Saturday, November 8, 2014

Santa Claus Feels Neglected in ARCHIE #661 -- PLUS: The Bettys Reunite!!

Archie Comics has the Christmas spirit -- weeks early!! Actually, they've been excited about Christmas for over a week now, which is fine. ARCHIE #661 is the title's annual Christmas adventure.

Santa Claus seems to be going through seasonal affective disorder in this story or something. It's right before Christmas -- the time of year when most kids cannot stop thinking about Santa. Except that Santa cannot stop thinking about all of the teens who have stopped believing in him! It's enough to make an old man retire!

Jingles the Elf has a plan to bring back Santa's jollies. He's gonna take him to Archie Andrews -- the one teen Jingles knows who still believes in the magic of Christmas -- and have Archie introduce Santa to all of his Christmas-loving friends.

The problem is that none of Archie's friends seem to believe that Santa Claus is real anymore! Veronica is too busy shopping at the mall. Betty is too busy trying organizing a party. Jughead is too busy trying to stuff his face with food. And Reggie... Well, Reggie is too busy being Reggie.

Santa has enough and officially announces his retirement. Now it's up to Archie to pull a reindeer out of his hat and convince Santa that he can't retire!!

I have to admit it. Santa Claus is pretty whiny in this story. Maybe he's been watching too much Fox News and talk about the annual War of Christmas has got him down. But if this is how he gets every year, it's not surprising that kids eventually turn away from him. Fortunately, Christmas has a way to perking folks up, so I'm pretty sure that Santa's bluster about retiring is just that -- bluster!

There was a little bit of hoot-hoot excitement in this issue -- if only for one panel. The Bettys reunited!!!!! Sort of... The Bettys made their debut during the Archies' recent world tour. The band consists of Betty, Sabrina, Ginger, Midge, and Two-Fisted Toni Topaz.

However, I think that the band isn't quite the same these days. Ginger Lopez is conspicuously absent from the team and that drummer looks fairly masculine. My initial reaction was that Midge chose an unflattering t-shirt. However, Midge is over at Pop Tate's with Moose, Reggie, and Ginger hereself while the band plays on. Maybe there was a schism?? That could be a really cool story someday!! Who do you think our mystery Bettys band member is??

"Santa Claus Is Coming To Frown" is written by Angelo Decesare, penciled by Dan Parent, inked by Rich Koslowski, lettered by Jack Morelli, and colored by Digikore Studios.


Donny Jacobs said...

The mystery drummer: It's Jonniemae Trouten!

I never told you before, but it's very likely that she and Betty knew each other as teenagers. JT is a kick-ass guitarist, and will play lead guitar for the grown-up Bettys, but she also is competent on other instruments, including drums. In fact, she probably started out on the skins . . . and as a teenager, she hadn't fully transitioned, so she still looked an awful lot like JON TROUTEN.

Jon said...

Jonniemae!!!! ;)

Anonymous said...

I just read this issue Jon. I thought it was great! What a nice story. I'm 45 but I still love a good kid's Christmas story. Archie was as likable as he can be and I loved Jughead and I'm always down for a Jingles appearance. I need to get 662 now. My LCS forgot to order it for me so I need to track it down.