Writer: Francis Bonnet
Pencils: Jeff Shultz
Inks: Jim Amash
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Archie Comics Double Digest, No. 303
On-Sale Date: October 9, 2019
Length: 5 pages
In someone’s yard, near the road, Archie, shining a flashlight on his face, is telling a scary story to Betty and Veronica, who seem to be genuinely scared – or at least are pretending to be. Seriously, they’re not little kids, and Archie’s story is about as cliche as you can get. Then an “alien” jumps out of a nearby bush and scares all three of them.
It’s just Reggie, of course. He’s totally pleased with himself. Archie’s angry at him. Betty and Veronica like their new post-scare hairstyles, which disappear two panels later. Then there’s the case of Betty’s disappearing and re-appearing scrunchie. Anyway, after some arguing, Reggie leaves, and Archie wants to get back at him. Ronnie tries to tell him something, but he runs off, and Ronnie comments on Archie acting without thinking. Betty finds that “so adorable”. *rolls eyes* Anyway, making his way past the trick-or-treaters, Archie runs ahead of Reggie and hides in a (thorn) bush, so he can jump out and scare him.
Reggie sees it coming and dodges, so Archie just falls face-first on the ground. Reggie gets in a parting insult and heads home.
Not admitting defeat, Archie heads to a Halloween store (called Halloween Store) and uses all of his money to buy the $15.00 scarecrow on display on the sidewalk (wow, that’s one trusting store owner).
Later, Archie climbs up a tree with the scarecrow, planning to drop it on Reggie. How does he know Reggie will be coming this way? Ironically, the scarecrow attracts a crow, and Archie and the scarecrow fall out of the tree. Reggie does indeed come by and has a good laugh.
Suddenly, a ghost appears. Reggie doesn’t fall for it, despite Archie’s insistence that he’s not doing it. When Reggie is able to put his hand through the ghost, though, he’s convinced and runs away screaming. Betty and Veronica reveal themselves from behind the bush (a little too early, I think). They were using a (planted) holographic projector to get back at Reggie. How’d they know Reggie would be here? Anyway, Archie’s scared shitless, so he isn’t exactly appreciative of their prank.
This story was okay. It’s a traditional Halloween story, and that might be the problem with it. Halloween isn’t really a thing anymore. Sure, the retail industry hypes it up every year and sells tons of candy and Chinese-made costumes, and theme parks and the film and television industries cash in on it as well, but when was the last time that you’ve actually had a trick-or-treater? For me, it was probably the late 1980s or early 1990s. Due to safety concerns, Halloween has mostly moved indoors – to house parties and shopping malls. There might be community-built haunted houses or haunted hayrides. But I can’t imagine trick-or-treaters going door to door and asking for candy from strangers anymore, and I certainly don’t buy teenagers telling scary stories around a campfire or pranking each other.
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