Revisiting Archie Comics as an Adult

I was super excited to learn that there are a bunch of Archie Comics available on Kindle Unlimited. Pages and pages of Archie all included with the cost of my subscription! So, I decided to borrow a comic (Archie Jumbo Comics Digest #322, to be precise) and relive my childhood.

Archie was my special treat when I was younger. A few times a year, I was allowed to purchase a new Archie from the grocery store. I’d read those comics over and over again. Life got even better when I found out that a used book store near me sold Archie Comics for a fraction of the price as the regular store and I got to pick up two comics at a time!

Because of how special Archie was to me as a kid, I expected to feel nostalgic and happy when I read the new comic. Instead, I found myself disliking the book. And I found myself asking:

Did I approach the comic with unrealistic expectations?

The Betty/Veronica/Archie triangle was a thing in the comics when I was reading them all those years ago and it seems to be a perpetual part of the story. Betty, the everyday girl and Veronica, the heiress are friends but also fight over Archie. A lot. I remember the comics I liked having the love triangle but I don’t remember (or don’t notice) it being as prominent as it was in this comic.

The other thing I liked about those comics were that they featured other characters too, outside of Archie and his friends (even though the series is called Archie). Sometimes we saw Cheryl and her friends, Josie and the Pussycats, maybe Sabrina the Teenage Witch. But none of them showed up in the edition I read. Maybe it’s a licensing thing, or a decision by the company to split their stories into different books now?

Ultimately, I do think I approached the read with unrealistic expectations. I expected a lot of the things I liked about Archie all those years ago to show up again and that wasn’t fair of me.

For one, the Archie of today isn’t going to be the same as the Archie I read about ten years ago. #322 is a pretty recent edtion. Comics and the stories they tell change over time, and I shouldn’t expect the comics to be exactly as I remembered them all those years ago.

Also, I’m remembering the Archie comics through very rose-coloured glasses. It could be that the Betty/Veronica/Archie triangle was just as bad, if not worse, in the comics I read, but I just didn’t pick up on it. It could be that the Cheryl/Josie/Sabrina features were infrequent and I just remembered the few I read. I was a kid then and I’m an adult now, so of course my preferences and the things I notice are going to change over time.

I think what hit harder was the realization that I’m growing out of a lot of the things I liked as a kid and Archie is one of the casualties. Did I enjoy reading the comic, yes, but I didn’t feel the same happiness that I used to feel as a kid.

Have you ever revisited a childhood favourite? If so, how did you feel after? Was it an experience like mine or was it something more positive? I’d love to know your thoughts!

3 thoughts on “Revisiting Archie Comics as an Adult

  1. Krysta September 12, 2022 / 12:56 pm

    I’ve never read an Archie comic! I think it was partly because reading comics was really discouraged by my teachers and even the public librarians when I was growing up. Later when I heard about Archie, I wasn’t really sure what the plotline was because I only ever hear people mention the love triangle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mint September 14, 2022 / 11:38 am

      I think it was mostly because they were sold close to the cash at a drug store we went to and at used book stores at prices we could afford. It made it easier for this to be a trend at school even though our teachers weren’t exactly endorsing us reading these sorts of books.

      Liked by 1 person

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