This is an update of an Archie special from the 1960s. At the time, two TV shows were very popular: “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” and “Mission Impossible.” There are numerous references to both shows throughout the comic.
Archie Andrews opens our story with an explanation as to how her became a teen undercover agent. His cousin, a dashing international reporter, is visiting and Archie, in his usual bungling manner, stumbles across his cousin’s true job: he is a secret agent for P.O.P. (protect our planet)!. The evil agents of C.R.U.S.H. (Criminal Recruits United to Spread Havok – they love their acronyms) have developed a secret formula to turn everyone into the Walking Dazed! (It’s Archie. No dead zombies here). With the help of Sharry the Spy Girl, a master of disguise, C.R.U.S.H. slips the formula into the school lunch. With everyone in a daze, it’s up to Archie and his friends to save the day.
This is a fun Archie story, with the usual Archie bungling, Reggie preening, Veronica vamping, and Jughead just wanting to eat, but all set into a more action packed adventure. The writing is simple and the art work is predictable. Which is as it should be. Archie comics have a distinctive feel to them from the newsprint they are printed on to the same characters showing up in each issue. Reading Archie is like curling up in bed in your most comfortable sweats and this story is no exception.
I can see an eight-year-old liking this but it will appeal to ages up to eighth grade. No nudity, no blood, no death, comic violence.
Archie: The Man from R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.
by Tom Defalco
Art by Rich Koslowski, Fernando Ruiz
Archie Comics, 2011
Publisher Age Rating: Ages 12 and up