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Archie Comics 80th Anniversary Presents: Archie’s Pals Dotty and Ditto / with Bob Phantom

By Hervé St-Louis
June 10, 2020 - 09:10

This commemorative issue of Archie comics presents Dotty and Ditto, a young comic-loving cowgirl and her repetitive parrot called Ditto. While on a school excursion to Dotty's family farm, Archie meets the cowgirl of his dreams. Silliness ensues. In other stories in this anthology, Archie, Bob Phantom’s number one fan, meets his favourite superhero at a charity event at the Lodges and at comic book convention. More madness happens.

This anthology presents old MLJ characters (Archie Comics’ former label) in current stories with Archie and his pals with an added reprint of an older Dotty and Ditto story. Unfortunately, the publisher did not provide a date for the older story which from the looks could have been published anywhere from the 1940s to the 1960s. If readers are introduced to older comics, perhaps the publisher should provide them with bibliographic data to understand the scope and the relevance of the feature in the grand history of comics.

I was curious to discover Bob Phantom. I thought that I had good knowledge about the Crusader characters and most Archie Comics superheroes. Apparently, that is not the case as I don’t recall ever reading about Bob Phantom. While the character appears to be in the public domain, I am glad that Archie tried to integrate its original version in to current stories in Archie’s world, as a fictional character read by the Riverdale bunch. It is uncanny how much Quality Comics’ Phantom Lady (now owned by DC Comics) resembles the original Bob Phantom.

The artwork for the modern series was drawn in the stock Archie Comic cartoon style which is not as good when featuring realistic characters such as the Bob Phantom and the Shield. Yet, the simplicity of the artwork and the clear storytelling are appealing.

Rating: 7.5 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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