The most recent Life with Archie series was probably one of the most stressful comics I had ever read (in a good way).
Stemming from a mini-event, Life with Archie followed after what happens when Archie marries Betty…and after when he marries Veronica. Each issue contained two different stories that were quite distinctly different.
Except in one regard.
Mr. Lodge, Veronica’s father, was a complete asshole to Archie and that stressed me, a lifelong Archie fan, the hell out.
Sure, Mr Lodge has always not been a big fan of the clumsy red-head, but he was outright vicious to the boy during this series. For every time we see Mr. Lodge scheme and cackle, my mind throws back to stories where Mr. Lodge throws lavish parties for Veronica and her friends, of when he has taken them all on vacation, of when he just let them in and play with the goodies that he has bought with his money.
In short, the Mr. Lodge in this series was not my Mr. Lodge.
Thankfully, there was a reason for all of that, and it was a great twist – completely insane, completely comic book-y, and completely justifies everything.
The series is not all about Mr. Lodge being ridiculously mean to Archie, it is about the pains of being an adult, it is about learning what it means to no longer be a teenager, and it is about what it means to stay true to who you are.
The second half of the series (basically, the post-Mr. Lodge era) is more down-to-earth, but is a fantastic slow build to the penultimate as well as the final issue which are the two most heart-breaking issues you will ever read…ever.
If Archie Comics had closed up shop at that point, it would have been a beautiful swan song to the most iconic of American comics and that, I think, is the biggest compliment I can give.
Go read it, trust me.