Thursday, October 8, 2015

On Sale July 22, 2015: ARCHIE # 1


As mentioned in THIS PREVIOUS POST, I was taken aback by the sight of this on my last comic shop visit, and just HAD TO TAKE ONE out of sheer curiosity!

Having read it 24 hours before formulating this post, and with a full day to digest the contents, I'm still not sure what to think...


Here's what greets us on Page One: 


And, just for the sake of spits and giggles, here's page one of what many of us might view as a traditional Archie comic - ARCHIE # 188 (Cover date: February, 1969).




And, here's the cover of that issue.  



The obvious curiosity factor aside, the key draw for me was the uncharacteristic choice of writer Mark Waid for this series!

Mark Waid was one of my favorite writers of "mainstream superhero comics", with an historic run on FLASH, and great runs on FANTASTIC FOUR and JLA to name a few... but Archie?  How (and WHAT) would he do?  


Well, I think he did okay, delivering a curious "genre-hybrid" that may not exist anywhere outside of the realm of creator-produced independent comics.  

But, whatever that may mean - and I'm still not sure I know -- Waid and artist Fiona Staples did an ambitious job of re-imagining Archie and friends for a new generation.  

  
Check that cover.  He's even got that sullen slacker look that would have been unimaginable in the wholesome, All-American years past.  

To the story, we lean that Archie and Betty have been sweethearts since forever...


And that they just broke up over an event neither wishes to discuss...


But appears to be a VERY BIG DEAL to everyone around them - including Kevin Keller, Maria and Shiela.  I do not recognize the latter two from my (admittedly limited) knowledge of Archie lore.  Did they exist prior to this series, or where they just created for Kevin to play off of?  


And how about Jughead, NOT giving in to the temptation of food!  


Reggie's also here, and Veronica would seem to be looming in the next issue.  

Such drama, Kevin! 
If anyone really stands out, it's Kevin who steals the show! 

There's not much more to say as, with so many modern mainstream comics, we're only given a little snippet of the story.

Kinda like getting this "head", without a "body" attached! 
I can say this for however much story we got... It's neither "funny" nor "adventurous", the two things I look for most in a comic book, but I kinda liked it anyway.  At least enough to sample the next issue before making a final determination.  

If anything, I liken it to the feeling I recall having when watching an episode of BEVERLY HILLS 90210.  Not very high on my "favorites list", but something you sure don't see in mainstream comic books everyday in 2015.   

Still, ya gotta love any comic with an Angus Young reference! 


The book is rounded-out by a one-page text, written by Mark Waid, discussing his "first issue" and Archie's first ever appearance in PEP COMICS # 22 (1941).


And a reprint of that very same first appearance of Archie!  For some, that alone may be worth the price of the issue!


There are also 21 variant covers!  I'd call that a tad excessive.  

Click to Enlarge!

I took the one that had "Comics and Rock-and-Roll"!  


There's also an ad for a new JUGHEAD series.  


Finally, as a veteran of the Silver Age, where things looked like this...





I could never imagine I'd see the day where ARCHIE looked like THIS...



...And JIMMY OLSEN (Archie's unknown twin brother) looked like THIS.  (from BIZARRO # 2, Cover Date: September, 2015 ) 


...We live in strange (or "Bizarro") times!  

I'm curious to see exactly how long this, admittedly intriguing, experiment will last before America's favorite teen is reverted to the friendly and familiar face we see on those ubiquitous Digest Comics at supermarket checkouts.  

As with many of the "Permanent Changes" put forth by Marvel and DC Comics since the 1980s, I've just been around too long to believe this will last for the long haul!  ...Remember these? 


What say you?  

Let's have your thoughts in the Comments Section!  


25 comments:

joecab said...

I think it'll last quite a while. Unlike many of the other changes to characters in comics, it's not changing the main line, so it's almost an alternate universe. it feels less like a temporary gimmick, too.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Hadn't heard about this until now, I might have to pick this up just to check it out. What's the cost? 4 dollars for 20something pages (once you take out ads) I would guess?

Deb said...

The new Archie is interesting. The writing is a lot slower and drawn out, compared to the old 5 to 12 page Archie stories. As more of a fan of "funnybooks" than cutting-edge Indy comics, in more than a few ways, the new Archie isn't what I'm looking for when I read an Archie Comic. On its own merits, it is an interesting story. It just isn't Archie to me. Archie may just be one of those Comics I read out of nostalgia more than anything else, except maybe an appreciation of the "classic" era artists. I will give this and the new Jughead a chance, but so far, I haven't made up my mind about it. Do I think the old Archie style will be gone forever? Of course not. But I do wonder how Archie Comics can afford the caliber of talent they've brought in for these new books in the long run. I wonder if maybe they may have bitten off mode than they (or even Jughead) can chew?

Chuck Munson said...

Wow, things keep being reinvented, don't they? As much as I might be longing for things to remain as they were in my childhood, there seem to be very few "classics" that survive without morphing into something "new" for a subsequent generation. So perhaps Mark has provided my daughter's generation with an Archie and the gang that they will be better able to relate to....

Joe Torcivia said...

Great comments by everyone! Glad to see you're keeping the Blog-home-fires burning, while I hack, slash, and battle my way through the aisle-blocking cos-players, and those who incessantly photograph them, at New York Comic Con!

Oh, I kid… They’re part of the fun! Even though I saw a Harley Quinn with a mallet literally bigger than she was! I stayed out of her way, to be sure.

I tend to agree with Deb on "New Archie" (Why do I keep thinking about "New Coke"?), though and, unless # 2 actually blows me away, I will probably not go beyond that.

To Abe: Cover price is 3.99.

Of to NYCC again! I expect I’ll post on that before long.

Deb said...

While I'm mixed on the Archie reboot, the Jughead reboot that just came out is a lot of fun. The art, while still more modern, is really expressive and compliments the humor of the script quite well. I will definitely keep up with Jughead's comic if the next one is as good as the first issue.

Joe Torcivia said...

Deb:

So, it’s more “funny” and less “soapy”? That’s what I think we’d all expect a Jughead title to be. Any major changes in character? Who writes and draws it?

I also wonder about the talent previously connected with Archie. It’s like, imagine if IDW let all of us “Disney comics-oriented” folks go, and replaced us with persons completely unconnected with any previous Disney comics endeavors.

Oh, wait, that’s exactly what Boom! did when they started – but without the gravitas and (frankly) “skill” of a Mark Waid! And, in Archie’s favor, none of the “New Archie” material is remotely as badly edited and poorly dialogued as the early Boom! stuff was, to be sure! It’s just “different”! In contrast, I found it hard to read even those early issues of UNCLE SCROOGE, which did not attempt to change the characters, as the other titles did, because of the horrible way some of the stories were broken up – not to mention (as one with an ear for dialogue) so poorly dialogued. Talking with Thad Komorowski this week after NYCC Thursday, it seems he was just as ready to completely drop the early Boom! Disney titles as I was – before the restoration of a more “traditional” Disney comics direction. And, considering how much we love those characters, Boom! MUST have been doing something seriously wrong! Wrong enough that we’re still talking about it years later.

Even they saw the eventual folly in that and, in those (all together now) “last four legendary months” at Boom!, produced some GREAT ISSUES, and sorta formed the basis for what IDW is today! Hopefully, there is less “folly” in what Archie is doing. Their product, what *I’ve* seen of it thus far, certainly reads well.

For what it’s worth, David tried to get into the Archie panel at NYCC on Friday (while I used the time to shop comic dealers – because, like San Diego before it, Saturday is just too darned impossibly crowded to do so) – and COULD NOT GET IN because it was filled to capacity, so they must be doing SOMETHING right! …And good for them, if they are!

Deb said...

Jughead is written by Chip Zdarsky and drawn by Erica Henderson (with 6 different covers, including one each by Zdarksky and Henderson. As for personality changes, I think that Zdarsky has made Jughead a bit more cynical, following the lead of Mark Waid's Archie stories), it's also tempting to say that Zdarsky made him more of a slacker, but he's always been one, except when he's following his passions (like food and um... more food?). The series begins by giving Jughead something to fight for...the return of good food to the school's cafeteria, and someone to fight against, a mean new principal, Mr. Stanger, who actually had the cafeteria serving "high nutrition gruel". Jughead also gains an active imagination as witnessed in a dream sequence in this issue (which I won't spoil). Will Jughead be doomed to eat gruel at lunch, or will he gain "the power of infinite burgers?" I won't tell! You'll have to read it yourself to find out! Like the new Archie series, this book also has a classic Jughead reprint, "Experiment Perilous" from the first Jughead #1 in 1949, where we get to see Jughead's seldom seen Uncle Herman (who was often mentioned in the old Archie Andrews radio show) and his experiment with personality altering candies, which are of course tested on Reggie Mantle and Jughead himself. I hope both Archie and Jughead keep the classic backup stories as regular features, as it has been fun discovering some of the earliest Archie stories (I grew up reading them in the late 70's and early 80's, so I haven't seen many 1940's Archie comics until recently).

BOOM has printed two of the all-time WORST Uncle Scrooge stories ever. Around the World in 80 Bucks, a story that seemed to go out of its way to keep anything that actually made any sense from happening, and DuckTales: Rightful Owners, which starts out with a strong (if somewhat overly PC) premise, and then tries to jam it all into only four issues with some of the most rushed artwork ever. Both of these books still stink up my bookshelves, as they are like the Plan Nine From Outer Space of Disney Comics, so bad that they're...well, not GOOD, but good examples of how NOT to write a story (along with Daisy Duck and the Wonderful World of Oz, a poorly translated mess of a story from the UK series Disney's Literature Classics that has little to do with The Wizard of Oz, and barely seems like a Daisy Duck story, as it mostly focuses on Uncle Scrooge, Rockerduck and Magica DeSpell. But I've rambled on enough for one day...)

Deb said...

Much of the previous Archie talent still creates new stories for the Double Digests and other special projects.

Joe Torcivia said...

Deb:

Unlike the work of Mark Waid, I am unfamiliar with the work of either creator on “New Jughead”. But, I may give that first issue a try as well. Your own recommendation would certainly be a deciding factor toward doing so. I really like the idea of a “classic reprint” in the back.

You speak the truth about the Boom! issues of UNCLE SCROOGE! Let’s not varnish things here. When Boom! was bad at publishing a Disney comic (at which they had no experience) they were absolutely dreadful – and the early issues of UNCLE SCROOGE (and other early efforts) still stand as examples of that “dreadfulness”. You’d never see the likes of that out of IDW! Fortunately, I think we all agree, they “got it right” by the end of their run – though it was too little and too late.

Oddly enough you’ll see “Uncle Scrooge, Rockerduck and Magica DeSpell” in UNCLE SCROOGE # 7 on October 14! I trust their appearances there will be far more to your liking!

And, I’m very glad to hear that the previous Archie talent is still creating new stories. I had always figured that, like most other “comics digests” over the years, the Archie digests were all reprint.

scarecrow33 said...

This being a 3-day weekend, I had time to go to my favorite comic book shop which is about a 45 mile drive away. Not only did I get ALL FOUR (count 'em, four!) of the Disney titles for this month--the first time I've found all four in the same place at once--but I also sampled the new Archie 1, 2, and 3.

I found it very engaging, very readable. I like the new design for the characters, especially Archie. The story-line is a good intro to the characters--held my interest. Some things don't work for me--the backstory for Jughead for one--do we really need another rich-kid-whose-folks-went-broke situation? That is so hackneyed, and I don't recall it being a part of the previous Archie-lore (although I could be wrong about that). I also felt that the slapstick humor is a little too outrageous for the realistic design of the characters. But I did like the modern version of Jughead--he's a little more on the ball than I recall him, a little more street-wise (just lose the back story and we're OK). Ultimately, whatever cosmetic changes they make, Archie is still Archie, just as Scooby Doo is always Scooby Doo no matter what they "doo" to him.

I've always felt sort of take-it-or-leave-it about Archie; the stories never had much depth and I could generally get through a book in under ten minutes, yet not feel very enlightened when finished. Same with the Saturday morning TV show. Never actively DISliked it, but I also never rushed to the TV to turn it on. There are a handful of really good Archie stories--including a giant-sized issue (which, alas, I no longer have) in which the whole gang got shipwrecked on a desert island and had lots of kooky adventures. I also liked Pureheart the Powerful--that was an interesting concept.

And this new Archie series looks promising. I don't think we'll ever "lose" the old Archie characters--they're too much in evidence in those ubiquitous digests, for one thing. But let's see where this new concept goes.

Elaine said...

Well, you're *beginning* to be familiar with the artist for Jughead--Erica Henderson is also the artist for the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, the first TPB of which you were talked into buying one fine day at Midtown Comics.....

Joe Torcivia said...

Elaine:

“My Bad” and “My Bad Memory”… for not remembering the name of Erica Henderson as the artist on THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL!

And, while I may indeed have been “talked into” buying that first TPB one fine day at Midtown Comics, my great enjoyment of what I’ve read thus far, is strictly my own!

In that vein, do check out my post on New York Comic Con 2015: Day One for a moment that made me say, I wish Elaine were here!

Joe Torcivia said...

Scarecrow:

A very successful 45-mile (!) trip to the comic shop, I’d say! My favorite of all those being MICKEY MOUSE # 4!

I have “New ARCHIE” # 1 and 2, and have yet to read # 2. I expect to stop there, but you never know. I’m just not an Archie person, but I certainly commend the effort toward shaking things up and calling attention to the characters.

Though, I may very well give “New JUGHEAD” a similar try.

I really liked the First Season of Filmation’s ARCHIE SHOW, having watched it from the first episode back in September, 1968. Running on CBS along with H-B’s Wacky Races and Filmation’s “Batman / Superman Hour”, it was quite the Sat AM lineup! After that, I didn’t much care for the other Archie shows that followed.

That First Season of ARCHIE was written by Bob Ogle, who wrote some great Gold Key Disney comics in the ‘60s, and wrote for the Dick Tracy and Mister Magoo TV cartoons for UPA and theatrical Tom and Jerry’s for Chuck Jones!

Bob Ogle was a writer whose work I always enjoyed and, alas, about whom too little is known.

Deb said...

I think that if there is anything that works against most versions of Archie (even the New Riverdale, as it has been named by the publisher), it is that all of it works on such a small scale. With a few exceptions, Archie is mostly about very small concerns: dating, friendships, school problems, family and so on. Very seldom do Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica or Reggie do anything exciting or adventurous. They also lack the self-awareness and philosophical point of view of something like Peanuts, many manga titles, or Don Rosa's Uncle Scrooge stories. So it is easy to see why many readers drift away from Archie comics, save the most devoted or nostalgic readers, or fans of a particular artist. For people not in tune with the idealized everyday life vibe Archie has, these bòoks just don't have what it takes to become a "must read" title. There are more rewarding and potentially addictive comics to read elsewhere. Even I'm not sure how long I'll stick with the new Archie comic.

Joe Torcivia said...

Amazing analysis, Deb!

I think you’ve just crystalized why, even with this top talent, Archie will never be a must-read for me!

I can “find what I’m looking for” in both an UNCLE SCROOGE *and* a HARLEY QUINN comic (to take something resembling polar opposite approaches), but not so much in an ARCHIE comic.

Perhaps, it’s because I’ve “been there and done that” on the whole “dating, friendships, school problems, family and so on” bit – but I’ve never hunted fabled treasures or gone on insanely-fun crime sprees with underlying sexual overtones (…to again invoke decidedly “polar opposite approaches”)!

And, it’s no small coincidence that my only “dedicated” period of Archie reading coincided with the years I was in 8th and 9th grade! Yet, I’ve been dedicated to UNCLE SCROOGE from 4th grade to the present day! Had she existed before the early ‘90s, my fondness for Harley Quinn would doubtless have kicked in AFTER my initial interest in Archie waned.

Well done!

Clapton said...

I've never had any intrest in the Archie comics. I've always wanted to give them a shot but it juat bever happened. Just wondering... Is there a particular peak period of archie that is a must-read?

Joe Torcivia said...

Clapton:

Unlike with Disney, Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera, and DC comics, I might be one of the WORST persons to ask that question of. I simply don’t have the depth of knowledge necessary to provide a worthy answer!

If I *had* to recommend something, I’d recommend any of the issues of ARCHIE (the comic series, as opposed to the other titles in the line) that I read in 1968 and 1969 that were by Harry Lucey. Lucey, to me anyway, was as close as Archie came to having a “Carl Barks” – in terms of having a unique visual style and writing that I felt was better than the line as a whole.

That was a Harry Lucey page from late 1968 / early 1969 that I chose to represent "Classic Archie" in this post, so make of that what you will.

Everyone else likes Dan De Carlo, so I’ll defer to that. But, I’d say leave this question to others…

Deb said...

I would second your recommendation of Harry Lucey's Archie, and also suggest Samm Schwartz 's Jughead, and Dan DeCarlo's Betty and Veronica...but to be honest, don't go into any of it expecting much. Archie really didn't have a Carl Barks or even a Paul Murry/Carl Fallberg level artist/writer. They are mostly good for a few chuckles, some nice artwork, but are mostly forgettable. They make nice bedtime reading, as they don't ask a lot from the reader. After awhile, most Archie stories all start to run together in my memory. (And this comes from someone who likes them!)

Joe Torcivia said...

Deb:

I’m in complete agreement with you, per my own far off recollections of Archie reading. The only reason I singled-out Harry Lucey’s Archie stories is that, within that realm (at least to me), they most resembled Barks Ten-Pagers when compared with the rest of the line.

Not that they *really do* stack up against Barks Ten-Pagers, mind you, but just that they are that kind of “stand out from the rest of the pack” type of thing, forming the basis for that comparison.

Killer Moth said...

How interesting you're addressing Archie, as I've been slowly reading the older books, lately. Haven't read enough to become an expert, but enough that I don't dislike what I see. And I haven't read any of the Waid revamp issues yet, so I'll skip commentary there until I do read them.

Deb's assessment of why people find the Archie series limiting is spot on. And for what it's worth, 90's Archie would do the occasional imaginary or 'whatever if the characters were in this setting, like superheroes or spies,' to change the pace. However, after reading or viewing my share of modern comics and television, I personally think the reverse: the now standard complexity addiction and hyper-serialized storytelling in modern comics/tv can be rather much or sometimes overwrought, and Archie's original simpler format can be more appealing by contrast. Furthermore, the Betty/Archie/Veronica love triangle serves its purpose well to be an interesting hook, if THE hook.

I'm not saying Deb's wrong (far from it), but guilty pleasures do exist for a reason. And if Archie was that bad or uninspiring a concept, it would have faded long ago, no?

Of course, times do change and Archie had to catch up with everything else, trying to find a way to stay relevant, like the Predator mini, the Sharknado series and so on. The Married Life has good appeal until the ending, when Archie and his death was used as a political statement, for all intents of purposes, but that's a can of worms to be opened for later.

But the Archie company had its share of problems, including the recent Kickstarter fiasco, the Mega Man hiatus -- which annoys me greatly as a Mega Man fan -- the Sonic Boom cancellation (especially as I'm starting to like the animated series and its quirky charm). I don't know if the new reboot titles are enough, while the company straightens itself out, but we'll see. Plus the upcoming CW live-action series, that could help out possibly, too.

While I won't equate Dan DeCarlo to Barks' storytelling mastery, DeCarlo's re-designs apparently did something right for Archie's longevity. Enough that we're still talking about it however many years later. More to say after I get some sleep.

And, yes, like Deb, I feel the same way about Rightful Owners. The late and great Chris Barat did such an excellent takedown of that tripe, it's hard to take Boom or Warren Spector seriously after reading that.

Joe Torcivia said...

KM:

I’d say your Archie knowledge is far superior to mine, in that I’ve neither read nor seen many of the things you refer to – especially in the ‘90s, when my DC fandom might have been at its highest, and there were Disney comics from both Disney itself and later Gladstone Series II.

Perhaps that puts me in a better position to review the changes to Archie, not having any great attachment to “what was”. Who can say…

I’d best let Deb speak for herself – but I think she’s got the “Guilty Pleasure” thing right with “Classic Archie”. She certainly gets its limitations, yet enjoys it despite them. Not unlike my great love for sixties TV like BATMAN, LOST IN SPACE and VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA.

And, if we care to take “Guilty Pleasures” to an even more granular level, there can even be subsets within those “Guilty Pleasures” – such as my great fondness for certain “lesser” episodes of the shows I mention, that I can watch over and over again. “The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra”, “Curse of Cousin Smith”, and “Savage Jungle” would be those “Guilty Pleasure” episodes respectively WITHIN the three shows I mention above.

But, back to Archie…

It certainly WAS a break (if nothing else) from, as you so nicely put it, “the now standard complexity addiction and hyper-serialized storytelling in modern comics/tv” - but now “New Archie” may be creeping into that territory, so who knows… I still haven’t read the second issue, as other, more important comics remain slotted ahead of it. But, I did get the first issue of “New Jughead”, as I wish to sample that as well. Given both my overall lack of time, and specific lack of interest in Archie, I seriously doubt I will remain.

And, oh, yes… The less said about the fiasco that was Boom!’s originally produced Disney comics material, the better! And, no one said what needed to be said better than Chris. I wish he were here to see the great things we are doing at IDW. He would have loved it!

Deb said...

Classic Archie is a bit of a "guilty pleasure", but I think I also really read the various Digest-sized compilations for a bit of nostalgia as well. The older material is often a nice time capsule for what was popular way back when. Of course, some of the 1000 page digests put weird stories together, like one where the kids don't know what vinyl records are, and a few pages later, we bump into a vintage story where they'll be listening to music ON A RECORD PLAYER!

Killer Moth said...

Well, I've come across a few digests or a decent sampler of the various eras, lately. I don't much care for the 2000's era -- Dan Parent's art is okay, but his profile shots somewhat creep me out -- so my preference is probably the 90's and DeCarlo's heyday. Partly for I like the style, and partly out of loyalty since the Archie company shafted DeCarlo.* In terms of expertise, I'm sure you're much better at DC canon than I am (I'm still working my day down into the 80's-90's), so we'll call it even.

As for guilty pleasures and the Fantasy Worlds of Irwin Allen, I certainly can't argue with you there, as they're certainly mine, as well. Cousin Smith had its charms, as Smith revived his darker streak for Jeremiah's sake. It's hard not to enjoy watching the Robinsons being attacked by a giant slot machine, either. And I don't totally dislike Season 2 generally, since we got Lorelei/Athena and more recurring characters than the series usually did. For other examples, I like "The Space Trader" and "Two Weeks In Space" more than I should, though, I blame Edy Williams for the latter. Heh.

One thing about the Waid-era Archie that I forgot to acknowledge, as you point out, is that, yes, Waid is going for the decompression writing style that has become the standard norm. (I was amazed to be that coherent at 4:00 AM, so I was bound to miss a point or two.) However, in a daily high school setting, that may not harm the series too much vs. standard superhero comic storytelling. We're only 3 issues into the new series, so we'll see if that writing method lasts. And, as Deb said, the better question is how long Waid will stick around. I suspect he'll be around for 6 issues at best, then move on. I could be quite wrong, since he's been plugging away at Daredevil for the past few years.

Like yourself, I'm curious about the new series, but not enough to devote actual emotion or do a proper investment yet. As you said, there are other comic priorities. I still need to read up on the older Archie and whether I'm ready to go all in, as it were.

As for IDW, I haven't had a chance to read any of the Disney comics yet, though, I'll definitely work on getting any Donald Duck issues I can find. I tend to focus on IDW quite a bit, these days, because of their Ninja Turtles and Transformers work, so I'll try to make some room for Donald, the all-mighty shark puncher. All that said, from what I can tell, it seems to be a major step-up from Boom, that's for sure.

And indeed for Chris, as I'm sure he would. He did like their My Little Pony comics, as I recall. I'll be thinking the same thing about him, whenever Disney XD debuts their Duck Tales revival in a few years. Can't wait.

*For a quick recap for those who don't know, DeCarlo and Archie got into a copyright lawsuit over Josie of Josie and the Pussycats (DeCarlo claimed the copyright, since he apparently based Josie on his wife). Got into a nasty legal battle, and in late 2001, DeCarlo lost the suit and then passed away a week after that. Depressing.

Joe Torcivia said...

KM (and Deb):

Ask and you shall receive, as Deb offers her take on the “Guilty Pleasures of Archie Comics” directly above.

To Deb, I think that anytime you combine stories from different time periods, you run the risk “tripping over one’s self”. Consider WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES # 690 where, in a Gottfredson reprint of the final installment of “The Gleam”, it is established that Goofy cannot be hypnotized. Yet, in a more modern Egmont story in that very same issue… he is hypnotized. It happens!

Back to KM: In addition to all the great things you mention about “Curse of Cousin Smith”, it has an almost Warner Bros. cartoon-like quality of the Smiths dropping into pits and falling victim to exploding picnic baskets, never mind the unexplained absurdity of Jeremiah Smith being in space (and the incalculable, astronomical odds of his falling to the Robinson’s planet) in the first place! Also, actor Henry Jones (as Cousin Jeremiah Smith) may have been the only actor, save the great Al (“Grandpa Munster”) Lewis, who could steal an episode so thoroughly away from Jonathan Harris! You’ll NEVER see sci-fi done this way again – and isn’t that a shame!

Mark Waid’s overall track record would indicate to me that he would not be in this for the long haul, but (as with FLASH – and, as you note, DAREDEVIL) you never know.

If you really haven’t read any of the IDW Disney comics yet, you have a huge treat in store for you! Read any of the IDW Disney comics posts on this Blog – and the commenters’ reactions. And, clearly, this applies to the ones I did not work on, just as much as the ones I did.

I honestly feel (again, with any self-interest completely set aside) this may be one of the best incarnations of classic “Core Four” Disney comics ever – in terms of both content and “paper, printing, and other aspects of physicality”. As a “fan”, I enjoy them tremendously! The right people are behind this effort, and it shows!

Once you read some, please come back (to any post, it doesn’t matter if it’s a current issue or not) and let us know what you think.