I have a confession: I read Archie comics. I read them regularly. Everytime I go grocery shopping, I buy a new issue. I frigging love them.
However, I’ll be the first to admit, they aren’t funny. I can count the number of times I’ve laughed at an Archie comic on one finger (hint: it’s one). So why do I read them?
“Is it because you’re stupid?”
I read them because I love the characters. I’ve grown up with the residents of Riverdale and I like them more than most of my actual friends and family. The main characters (like Archie, Betty, and Veronica) are all great, but it’s the secondary characters that really give Riverdale its charm. Dilton, Mr Weatherbee, Pop Tate, and… of course… Moose Mason.
Moose is the town jock. He’s the biggest and strongest person in Riverdale, and probably the dumbest. His characterization isn’t usually much deeper than that, but he does have his moments.
There have have been quite a few storylines that deal with Moose’s intelligence. Usually, Moose considers dropping out of high school or taking an easy ride in college on an athletic scholarship. He always ends the story by making the right decision by saying something like “Just because I’m dumb doesn’t mean I need to stay dumb.” And then all the other characters say “You know, that guy’s a lot smarter than we give him credit for.”
But he’s not. Does it really take someone “a lot smarter” to know that dropping out of high school is a bad idea? Most people that drop out of high school don’t do it just because. They do it because something happened in their life that made going to school difficult or impossible: Having a baby, death of a parent, arrest…
The other key character trait of Moose is his violent and uncontrollable jealousy. If any other guy so much as looks at Midge, Moose will flip out and beat the shit out of them. In real life, Moose would be fighting off butt-rapists in jail, but in the comics, it’s family friendly fun!
“Duh, salvation lies within”
Final Verdict: Despite everything, I still like Moose. He’s a stupid, violent brute, but he’s entertaining. And in the end, isn’t that all that matters?