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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Archie Key Issues Part 4

Golly, more Archie key issues in Part 4 to this series. So, this key issue comics series only deals with America's most lovable teenage and his wacky crew in Riverdale.

I may not know that much about Archie comics, but I do know the publication did publish other characters like Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Wilbur. Although the two are from neighboring towns, no keys or first appearances concerning them will be discussed until maybe the last few parts.

We are climbing our way out of the Golden Age Archie key comics and heading into the Silver Age era for the character. For Archie fans or even some comic collectors or those looking to invest in something other than superhero comics, some of these may be ones to consider.

This Part 3 link will bring ya back if need be, but if not, enjoy the next few Archie key issues.

1st appearance of Midge Klump

The first appearance of the character of Midge Klump was actually named Midge Smith in this issue. Moose Mason shows his earliest interest for Midge in this issue, and this would be a recurring theme for the two.

Midge Smith would become the classic Midge Klump character that Moose is literally crazy about. His jealousy regarding her is also another theme concerning the two characters.

April, 1951 is the cover date of Archie's Pal Jughead #5, and it has an LoC copyright date of February 20, 1951.

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1st Dan DeCarlo Archie work
1st appearance of Midge Klump?

Supposedly, the first appearance of Midge Klump appeared simultaneously in Archie's Pal, Jughead #5 and Archie's Girls Betty & Veronica #4. Some say the comics hit the stands at the same time, but I have no idea if this true or not.

What is known is that Archie's Pal Jughead has an LoC copyright registration date that precedes the one for this issue by seven months, so I have no idea what's going on in terms of why this comic shares the first appearance of Midge Klump with Archie's Pal Jughead #5.

I think the character does show up a lot more in this issue than the latter though. I think she only shows up in a single panel in Archie's Pal Jughead #5.

Also, I'm not sure if Midge is finally called Midge Klump in this issue or if it's still Midge Smith or just Midge, so I'll just put a question mark next to it until someone who knows these comics better can clear this one up.

This issue does have the first Dan DeCarlo Archie artwork, however. Artist Dan Decarlo has been a long time artist for Archie and is responsible for modernizing the characters' looks and giving  Archie comics the house style that has carried over into today.

Extremely important artist for the Archie comics. Archie's Girls Betty & Veronica #4 has an LoC copyright date of September 28, 1951.

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1st comic issue

Hey, hey, it's another Archie spin-off title. Can't blame them for riding off the success of a character or characters.

Although this comic series really doesn't produce many first appearances, it does showcase the very first professional work by a legendary comic artist who would go onto to be extremely popular on the DC front. We'll get to that soon enough, amigos.

Archie's Joke Book #1 is a 1953 issue.

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1st issue to another Archie titled comic

Also known as Archie's Christmas Stocking #1, this series came out in 1954, and I believe the first six issues came out yearly. Then the issues would later come out sporadically within each year.

The strange thing about this series is that it skipped in numbering in two places. After issue #35, it skipped to issue #136. Issues #36 through #135 do not exist.

It also skipped in numbering when it reached issue #251, going from that number to #452. This is the only one from this series that I'll feature on this Archie key issues list, and it's the 1954 issue.

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Another 1st issue

Wow, another comic series, and this one starring the gang as little kids. Little Archie would change it's title to Adventures of Little Archie after issue #12, and apparently it ran for 180 issues.

That's pretty long considering all the Archie comic titles that were thrown into the market nearing the end of the Golden Age. Aside from this being a 1st issue, Overstreet also notes this as scarce.

I wonder when they'll start noting issue #2 scarce as well. This is the 1956 issue with a copyright of July 17th. Issue #2 would come out the next year in 1957.

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1st appearance of Chick (Chic) Cooper

In the Little Archie canon, Chick Cooper was in high school when Archie and Betty were little tots. Like most stuff in Archie comics concerning characters, Chick's name was not spelled the same and bounced around from Chic to Chick.

He was used as an "adult filler" whenever the plot needed someone who could do adult things like drive a car. Chic was Little Archie's friend, but his character was used in more adventure orientated stories with Archie.

Like Polly Cooper, Betty's older sister, Chic would not actually be plopped into the mainstream canon until the 90s. His first reappearance or canonical appearance in mainstream continuity if ya wanna get all technical 'n shiz just might be in 1996's Betty #36 in the story "The Sweet Potato Caper".

Little Archie in Animal Land #19 is a Summer, 1958 issue and has an LoC copyright date of July 1, 1958.

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1st named appearance Coach Kleats

In Overstreet, the listing under the first appearance of Coach Kleats in Pep Comics #24 notes that the character is unnamed until Archie #94 or this issue. Kind of a long time to have a character go without a name other than "Coach".

Kleats would later be replaced by Coach Clayton in the later comics. Archie Comics #94 has the cover date of August, 1958.

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Another 1st issue to a new Archie comic series

Another comic series to further the adventures of Archie Andrews and the gang. No first appearances in this issue and the comic series would produce less than a handful of firsts regarding Archie's world.

Well, at least, firsts I've yet to uncover so far. This was another pretty long running series for an Archie related comic, so that's pretty impressive. September, 1958 is the cover date for Life With Archie #1.

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1st issue to yet another Archie comic title

First issue - Archie Mad House. This series would have the Archie gang until about issue #17 or #18 as they were dropped from the format. The new format would continue its off-the-wall silliness but with monster and space adventure stories.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch made her debut in Archie's Mad House #22 and returned for a 2nd appearance in issue #24. Sabrina's 3rd appearance is in issue #25.

September, 1959 is the cover date for Archie's Mad House #1.

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1st professional comic work by Neal Adams

Here it is. Neal Adams' first professional comic work, and he did start off in this titled series.

As we all know, Neal Adams would be a legendary Batman and Green Lantern artist among many others. This comic is actually tied with another comic as well.

The Fly #4 also had Neal Adams artwork, and that comic had the cover date of January, 1960 and a LoC copyright date of October 29, 1959. However, Overstreet notes this issue as Neal Adams first professional comic artwork.

Archie's Joke Book #44 has the cover date of January, 1960 and this was copyrighted October 29, 1959.

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1st appearance of Big Ethel

Big Ethel Muggs and was designed by Samm Schwartz. In her first and early appearances, Ethel was depicted as a homely, tall, and unattractive female student at Riverdale High.

I believe she had buckteeth also. She had an infatuation with Jughead Jones for some odd reason and tried many devious ploys to dig her love hooks into him.

Ethel would get a make over in later comics and appear more attractive. However, Jughead would still drive her affections away, yet still show jealousy when Ethel was with another boy.

Buncha weirdos! Archie's Pal Jughead #84 has the cover date of May, 1962.

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1st appearance of Polly Cooper

Betty happens to be the youngest of the Cooper family. Polly Cooper is her older sister and the middle child. Like Chic or Chick, she is also depicted as a teen in the Little Archie universe.

Like her older brother, Polly did not appear for a while in the Archie comics minus a few reprints and Betty's Diary flashbacks. She may have resurfaced in actual mainstream canon in 1993 in the stories "The Breaking Point" and "The Feeling is Mucilage" from the comic Betty #4.

In mainstream canon, Polly lives in San Francisco and is a news reporter. The eldest Cooper is a secret agent for the government. June, 1962 is cover date for The Adventures of Little Archie #23.

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1st appearance of the Brain

Unlike Big Ethel Muggs who stuck around for the long haul, a character named The Brain was introduced and is a one-off character. Like Ethel, the Brain's sole purpose in the story she appears in is to make Jughead fall head over heels for her.

However, Jughead's apathy towards girls proves to be no match for even the one-time smartest girl in school. Archie's Pal Jughead #86 is cover dated July, 1962.

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2nd appearance of Big Ethel

Poor Ethel gets her 2nd appearance in this issue, and the character would be known as one of the major recurring characters in Archie comics. Probably no doubt that this character will be cast for the Riverdale TV series.

Her and Dilton Doiley often share the same sympathy due to their lack of success when it comes to romantic relationships. Probably not an overly sought-out key issue just yet. Overstreet has a low NM at $70 and her first appearance at $80. August, 1962 is the cover date for Archie's Pal Jughead #87.

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1st appearance of Cricket O'Dell 

Issue #113 was the last comic of this series to be published under the title of Archie Comics. With issue #114, the series was just simply published under Archie.

Cricket O'Dell is one of the longest standing minor characters to continually reoccur throughout the Archie stories. She is a friendly girl with the unusual gift of being able to smell money and monetary values.

She can also determine whether treasure is genuine or not. Pretty handy talent there if I do say.

Like Archie, she is a redhead with freckles and has had sporadic appearances here and there. Archie #133 has the cover date of December, 1962 and was probably on sale in October.

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1st appearance of Josie
1st appearance of Melody
1st appearance of Pepper

The character that would eventually become Josie McCoy of the Pussycats debuts in this issue. Her surname has been inconsistent in the comics, switching from Jones or James.

This probably had to do with Melody being called Melody Jones a few times. Although Melody's last name was hardly ever used, they would supposedly switch Josie's last name to James whenever Melody was identified with the last name Jones.

As for the last name of McCoy, that was the character's surname in the 2001 movie Josie and the Pussycats. As far as I could find out, Josie's last name in the comics was never given as McCoy. I could be wrong though.

Melody and Pepper are friends of Josie. Melody is depicted as the stereotypical ditzy blonde and Pepper the bespectacled, brainy one.

This is a triple whammy of a key issue, and the 2nd most valuable key issues within this comic series. Definitely one to consider for Archie fans or even as a comic investment. Archie Pals 'N Gals #23 has the cover date of Winter, 1962, and it has a Canadian 35 cent price variant.

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So there's 16 more Archie key comics for ya.

For Archie fans, the first appearance of Josie Jones (James/McCoy) in Archie Pals 'N Gals #23 should be in your sights if you're looking for Silver Age Archie keys with comic investing potential. Also, the first appearance of Midge Klump in Archie's Pal Jughead #5 since she is the interest of Moose Mason. 

I'm pretty sure both characters will end up on the Riverdale show and have significant supporting roles. Ethel is another one to keep in mind as well on the speculator side.

Fans of Neal Adams, who didn't know already, may want to hunt for Archie's Joke Book #1 and The Fly #4. Just some keys to keep in mind if you're looking for other stuff to add to your vaults besides caped crusaders and men and women in skin tight outfits.

Many won't be easy finds. Part 5 is ready so just click the link below to discover them.


  1. Please put an end to this madness! My brain is A(R)CHI(E)NG!!!

    Mr. Scrub