Friday, August 19, 2016

Latent Hostility

The cover of Pep Comics #44 (art by Bob Montana, 1943):
I have no mouth and I must scream

The most striking thing about this cover is the terrifying visage of Archie Andrews, transmorgified into a living football. The second most striking thing is to consider who's kicking him: The Shield. The Shield was once the leading character published by the company which became Archie Comics; that the publisher is now called Archie Comics tells you what the future portended for the Shield. In that respect, at least he got a good kick in while he could.

Archie took another attempt at super heroes in the 1960s, reviving most of their 40s heroes but their 60s super hero books are considered some of the worst super hero stories ever printed by a major publisher. Covers such as the above Josie #22 (1966, Dan DeCarlo art) demonstrated their thinly-veiled contempt for the rising popularity of Marvel Comics and the Batmania craze.

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