Welcome to Part 3 of this Archie key issues list or series. As most should know by now, this series has to do with Archie Andrews and his universe in comics.
In truth, it's mainly a first appearances list, but I'll try to throw in some other things so it doesn't become that monotonous. I won't get every single key or Overstreet notation, so I wouldn't expect it.
Hit this Part 2 link in case you missed it. If not, here's more Archie key issues.
1st full Archie cover in Pep
Alrighty now, this is noted as the first full Archie cover in Pep. Archie Comics #1 may just be the first full Archie cover in comics, but not sure 100% about that.
Pep Comics #36 has the cover date of February, 1943 and has an LoC date of December 10, 1942.
2nd issue to first self-titled series
Overstreet notes issues #1 through #3 as being scarce in terms of the first Archie Comics series. The first 3 issues did not have cover dates on them, but I think Archie Comics started off as a quarterly and then changed to a bimonthly comic later.
In publishing terms, bimonthly meant a periodical was published every two months or six times during a twelve month period. Seasonal, more commonly known as quarterly publications, were published once every three months in which Jackpot Comics was.
Pep Comics was a monthly book, or started out that way. It would later have some sporadic publishing dates as time went on. Anyways, Archie Comics #2 is more valuable than the 2nd appearance of Archie in Pep Comics #23 according to the new Overstreet.
Then again, CGC did change the notations on their labels for Pep Comics #23 being the 2nd appearance of Archie only last year in 2014. We'll see if that change gives Pep Comics #23 a bigger boost in value in the next couple of years or makes the value closer to Archie Comics #2.
Maybe it will. Maybe it won't. CGC Census has only 24 total submissions for Archie Comics #2, and the highest is an 8.0 VF. Archie Comics #2 hit the stands around February 8, 1943.
3rd issue to first self-titled series
As mentioned before, Archie Comics #3 is noted as scarce in the Overstreet Price Guide, and was noted as such even in the 33rd edition while #2 wasn't. In the 20th edition, only Archie Comics #1 was noted as scarce.
So, this one currently is pretty valuable, and just a smidge less valuable than Pep Comics #23 in the current Overstreet guide. CGC Census also clocks this issue with only 24 total submissions and the highest graded copy so far is an 8.0 VF just like issue #2 to this comic series.
Archie Comics #3 is known as a Summer issue and the on sale date is around May 8, 1943. Archie Comics #4 would begin printing the months on the covers after this issue. Thank, God!
1st appearance of Souphead Jones
Although some believe that Souphead Jones first appeared in Archie's Pal Jughead Annual #1, the identical looking yet smaller cousin of Jughead actually first appeared earlier than that. Souphead Jones appears in the six page story "Spring Fever" in this issue.
Souphead Jones was also a character on the Archie radio show by this time as well so he was definitely out there before 1953, which is when Archie's Pal Jughead Annual #1 was published. Instead of burgers, Souphead obviously prefers soup.
Also, this issue marks when they began printing the months on the covers. I believe this series heads into bimonthly, and the publisher during the first 3 issues wasn't sure if they were gonna do quarterly or what.
Then again, they were probably just feeling it out to see if Archie was popular enough to handle his own title. Anyways, Archie Comics #4 is cover dated September - October, 1943. It most likely was on sale around July 8, 1943.
Archie covers begins
Well, it wouldn't be long before Archie would be the most popular feature for MLJ Magazines. While the Shield and other characters still had features in the title, Pep Comics would begin to feature Archie and his crew on the covers starting with this issue here.
Not the most exciting of key notations, but it does somewhat mark the extreme popularity of the character during the time. The August, 1943 issue of Pep Comics #41 went on sale sometime around June 4, 1943.
1st appearance of Pop Tate
Of course, every teen needs a local hangout, and Terry "Pop" Tate's Chok’lit Shoppe is the restaurant for Archie and his pals. Quite often Terry "Pop" Tate listens to the problems of Archie and his friends while serving them ice cream or soda pop.
Jughead is Pop Tate's biggest customer as he has an obsession with food and is often allowed to run a tab there. Pop Tate is referred to as Mr. Tate in this issue, and you can see that he doesn't resemble the more familiar version of the character in later stories. He is depicted as a slimmer and older gentleman in his first debut, and he only shows up briefly in two panels. He's also shadowed out in one of them.
If you can't read the page, just click the image for the larger version.
February, 1944 is the cover date for Pep Comics #46 and it was on sale around December 10, 1943.
1st definitive love triangle story
I suppose this is the first real love triangle story between Archie, Veronica, and Betty. Of course, this would be an on-going theme between the three characters.
Pretty straight-forward key issue. Archie Comics #7 is cover dated March-April, 1944 and hit the stands around January 8, 1944.
1st Miss Grundy cover
Archie's beloved teacher Miss Grundy finally gets her first cover debut in Archie Comics #9. Of course, Archie acts a fool and draws a less than flattering cartoon of Miss Grundy on the chalkboard while Miss Grundy is standing right behind him.
Mid-grade FNs are nearing the $1000 mark according to Overstreet. Cover date for this comic is November - December, 1944 and was on sale around September 8, 1944.
1st Mr. Weatherbee cover
The principal of Riverdale High, Mr. Weatherbee, finally debuts on the cover of a comic. By this time, Pep Comics was having sporadic publishing dates. Some issues were published every two months, and a few of them every three months.
By 1947, Pep Comics became a bimonthly publication, and Pep Comics #56 was the last issue to feature the MLJ logo on the cover. It was replaced with "An Archie Magazine".
With issue #57. the indicia would read "Archie Publications, Inc". March, 1945 is the cover date for this comic, and Pep Comics #52 hit the stands around January 10, 1945.
Archie stories begin in series
1st issue of title change
1st issue of title change
With issue #20, Black Hood Comics was later renamed Laugh Comics and featured Archie and teen-related stories instead of the titular super-hero the Black Hood. Issues like these would mark the eventual shift from super-heroes like the Shield and Black Hood to the teen humor genre for Archie Comics Publications.
Pep Comics would also soon convert to an all-humor comic book as well. Laugh Comics would still be an anthology comic, but it would contain stories of Archie, Suzie, Katy Keene, Taffy, and Wilbur.
Laugh Comics #20 is dated Fall, 1946 and was most likely on sale around November 7, 1946.
1st appearance of Moose Mason
1st issue to Jughead spin-off comic series
1st issue to Jughead spin-off comic series
In his first appearance debut in this issue, Moose Mason is actually called Moose McGee, but it's supposedly clear that this character does evolve into the more well-known Moose Mason that Archie fans know him by. Moose is the stereo-typical jock who is fantastic at sports but one of the poorest students.
Big Moose as he is often referred to is an extremely jealous type of person, especially when it concerns his affections for Midge Klump. He has an intimidating presence, and in his early appearances he is often depicted as a bully. However, later on, he would be a loyal friend and has helped Archie on a number of occasions.
Moose Mason's character is Russian-American despite his last name of McGee in this issue here, and this comic is the first issue to Jughead's first spin-off comic series. Some say that the character of Lottie Little in this issue is a precursor to Midge Klump, but I don't see it except that Moose is interested in her.
So, don't know or care if that's true or not. Archie's Pal, Jughead #1 has no cover date and was on sale around November 30, 1949.
1st Archie annual
The first Archie annual is noted as scarce by Overstreet. I don't always put annuals in key issues lists especially just because they're the first annual of a title, but I figured why not since this is the first Archie annual for the first self-titled Archie comic series. Besides it is noted as scarce and a Golden Age Archie key issue.
Other than that, not else much to talk about concerning this issue as I know of currently. Cover date is 1950. LoC registration date is October 27, 1949.
1st issue to Reggie Mantle spin-off comic
Archie probably has the most spin-off titles involving just his world of characters in comics. If Jughead got his own spin-off series, I suppose his main rival Reggie Mantle should get one also.
Ummm...yeah. Unlike Jughead's spin-off series, this one featuring Reggie doesn't last all too long. It only lasts #14 issues before it becomes part of the Archie's Joke Book comic series starting with issue #15.
In terms of key issues concerning Archie's Rival Reggie, there isn't much in those 14 issues, or, at least, they've yet to be discovered on a grand scale just yet. Archie's Rival Reggie #1 has an LoC copyright of February 1, 1950 and may have been on sale around that time also.
No cover date and seems to be just a 1950 issue. It is the same for issue #2 of this comic series.
1st appearance of Dilton Doiley
Ok, if you noticed, I didn't bother featuring the Dilton Doiley prototypes. In Pep Comics #27, a prototype by the name of Theodosious was introduced.
Then, in Archie Comics #34, a Dilbert emerged. Pep Comics #78, however, is noted as the first appearance of Dilton Doiley, and this is finalized version of the character.
Dilton is one of the smartest boys in school, if not the smartest. It was once said he had an IQ of 198.
Of course, Dilton is the typical stereotype of the nerdy, studious kid in high school and often wins science awards. He has a lab that he spends most of his time in working on various projects and secretly harboring an ambition to be a Riverdale High athlete.
March, 1950 is the cover date of Pep Comics #78.
1st issue to spin-off comic series
Another Archie spin-off title that would feature Archie's two leading ladies - Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge and further tell stories of their friendship and rivalry for Archie's affections. This comic series ran for a surprising 347 issues.O
Archie's Girl's Betty and Veronica #1 was on sale around July, 1950. Even though some sources say this comic was published March, 1950, there are arrival date stamps that say it hit the stands in July.
I was able to cram more issues in Part 3 than usual, and I'll try to do the same for Part 4 as well. It depends on how many significant keys vs. minor or semi-significant keys there are.
In the intro, I mention that I won't be getting every single Overstreet notation, and that includes prototypes of certain characters, classic covers, and even all the #1 issues to the ba-zillion Archie spin-off titles. Also stuff like "Betty's 1st ponytail" will be bypassed. Is that even a key worth noting?
Dunno, don't care. Oh, yeah, an Archie live action TV show is in development and produced by Greg Berlanti. It was originally going to be developed for Fox, but will be on the CW.
Good news for Archie fans. Alright, enough yabbering. Part 4 is ready so click the PART 4 link below to continue on.