Family Comic Friday: A Review of the Archie Christmas Spectacular #1
It’s the final Family Comic Friday before Christmas and we’ve got one last holiday comic to review for the season. The delays from last week’s winter storm have ended and the book I was to review finally showed at my LCS. So let’s take a long awaited look at the Archie Christmas Spectacular #1
Written by Dan Parent
Art by Dan Golliher, Bill Galvan, Jeff Schultz
Published by Archie Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
The festive front cover by Bob White shows the Archie gang as they looked in the 1950s. From the December solicitations, I wasn’t sure if this was a book of reprints or all new material. Thankfully this special is filled with 4 new holiday tales all written by master Archie scribe, Dan Parent!
However, there’s a very good reason for the classic looking cover as Parent reintroduces a couple of holiday characters not seen in the Archie universe in at least 3 decades! Noelle Claus, the platinum blonde daughter of Santa and the mischievous elf Jangles return to Riverdale to visit their teenaged pals for Christmas. Their return made me so happy that I couldn’t stop smiling. And Dan Parent made the right decision to give both characters their own story instead of cramming them into one caper.
In Noelle’s story, she comes to Riverdale to spend Christmas with Betty and Veronica. It’s not easy being the only teen at the North Pole. But with the holidays being the busiest time of the year, Santa isn’t happy with his daughter’s teen angst. So Old Saint Nick gives his daughter an ultimatum: return to the toy shop or Betty and Veronica end up on the naughty list!
In Jangles’ episode, the elf has lost his powers. Embarrassed by the event, there’s just no way Jangles can face the other elves at the North Pole. So he decides to spend Christmas with Archie and Jughead and that seems okay with the guys. Only this pint sized house guest has managed to wear out his welcome pretty quick and will only return to Santa’s workshop if his powers are returned.
The other two yarns were also very good. But it was a mixed bag of goodies. In one, Archie and Jughead make some dough selling the discarded items of Veronica’s neighbors. If it wasn’t for the opening and closing panels of this story, you wouldn’t even know it was set during the holidays. The second story has Archie on the hunt for a rare toy train for his father’s Christmas village. It felt like a continuation of the story before but at least it was set during Christmas and had holiday decorations throughout.
I would have liked for this special to have focused entirely on old school Archie characters. If you are going to have half of your book be devoted to forgotten characters, why not just go all the way? Lil Jinx, Archie 3000 or sad sack Ambrose should have had Christmas stories in the book! Why I can’t even remember when there’s been a Sabrina: The Teenage Witch story published in the classic Archie style! Maybe next year, huh guys?
This was a great Christmas comic. Unfortunately, it’s really only about 80% Christmas. If the Archie and Jughead repurposing story was at least set during winter, it would be forgivable. But the guys don’t look the least bit cold! But for a fun holiday themed read, it’s timeless Archie and it was a lot better than some of the other holiday annuals being released this year from Marvel and DC. Great for the entire family this holiday season! Hurry before issues and time to enjoy it before New Year’s runs out!
Archie Christmas Spectacular #1 debuted in print and digital platforms on Wednesday, December 12th, 2018.
For more Family Comic Friday and other reviews, check out my blog: Madman with a Book!