Monday, May 23, 2011

A journey to the Zonk World of Jughead

Watch out! It’s the new ZAP! BAM! POW! ZONK! World of Jughead!!!!!!

Secret agent! Superhero! Mr. Jones is kicking ass and taking names! All right!

A timely visit to a local flea market re-introduced me to the mad side of Archie Comics, specifically the October 1966 issue of Archie’s Mad House. In Batman-crazy 1966, everybody knew that when super hero fist met super villain jaw, it was the birth of a starburst with a colorful three- or four-letter word inside. And we knew that all superheroes wore their underpants outside of their tights (why, we’re still trying to figure out).

In this goofball alternate Archie universe, Archie became Pureheart the Powerful, Betty was Superteen, Reggie (who else?) was Evilheart, and Jughead was a Captain Hero with a hamburger crest.

I like books that make me ask questions, and these ones give me a pair:

1. How did Jughead get so buff in his Captain Hero uniform? I hope it’s just good old-fashioned carnivorism, because I don’t want to think that Jughead’s ordering from the Barry Bonds menu.

2. Even in cape, tights, and outside underpants, Jughead just won’t take off that damn hat. You probably never, ever saw anyone in real life wear a hat like this, unless you are over eighty years old. (Though I would rather see teens wear Jughead hats than, say, tattoos.)

For more about the Archie superheroes, visit this informative link at the comic book site Dial B for Blog. Be prepared to spend some time – I was up past midnight last night looking at the “Sickest Covers of All Time” and reading the saga of Scooter, a Beatle look-alike who invited us to swing with him. On his scooter.

It’s so fun to read a comic book that doesn’t drop a boulder of dark, dank, depressing issues on you, don’t you think? I can’t wait for the Archie’s Mad House book which will be released this July – just in time for my birthday (hint, hint).

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