Rating: 5/5 – Archie’s Big Moose Gets His Own One-Shot!
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
I’ve been following almost all of the “new look” Archie books ever since they released the amazing Afterlife with Archie. Since then, we’ve gotten additional series like Jughead, Reggie and Me, Josie and the Pussycats, and now a one-shot starring Moose Mason. In the original Archie comics Moose is always portrayed as the jock of the school, but is never considered to be the brightest bulb in the box. Moose has an imposing presence, but at the same time he has a heart to match his large size. In this one-shot, a trio of writers and artists touch on all these personality traits successfully, making it an entertaining read.
In the first story titled ‘Moose vs. The Vending Machine’, Moose is starving and just wants a snack to tide him over before his big date with Midge, his longtime girlfriend. Writer Sean Ryan portrays Moose with the least smarts, which makes for a humorous ten-page story. The art by Cory Smith was may favorite of the three as Moose tries to make a crumpled up dollar bill work in the school’s vending machine. Smith tells the story flawlessly and makes the simple premise into something memorable. It definitely reminded me of the Archie stories I read as a kid which is a great thing indeed!
As strong as the first story was, the second is even better due in large part to Ryan Cady. Cady paints the best picture of Moose’s personality by combining a look at his relationships with all those around him while in the most subtle of ways, shows how his mind and big heart works. The story is called ‘Have it All’ and Moose is balancing his home life, football, school work and his relationship with Midge. It’s all overwhelming for Moose, but he’s determined to make the most of it. Cady’s portrayal of Moose and Midge’s relationship is spot on and there’s a wonderful line that sums up this more modern approach to Moose in one single panel!
Finally, ‘The Big Difference’ wraps up this oversized issue with a story that’s the weakest of the bunch, but has a touching ending to conclude the issue. The art by Ryan Jampole is most reminiscent in terms of the Archie stories you’d read in the main line of books, which I appreciated. Again, each story focuses in on one or two of Moose’s personality traits, but they all do it successfully. I read this issue at the right time after reading so many super-hero books in a row. It was a great change of pace and ultimately made me wish this wasn’t just a one-shot!
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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