Buying a new Archie comic was a return to my comic book roots. While my friends were all caught up in Marvel's Secret Wars mega-event, I was caught up in the happenings down in Riverdale. When I heard that Kiss were going to be making a 4-issue guest appearance, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to take a walk down memory lane.
I didn't hear about the Kiss storyline until the second issue was about to come out, so I considered myself lucky to find a copy of the first issue (#627) at my local comic shop. As soon as I had it in my hot little hands, I sat down and once again immersed myself in the Archie world. And I can honestly say that not much appears to have changed in 30 years: If you liked Archie comics then, you'll like them now. The characters all looked just the way I remembered, and Kiss looked great in this style of comic art.
The storyline is that Archie and the gang are helping Sabrina the Teenage Witch cast a protection spell when Veronica messes it up and summons a group of monsters, who immediately start turning the townspeople into zombies. Fortunately, the mixed-up spell also summons Kiss, who in the Archie-verse are both rock stars and monster-hunters. The issue ends with Archie on the phone with Betty, as he just realizes how bad things have gotten. Fortunately, he's got 3 issues left in which to set everything right.
My only complaint about this issue was Reggie. Reggie used to be cunning and devious, a truly worthy foil for Archie. In this issue, he appears to have morphed into a cowardly metrosexual. Somebody please tell me this is just an oddity of the script for this issue, and not a permanent change in the character!
As an aside, my collecting this series provides a great example why it's good to have a local comic shop that you patronize regularly: The copy of this issue that I bought (the last in the store, mind you) had the variant cover. When I talked to the shop staff about adding this title to my pull folder, I asked if they could be sure I get the variant covers of the other 3 issues. They assured me that this would be no problem, and they've come through for me.