Archie "Civil Chore(s)" Review

In Civil Chore(s) (the plurality of the title is applied inconsistently), the gang at Archie Comics has determined to prove that Marvel and DC are not the only companies that can do non-nonsensical crossovers that have characters act out of character simply to further the plot along.

The basic consensus of the three-part story (33 pages in total over Tales From Riverdale Digest #22-24) is that Archie requests a raise in his allowance, and after his father turns him down, Archie determines to go on strike, and Betty and Chuck join in.

However, shockingly, Jughead turns on his best friend!

Well, you might say, a conflict between best friends could be interesting. And I would agree, but how they CAME to the disagreement is just bizarrely silly. Just so you don't think I am misrepresenting it, here is Fernando Ruiz, the fellow who wrote and drew the storyline (based on an idea from editor Nelson Ribiero) explaining the split:

Well, Jughead is against Archie going on strike. After all, while Archie is on strike, he's not getting an allowance and that means that mooch Jughead can't grub any money from him. Plus, if Archie does get a raise, he'll only spend it going on dates with Betty and Veronica rather than hanging out with his best bud, Jug!

Can you even attempt to parse that logic?

Reggie and Veronica's opposition is a bit of a stretch (if Betty and Archie get allowance raises, they may be able to compete with Reggie and Veronica financially), but at least it makes SOME sense - Jughead, who is the key opposition, does not.

Especially as Jughead sees how the strike is tearing people apart, like Chuck and Nancy and Moose and Midge, who all take separate sides in the strike. Jughead is not a jerk, so why would he allow the strike to keep going like this? It doesn't follow.

The ending is the worst, though, after all the discussion and a big deal about how a mysterious third party is brought in to negotiate, the conflict ends...OFF PANEL!!! OFF PANEL, the mysterious third party strikes up a deal with the parents to resolve the strike "for a reasonable increase in allowance" - all this without the strikers actually present in any of the negotiations! And they just accept it!!

That's just poor storytelling right there - your story can't build to a certain point and then sidestep the climax and just have "The End" on it!

Ruiz's art was quite nice, though, and I really enjoyed all the cameos from other Archie characters, especially a really neat gag where Lil' Jinx shows up to strike, becaue SHE only get a 25 cent allowance! Classic.

Anyhow, overall, not so good.

Not Recommended.

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