This one-shot features an underrated character from the classic Archie series—Moose Mason. Moose is a simple guy, always portrayed as kind of dumb, but an integral part of Riverdale’s cast of teens. This oversized issue features three stories centered on Moose himself.
The first story, “Moose vs. the Vending Machine,” is about how hungry Moose is, but he can’t find a dollar to get food from the vending machine. Eventually, he gets to angry that he breaks the machine and eats tons of candy—ruining his appetite before a date with Midge.
Writer Sean Ryan makes this story really simple, showing the side of Moose that we’re all used to seeing—strength, hunger, naiveté, and brute force. The story is nothing too serious, but it is a great way to introduce us to the character. Cory Smith’s artwork holds a lot of detail in it, and we get some seriously emotive characters, like Jughead, Moose, and Midge. The illustrations are really fluid and easily transition from panel to panel—thus, keeping the pacing of the story steady and quick.
The second story, “Have It All,” does just the opposite of the first. It showcases Moose in a light that we’re not used to seeing. He has a very busy week ahead of him, with family, homework, term papers, football, and more. Moose isn’t as simple as we think he is, and this story shows us just how much he has to deal with on a regular basis.
Ryan Cady’s script shows us a lot about how Moose thinks. There are quite a bit of caption boxes that serve as first person narration from Moose himself. Not only can we see what he’s doing, but we can see what Moose is thinking. At the end of the day, even though he has tons of stuff to do, he also has tons of help from friends and family to get it all done. Thomas Pitilli’s artwork on this story is a bit more simplistic than Smith’s, but they still hold a fair amount of detail. The line work is a bit more angular, but the character designs and emotion therein adds an aspect of realism that makes this story not only believable, but relatable.
In the third and final story, “The Big Difference,” Moose has an admirer. His name is Colin, a disabled freshman at Riverdale High. The two get into a few fights here and there, but end up friends after all. In large part, this is because Jughead tells Moose to take it easy on the kid—he can see that Colin really looks up to Moose.
Ryan Jampole plays around with the panel layouts a lot in this story, which makes it aesthetically appealing and attention-grabbing. Gorf’s story is a cute one that shows us both Moose’s tough side and his softer side.
Overall, we can tell that Moose is a more dynamic character than we thought. He has his dull moments, sure, but he’s a really intricate and complicated soul, just like the rest of us. In stories that are both entertaining and relatable, this one-shot is filled with content that will make you a fan of Moose Mason if you’re not already.
Written & Illustrated by: Various