cat instead, who is an ancient warlock stuck in the form of a cat. Mark pointed out that Archie Andrews has managed to stay a teen since 1941 and that I'm taking this exercise in wishful hopes too seriously. So Sebastian the Cat ended up making the list.

Updated on 06/19/12: While walking the dog this evening, I had a bit of sudden inspiration about Josie and the Pussycats' appearance in LIFE WITH ARCHIE #24. In the "Archie Marries Betty" world, Archie, Jughead, and Ambrose have been designing a new night club called the Chowhouse Too, complete with performance space. I've already heard rumblings about an Archies reunion (as an opening act). But who are they opening for?

Let's consider the previews for LIFE WITH ARCHIE #23:
Archie Marries Betty” - Archie and his business partners have just booked the biggest band in the world for their club’s opening night! All that’s left is to schedule the opening act - is an Archies reunion in the cards? Cheryl continues to fight the good fight with her chemo treatments and having a friend like Veronica along makes it all the more bearable. Don’t miss this touching issue that proves no matter how rough life gets in Riverdale, the gang is ready to take on anything life throws at them - together.
I'm willing to bet that the adult version of Josie and the Pussycats, world travelers that they are, will be Chowhouse Too's "biggest band in the world" music act! That's my theory and I'm sticking to it!

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