Written by Alex Segura
Art by Pat Kennedy, Tim Kennedy, and Rich Kozlowski
Published by Archie Comics
Release Date: September 17, 2014
Archie and the gang hit the Riverdale Zoo for a fun day out. Little do they know that Salem, witch-cat of the teens’ friend Sabrina, is also there, visiting a lion friend. With one slip of the tongue, caused by a misplaced peanut, a magic spell goes awry and Archie, Betty, Veronica, Reggie, and Jughead are all transformed into zoo animals themselves. And then, it starts to spread… Mayhem!
One of the things that I’m always on the lookout for over at Archie Comics is innovation. More than any other company, and any other title, Archie has month in and month out showed how easy it is to shake things up without losing sight of what it is that makes the book special in the first place. So, when I come across an issue that doesn’t have a new multi-cultural character or life lesson, isn’t twisting the genre in some new and fascinating way, I’m taken aback.
Until I remember what it’s like to just read a damn fun comic. And then I’m right back with ya, Archie.
Issue #659 is, plainly put, just a wild ride for twenty pages, the kind of old school rambunctious fun that kids of all ages will titter at and enjoy. Segura gives us a classic Archie story with all its ridiculousness and cuteness, as the entire town is transformed into animals of all shapes and sizes. Sure, it’s a light plot, and a lot of space is devoted to one surprised transformation after another, but not every comic needs to be a deep analysis of what it means to become an anthropomorphized giraffe. Sometimes, it’s enough to sit back and laugh at how inconceivable it is to think about a chimpanzee dating a peacock.
The Kennedys give readers a wild ride through the pages, rendering each animal instantly recognizable as the character he or she was before being hit with Salem’s spell. Jughead’s giraffe is especially adorable, and keeps so much of the character’s personality on his sleeve… errr, neck, as the teens galavant across town and see friend after friend transformed before they can be of any help or hindrance.
Lots of light fun, without the worry of how Archie is going to explain this craziness to his parents or Principal Weatherbee, Archie #659 is the next single issue I’ll be shipping off to all my nieces and nephews to giggle over together and enjoy for the sheer delight of how cute comics can be.
The Verdict: 8.0/10