The Man Loves of Archie Andrews" last month in BETTY & VERONICA HALLOWEEN ANNUAL #237. I originally assumed that it would be spread out through all of the publisher's comic book digests, but it looks like it's just in the BETTY & VERONICA COMICS DOUBLE DIGESTs. I worried that it would take forever for the story to proceed, but it looks like it will be a monthly journey.
It also appears that each part of the storyline is only connected by theme. Last month, Archie was nominated as "Best Boyfriend of the Year" by eight separate girls: Betty, Veronica, Cheryl Blossom, Valerie Smith, Ginger Lopez, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Amisha Mehta, and Noelle Claus. It looks like we will now be treated to new stories featuring each of these girls, but not in stories directly related to the "Best Boyfriend of the Year" story.
That said, it looks like these were be fun stories as evidenced by the Christmas-themed story in BETTY AND VERONICA JUMBO COMICS #238! Betty and Veronica both appear briefly within the story, but the real stars are Archie, Noelle Claus (AKA Santa's daughter), and Sugarplum the Christmas Fairy!
1. Call Me Susan!: We catch up with Archie in this story as he wraps up a date with a new girl named Susan. For some reason, she looks awful familiar, but he can't figure out why. It turns out that he's met Susan several times in the past, but she's grown up quite a bit over the past few days...
2. Noelle VS. Sugarplum!: It turns out that "Susan" is really Sugarplum in disguise! Noelle figured it out and forced the fairy into showing her true colors.
3. It's Not Illegal to Kidnap People at the North Pole!: Archie discovered Noelle and Sugarplum arguing. This prompted the love-struck fairy to whisk Archie away to the North Pole. Noelle lacks the fairy's magical powers, but still has access to her father's reindeer for her last-minute transport needs!
4. Fairy Magic Is Temperamental!: We learned today that fairy magic is neutralized by the presence of a full moon. In other words, once monthly these guys lose all of their magical abilities. That has to suck!
5. Archie's Conscripted by Santa!: Now that Archie is stuck at the North Pole, Santa has decided to put him to work wrapping Christmas presents. Of course, this tactic rarely works out in the end! Archie's inner-klutz reared its ever-present head and created three pages of mischief for Santa and his elves!
Santa eventually whisks Archie home on his magic sleigh -- which makes you wonder why he didn't take advantage of Rudolph's flying abilities to get him home in the first place! But that wouldn't make the story very fun!
6. Jingles the Stud!: Jingles got a bit jealous over the antics of Noelle and Sugarplum towards the end of this story, so he used a little shapeshifting magic to grow up and pay a little visit to Veronica Lodge! Is it me or does "Jingles" look a bit like Kevin Keller?? Now I totally want to 'ship Kevin and Jingles!!
I liked this story and I definitely liked that it was about double the size of most stories that show up in Archie Comics' digest magazines. I think I also like that the idea that this storyline is focused on a theme and not an interconnected series of stories!
"The First Noelle" (AKA Part Two of "The Many Loves of Archie Andrews" features scripts & pencils by Dan
Parent, inks by Gary Martin, letters by Jack Morelli, and colors by