Archie #662

It's Christmastime in Riverdale, and all Mr. Lodge wants for Christmas is what he wants all year long: to be rid of Archie. Naturally, pretty much the opposite happens in "Archie" #662, written by Angelo DeCesare, and drawn by Pat Kennedy, T.M. Kennedy and Rich Koslowski, as Veronica's dad can't seem to get away from Archie, even when he's hallucinating. It's a typically fun, standalone Archie tale, and it also makes for a fun Christmas tale as well, as Archie tries to reach out to Mr. Lodge with the best gift he can think of.

DeCesare's story stays funny and lighthearted by virtue of Archie's seeming cluelessness in causing Mr. Lodge's endless aggravation, countered with Archie's efforts to nonetheless try and do good by him. Besides Archie, the characters in DeCesare's story are a little more one-dimensional than usual; Veronica's presence in the comic serves no purpose than to put Archie in her father's vicinity; her father is always the harmlessly cranky businessman, and even Smithers is little more than a comical bumbler. Yet, it all works well enough to make the point that no matter what Archie does, Hiram Lodge will always be showing him the front door, one way or the other.

This helps DeCesare avoid schmaltzy cliches about everything working out because it's Christmas, yet allows him to tell a festive tale about giving, and a pretty humorous one at that. The humor is largely slapstick and sarcasm, the kind youngers readers will find funny and older ones will find amusing, if not outright funny as well. DeCesare does stretch disbelief somewhat near the end with Hiram's own cluelessness, but balances that out with comical absurdity of Archie and Veronica's scheme.

Pat Kennedy and T.M. Kennedy have the Archie style down, not to mention all of Archie's physical mishaps and shenanigans. Even Mr. Lodge looks pretty hilarious when blowing a gasket. It's nicely polished off with clean inks by Koslowski and unassuming colors by Digikore Studios. Dan Parent's iconic cover is welcoming and friendly, although the cover logo blocks out a lot of the Christmas decor, perhaps necessitating the "Happy Holidays" salutation under the logo.

"Archie" #662 overall is a funny and festive comic, although it gets a little too linear at times trying to be the former. Nonetheless, its weaknesses don't take away from the fun, but youngsters might be a little more forgiving.

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