Read the Full First Chapter of Archie’s Love Showdown

Summary

  • Previews for the next TWO weeks of Archie books, including the Betty and Veronica Jumbo Comics Digest #320 and the 30th anniversary edition of Love Showdown.
  • The Betty and Veronica Jumbo Comics Digest #320 features a story with Young Dr. Masters and a comedic adventure with Moose and Midge.
  • The Love Showdown anniversary edition includes the original four-part event, a sequel, and new content, making it a must-have for fans of all ages. You can read the first full chapter here for FREE!


Every week, we share a preview of the newest Archie Comics releases that week, plus occasional spotlights on the latest Archie news and whatever else I feel like discussing, Archie-wise. This time around, we have previews for the next TWO weeks of Archie books! A preview of this week’s Betty and Veronica Jumbo Comics Digest #320 (with two brand-new stories about New Year’s Eve), and most importantly, the full FIRST CHAPTER of Archie’s reprint collection of Love Showdown, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the iconic storyline, which will be released on December 27th!

First off, let’s look at Betty and Veronica Jumbo Comics Digest #320. Before we go any further, let me note that it is kind of ironic that we are celebrating the Love Showdown storyline at the same time that we come to the 320th issue of a Betty and Veronica comic book. You see, in the original 320th issue of Betty and Veronica’s comic book, a new comic book was introduced that would play a major role in Love Showdown. I won’t spoil the ending of Love Showdown for you, but you can see who the character is here if you want to be spoiled.

Anyhow, the opening story is by writer Craig Boldman, penciler Pat Kennedy, inker Jim Amash, colorist Glenn Whitmore and letterer Jack Morelli. It follows in Archie’s recent tradition of going to its past to find new characters to feature in its digests, this story stars Young Dr. Masters, who was an attempt by Archie in the early 1960s to try out a sort of medical romance comic book (presumably a reference to the popular early 1960s medical TV drama, Dr. Kildare, which was based on a novel and a film series titled Young Dr. Kildare). The original comic book was by Robert Bernstrin and John Rosenberger (Bernstein wrote a number of comics for the early Marvel Age of comics in the 1960s). Here is the cover of the first issue of the series…

The cover of Young Doctor Masters #1

In these preview pages, Betty and Veronica are at a star-studded New Year’s party thrown by the doctor, which includes a cameo by Tom Holland as Spider-Man! Pat Kennedy has this wonderful ability to draw Betty and Veronica in that Harry Lucey-style, while keeping things looking modern, as well. Good stuff.

The other new story in the digest is by writer/penciler Dan Parent, inker Bob Smith, colorist Glenn Whitmore and letterer Jack Morelli, and it stars Moose, the lovable galloot, as he tries to pick a flower out of the snow for his girlfriend, Midge, and much hilarity ensues…

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TWO BRAND NEW STORIES! First, it’s New Year’s Day, and Moose is on his way to a date with Midge—but what starts out as a normal day leads to a snowy adventure! Then, Can Veronica end the year without breaking her last New Year’s resolution? The answer could mean disaster for Young Doctor Masters!

Script: Dan Parent, Craig Boldman

Art: Dan Parent, Pat Kennedy, Bob Smith

Colors: Glenn Whitmore

Letters: Jack Morelli

Cover: Francis Bonnet, Dan Parent, Rosario “Tito” Peña

On Sale Date: 12/20

192-page, full color digest

$9.99 U.S.

Next up, is the Christmas present for you all, the full first chapter of the iconic Archie storyline, Love Showdown, which was a really big deal at the time (I covered it in an old Look Back back in 2019), and you can read all about Archie’s attempts to get in on the crossover game (there had been Archie crossovers before, but they were few and far between, and never something as major as this) of the early 1990s with this major event that saw Betty and Veronica deciding that they would finally force Archie to pick one of them (all of this while a long-forgotten Archie character was about to make their triumphant return to throw everything into chaos)…

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ARCHIE: LOVE SHOWDOWN 30th ANNIVERSARY EDITION (TPB)

Before The Married Life, before Archie asked, “Will You Marry Me?”, there was Love Showdown—the first event in Archie Comics history. Archie decides he is finally going to make up his mind and choose his true love. On hearing this, Betty and Veronica fight for his affections tooth and nail with wits and wiles… who will come out the winner? Fan-favorite “bad girl” Cheryl Blossom returns to the mix as well, ensuring that the romantic hijinks are at an all-time high… and that Archie’s decision is harder than ever! Love Showdown is in the Archie record books as its most popular comic book story of the ‘90s. This anniversary edition includes the complete, original Love Showdown four-part event plus the follow-up Love Showdown Special sequel and all-new content celebrating its legacy. This is a must-have milestone edition for comic book fans of all ages.

Script: Dan Parent, Bill Golliher, George Gladir

Art: Dan DeCarlo, Dan Parent, and Various

Cover: Dan DeCarlo, Henry Scarpelli, Rosario “Tito” Peña

978-1-64576-819-7

$14.99 US / $18.99 CAN

6 x 9”

144 pp, Full Color

Direct Market On-Sale Date: 12/27

As I wrote a while back, it is interesting that Love Showdown ends with a major change in the status quo of Archie and the gang, but obviously, that couldn’t last for TOO long, so I wrote a bit about how Archie ultimately abandoned the major shift in the status quo.

Still, this was an excellent story, and it gave a great sense of a real IMPORTANCE, so it is fun to see Archie celebrate it with a 30th anniversary edition, and I am so pleased that we are able to share it with you all.

Next week, no new previews, but I’ll have Archie’s March solicitations, as well as a fun look at Archie’s Christmas past for Christmas Eve!

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