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.