Archie Comics (November, 1996)
“The Balloon Busters”
WRITER: Mark Evanier
ARTIST: Dan Spiegle
COLORIST: Ken Feduniewicz
LETTERER: Carrie Spiegle
EDITOR: Sid Jacobson
The gang attend a parade run by Freebish’s department store, having to deal with the rival Breem’s. However, the parade is disrupted by a fire-breathing dragon balloon controlled by an elf calling himself Fylon The Balloon Master. The gang investigate and of course finds out it’s a sham, but as they solve the mystery they give both rival stores a chance at success.
What they got right: At this point I was only picking up the title when Evanier was guest-writing because the regular writer had basically lost my trust. The mystery here is a bit better than in the previous issue I reviewed, and it has a happy ending for everyone involved. The way the trick was pulled off was kind of neat.
What they got wrong: Although we never learn if the actual guys behind the fake scare were let off given how the story ends. (Yeah, I don’t want to spoil this one.) The art is still good and you can recognize everyone but it still doesn’t look like the cartoon, which the regular art team pulls off.
Recommendation: This was a good issue. Worth picking up.