Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Shield: Destroyed By the Worst Villain of Them All

We've spent lots of time talking about how boss the Shield was, and how keen it is that he's returning.

But I bet you've been wondering how a fantastically cool character like The Shield met his end. Was he killed by a villain, like his colleague, the Hangman? Did the company that published him fold?

Well, both, in a sense. He was "killed" by the worst villain in all of comicdom. And not outright. No, he was slowly poisoned by his treacherous foe, evanescing into limbo. And his publisher did fold... to the pressure toward cheap titillation of teenage hormones.

Yes, the Shield was undone by that most terrifying force in the four-color world, the symbol of solipsism, the scion of sensationalism, the shill of thrill, the sultan of the surreal:


ARCHIE ANDREWSEverything's Archie, you know.


Archie, as long-time readers of my blog will know, is my bete noir, symbol to me of the opiate power of comics used evilly to warp the perspectives of readers, lulling them in a dazed state in which the always unhinged Archieverse opens it jaws of surrealism to swallow up their every sense of hope, meaning, and being, subsuming them in the All That Is Archie.

What red-blooded American can look at these words and fail to weep?

"Dusty is almost heartbroken at having to leave you boys and girls we have come to know and love so much -- and me, well, I don't feel so good myself."

My gods, it's like watching Bambi's mother get shot in an endless video loop!


Even in defeat, the Shield is gracious, calling Archie a golden lining. YES; the gold lining the pockets of the cynical sharpies who sold you out, Shield. Who sold out patriotism for pre-pubescent pandering! Who sold out your war against America's enemies for teenage teases in tit-tightened sweaters, and sweaty-palmed punks who think of nothing but slaking their gross apetites for fresh girls and grilled flesh, stuffing it all down the insatiable maw of ... Archie.

But the Shield's grace cannot hide Archie's omnivorous evil:

"he's made himself famous from the Atlantic to the Pacific, in fact in every corner of the world (!!!!)"

Because... Everything Is Archie. Shudder.

"He's going to take over the Shield G-Man Club and call it the Archie Club. ... Take it away, Archie."

Of course he's just going to ...take it over. And rename it after himself. Everything Must Be Archie. Whatever it is, whatever you want; take it away, Archie. How can people prate on about feckless incompetent amateurs like Darkseid when there's ARCHIE, for pity's sake?!?!?

Through the existential horror, I can barely bare to read Archie's words, for fear they might sap my will like a Riverdalian anti-life equation.

"Think of taking over so many hundreds of thousands."


Yes, you automatically belong to Archie. Turn over the cards that represent your former identity; surrender yourself to Archie. In exchange for your very soul, we will imprint upon you the Mark of Archie, so that all may known that you are of the Body, that you are one with Landru/Archie.

My gods; the little bastard even stole his COSTUME.

10 comments:

Brushwood said...

Oh thank goodness there was no coffee in my mouth to spit out from laughter.

My typical teenager-ness justifies the destruction of your Shield G-Man cards!

TotalToyz said...

Archie, as long-time readers of my blog will know, is my bete noir, symbol to me of the opiate power of comics used evilly to warp the perspectives of readers, lulling them in a dazed state in which the always unhinged Archieverse opens it jaws of surrealism to swallow up their every sense of hope, meaning, and being, subsuming them in the All That Is Archie.

Geez, don't hold back, Scip. How do you really feel?

I guess the No Child Left Behind program hasn't reached Riverdale; these kids have been in high school for 70 years!

suedenim said...

Archie isn't even a G-Man! Does that Andrews kid have a security clearance? Hell, even an honorary badge from Mr. Hoover? These are dark days for our nation's security. Dark days.

Just in the "oddities" category, my word verification for this post is "accliker".

SallyP said...

Oh, the horror...the horror.

Diamondrock said...

Whoa! You weren't kidding about those sweaters!

Mike Noga said...

How do you feel about Jughead?

allan said...

I like to think of myself as a longtime reader and I had no clue that Archie Andrews was the Black Beast that haunted your dreams!

That explains sooooo much!

Personally I've always considered Andrews to be Comicland's version of literature's most famous moody Dane--Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Both are defined by their crippling indecision and inability to act (in over 60 years the boy from Riverdale has never realized his best bet is with the shallow, vain and painfully hot brunette), the loyalty they inspire in their closest friends and their willingness to affect madness as a means to their ends (in Hamlet's case to avenge his father's murder, in Archie's to get out of one of Mrs. Grundy's pop quizzes).

Relevant? No, but I wanted to share.

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

We accept you we accept you one of us one of us!

Brian Hughes said...

Archie and the Shield even shared PEP covers for awhile (PEP #36-50), and you could almost see Shield seething with frustration as he saw his position being usurped by the buck-toothed red-headed doofus. Only passive/aggressive "Archie-as-fish" and "Archie-as-football" gags kept things from getting too violent before the Shield was phased out for good.

Tony Z™ said...

Archie is the Anti-Life equation. Submit or die!

Plus, did you notice, he acted all humble and nervous about taking over the Shield G-Man Club. But the second he gets it, he changes the name. *AND* you have to turn in your Shield G-Man identification card to get your Archie Club button!! He was out to obliterate all evidence that the Shield even existed!!

P.S. The Hangman didn't get killed. It was the Hangman's brother, The Comet, who was killed. Which led Robert Dickering to become The Hangman and avenge his brother's death.

(Yeah, I'm way too geeky...)