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Snark Blocker – Archie and the Shield Together!

As you may or may not know, Archie Andrew debuted as a backup in MLJ’s Pep Comics, which starred MLJ’s biggest character, the Shield. However, the Shield would not remain MLJ’s biggest character, as that honor would soon belong to Archie Andrews, who became so popular that MLJ changed the name of their entire company to Archie Comics.

However, for a small period in time before Archie took over Pep from the Shield, the two shared the cover, and it is a bizarre, but highly amusing part of comic book history, and I think you’ll enjoy it, as your snark will melt away by the sheer oddity of it all.

Enjoy!

Here was the first appearance of Archie on a Pep cover…

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It would be another five issues before Archie showed up again (market data back then took quite some time – note how neither Batman nor Superman were automatic cover features on their respective titles), but this time it was for good!

The appearances began fairly normal enough…

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but then they take a turn for the utterly outrageously absurdest…

Archie as a football….

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Archie as a kite…

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Archie as an ICE SCULPTURE?!?!

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Archie as the Shield (okay, that one is actually pretty normal)…

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Archie as a fish…

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Finally, the Shield is just in the background, barely even part of the cover…

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And then, one last time, the Shield appears in a little circle on the cover –

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that would be the Shield’s last featured cover appearance, the book would completely become an Archie title the following issue (although the Shield continued to appear in the backups).

Isn’t that one of the weirdest, yet interesting comic cover arrangements you’ve seen?

14 Comments

It’s interesting watching Archie slowly take over the covers, and eventually the whole book. Seeing their sizes and the amount of cover they both occupy over the stretch is really neat. I’m glad that MLJ was aware enough to see what was selling and to aggressively push i out there. Taking the hero out of the book was fairly bold in a time when superheroes dominated the landscape.

I never realized that The Shield was gay for Archie.

That fish cover freaks me out.

Not having seen many Golden Age Archie covers outside this site, I was a bit surprised at how utterly dour Jughead looks on these covers.

Boy, sometimes the art back then really sucked, huh? I mean, look at the Shield’s midsection on the cover of #42. Who drew that? Liefeld’s grandfather? I guess they were churning out books at such a fast rate, everything submitted got published.

Thanks for the post. It is neat to see these, my criticism aside.

I think I was too distracted by Archie’s horrific buck teeth to notice the Shield’s midsection. Seriously, the eldritch goat with a thousand young isn’t that disturbing.

Where’s Archie’s right hand at on the cover of 47?

“Yup, folks! Nothin’ like being happy!” (Pep 41)

NOW WAITAMINNIT! Isn’t that Superboy-Prime’s battlecry?

I find it interesting that it isn’t just Archie that was showing up, it was often Jughead as well (who looks pretty creepy to boot).

For an equally bizarre cover transition, check out the final few issues of the golden age Green Lantern covers, where Rex the Wonder Dog slowly noses out the titular star until it’s all-dog action!

The ice sculpture is the oddest to me, as it looks like the Shield is singing while sculpting a giant Archie ice sculpture.

For an equally bizarre cover transition, check out the final few issues of the golden age Green Lantern covers, where Rex the Wonder Dog slowly noses out the titular star until it’s all-dog action!

Ha! Yeah, I featured that here –

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2006/02/16/comic-book-urban-legends-revealed-38/

That was a bizarre one, too.

Screw the dynamic new look. Strung-out Jughead from the Golden Age is what the kids would really love these days.

That is the most awesomely depressing looking Jughead ever. If Archie ever does a parody of Crisis, I hope they bring him back.

I was about to say…I had no idea Jughead was originally played by a suicidal 45-year-old man.

Also, that fish cover? I do believe we have a winner in the Unintentionally Nightmare-Inducing Sweepstakes from the Golden Age. Jimmy Olsen, eat your heart out.

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