Awhile back, I reviewed a parody comic storyline Archie Comics did, parodying Civil War. I did not like it all that much. This past week, Archie had TWO parody comics, Veronica #185 (High School Musical) and Tales From Riverdale Digest #25 (Spider-Man 3), both of which were a step up from the Civil War parody, particularly the latter story.
Dan Parent (writer/artist) parodies High School Musical in Veronica #185, and he mostly does an excellent job. Sadly, the story falls apart a bit with a lack of clarity that ties directly to the main plot of the comic, and to be frank, the story sorta hinges on it - so by being unclear, the story ultimately fails, I believe.
The story is that the writer/producer of a series of popular teen comedies decides to come and do a musical set at Riverdale High, where the woman went when she was a teenager. Veronica gets a gig as an extra, and tries to increase her role, PARTICULARLY when she discovers that the lady has based the plot of the movie on the Archie/Veronica/Betty love triangle!
Clever stuff, but (SPOILER WARNING) the big twist in the comic is that the writer was one-third of a love triangle when SHE was in high school - and the other two parts of the triangle were Veronica's parents!!!
It's a nice twist, except for one thing - while Parent recently has been de-aging Veronica's parents a bit, the writer/producer looks like she's 20 years old! You would never believe she was intended to be the same age as Veronica's parents. I could even forgive him for this artistic choice if it had not been for the fact that he doesn't manage to slip in ONE simple line explaining that she went to school thirty years ago BEFORE the twist is revealed.
That said, the rest of the story was quite nice - especially seeing Betty, Veronica and Archie checking to see who Archie ends up with in the film!
So yeah, ultimately, Not Recommended.
Fernando Ruiz, though, nicely redeems himself from the Civil Chores mess (note that HE came up with this one all by himself) with an amusing take off on the Venom story with "Denim," where Dilton accidentally creates a creature that forces him to act like Reggie Mantle!!
It's a clever take-off on the Venom symbiote, and I especially like how they manage to stop the creature.
Very creative work by Ruiz, whose art was even a little stronger than usual.