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Archie Vs Sharknado

archiesharknadocoverAnthony C. Ferrante, writer
Dan Parent and Rich Kosloski, artists
Archie Comics

Reviewed by Jon A. Adams

As I nosed around the “Archie” comics to find the issues for my last review, I couldn’t help but pick up a copy of the “Archie vs. Sharknado” one-shot. (The artwork is in the style of classic “Archie,” not the new look, by the way.) After reading it, my question is, “Who was this crap written for?” There is tons of blood and gore (mostly sharks, but also a few people) which makes it ill-suited for kids, but the dialogue is clunky and goofy like any Archie comic, which makes it dull for adults.

The tale follows two story lines. First, Betty and Veronica accompany Veronica’s father to Washington D.C., where he is to speak before Congress. Betty hopes it concerns protecting those poor sharks from being scooped up by tornadoes, while Veronica is decidedly anti-shark as they destroyed good shops in LA and NYC during the first two films. (I say “films” from the readers’ point-of-view. It’s reality in the character’s world.) Immediately the sharknado hits and Veronica’s “daddykins” gets rather graphically dismembered and eaten, which inspires Betty to become an anti-shark vigilante. (Why? It wasn’t her daddykins.)

So their plot involves them slaughtering as many sharks as they can as they make their way back to Riverdale. Meanwhile, the teen scene of Riverdale is enjoying a party on a yacht. In the absence of his main squeezes, Archie is making time with also-ran Cheryl Blossom, who later becomes his damsel in distress. Teen scientist Dillon foresees the sharknado and warns everyone, but no one listens – par for the course in these types of stories. Soon, all heck breaks loose as the ravenous maws fall from the sky.

I’m soon pissed-off as the only Archie-universe character that I like, Sabrina the Teen-Witch, is among the first dismembered and eaten. (Along with her cat.) I guess she had to be gotten rid of fast, otherwise she could have just conjured the sharks away, what with being a witch and all. Then follows more cartoonish blood ‘n’ gore, more kids and even more adults dismembered and eaten, Mr. Weatherbee has a ‘Nam flashback, Cheryl gets her bikini top snatched and eaten by a pervy shark, and disaster movie cliché banter is exchanged back and forth.

There are some fun bits, like when Betty and Veronica eventually join up with the Riverdale crowd and Veronica notes, “Shouldn’t we be jealous of Archie protecting Cheryl?” Betty points out, “We’re principal characters; we’ll be alright. She’s a bit player; she’s going to be shark-food.” I think the writer was going for “breezy romp,” but came closer to “weighted drag.”

The inside jokes (which I didn’t get) were annoying. Many bystanders were drawn “facing camera” in such an obvious way, I assume they were meant to be someone we should recognize. Same for many shark victims’ disembodied heads. Also, a fan tells Melody of Josie and the Pussycats, “Gee, you look like that lady who got her hand bitten off and wrote a book about the sharknado,” and she replies, “Yeah, I get that a lot, but I don’t see the resemblance.” Huh? How random. Did the same actress play both roles

Overall, I can’t imagine anyone I’d recommend this book to. Fans of both Archie and “Sharknado?” That can’t be a terribly large demographic. Well, if you are among that group, you may enjoy this. I certainly didn’t.

September 5, 2015
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