The setup for today’s Archie is a bit contrived — why is Dilton, a fairly marginal member of the Archie gang, hanging around reading the newspaper in whatever venue is providing this private snuggle couch for Archie and Veronica? — but turns into an effective character piece. Of course poor socially awkward Dilton would immediately latch onto this dubious teleportation article — it combines his two loves, science and the idea of getting as far away from Riverdale and everyone in it as quickly as the laws of physics will allows. Meanwhile, Archie, in the midst of a love haze that he hopes will never end, is vaguely aware that his life is peaking at this precise moment and adulthood and the outside world hold nothing for him but disappointment. And yet it’s Dilton who looks at the happy couple with sadness all over his face: no matter how much he knows intellectually that his future is bright, emotionally he feels like high school will last forever, and the prospect of escape seems like the most unlikely science fiction.
(In other news: having an extra joke in the first panel was definitely a thing in these late ’90s/early ’00s Archie reruns; usually the gags are pretty execrable, but I deem Archie’s “I bet they’re beaming!” a solid pun.)
Gil Thorp, 1/28/14
Meanwhile, this plot where everyone wants to have sex with Wynn Wiley’s sister … is still happening, I guess! In today’s action, Wynn gets mad about it and punches someone in the face in the middle of the basketball game. Wait, did I say “action”? I meant “action that took place off-panel but was helpfully described for us,” more specifically. I understand the artistic choices being made here: Why show us a shocking act of violence in the middle of a high school basketball game when we could look at this referee with a weird little beard instead? That beard is what you get when you think, “I want to have a little mustache right under my nose, but it’s still ‘too soon’ because of Hitler or whatever! But what if … I moved that mustache … below my mouth? Hitler didn’t have a mustache on his chin, did he? Ref, you’re a genius!”