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Big Moose One Shot: An Ode To An Affable Oaf

Written by Writrzblok on Friday, April 28 2017 and posted in Reviews

Big Moose One Shot: An Ode To An Affable Oaf

Three sweet simple tales of Riverdale's favorite simpleton.

Source: Archie Comics

Written by Sean Ryan, Ryan Cady, Gorf

Art by Cory Smith, Thomas Pitilli, Ryan Jampole

Colors by Matt Herms, Glenn Whitmore, Kelly Fitzpatrick

Letters by Jack Morelli

Marmaduke "Moose" Mason is the lovable lummox of Riverdale High. He's as loyal and protective as he is strong and simple. Often relegated to dumb muscle, the titanic teenage tower of power is now starring in three short stories in one double-sized issue. "Moose vs The Vending Machine" "Have It All" and "The Big Difference" showcase the various sides, nuances, and depths of what many consider a one-dimensional meathead.

"Moose vs The Vending Machine" is a simplistic, slightly cartoonish tale of the lovable lug trying to get a candy bar but having no money with which to do so. On top of all of that, he has a dinner date with Midge and doesn't want to ruin it by spoiling his appetite. The comedic ways in which Moose tries to outwit Jughead and flatten a dollar to go into the machine (involving weights, sitting, and a grill press) are notably chuckle-worthy but for my money the funniest part is seeing Moose's mind contextualize a physics class lecture into "Physic physics boring physics." He even fantasizes the teacher talking about Moose plus food equals smiley face. It's a wholesome, harmless short gag to begin the issue with.

"Have It All" is, without a doubt, the best written story in the issue. From the way Moose's monologues are structured, to acknowledging the character's documented struggle with dyslexia, the story showcases the Atlas-like life Moose carries with him as he juggles his relationship, friendships, family, football and schoolwork. What does one think about when all that's expected of them is being simple-minded and good at hitting things? It often takes those who know us best to be able to look beyond the surface, as well as being able to see the depth in ourselves.

"The Big Difference" sees Moose handling the admiration, and consternation, of a friendship with a physically disabled freshman. While he says very little in the story itself, Moose learns the valuable lesson of how to treat with respect those who aren't as naturally gifted as he is. Strangely enough, it appears to be a lesson he took to quite easily. From tossing his gear, to even threatening to stomp the kid for hitting on Midge, Moose treated his new friend like everyone else and appeared perplexed at doing any differently. Even when confronted on letting the young man perform a wrestling move to "go easy on him" Moose feels uneasy treating the freshman with kid gloves.

The artwork of each story fit their respective tones perfectly. From "Moose vs the Vending Machine's" wacky antics, to the more downbeat and introspective "Have It All" and to the good-natured "The Big Difference" plot, all parties involved put forth exemplary efforts. Though there were some spots (particularly in "Have It All") where the faces seem unfinished or incomplete. It didn't detract too greatly from the story and is still an enjoyable read.

Whatever one may think of Marmaduke "Moose" Mason, this issue highlights a character whose hidden depths may yet to be fully explored. It's always a treat to have issues focus on minor characters of long time franchises. It allows for rich character development, terrific storytelling potential and, all in all, a worthy use of one's time, especially for fans of Riverdale High's gentle giant.


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About the Author - Writrzblok

Jeff Gwinnup/Writrzblok is a comic book-loving, movie-watching, mac-and-cheese devouring Florida-born nerd who would like to write for a living one day. That is, if the inanities and stress of modern living don't kill him first. He's been reviewing/critiquing in either print or video form for almost seven years and shows no signs of stop- Wait, why is he writing in the third person? Who's typing this? WHO IS THIS?! GET AWAY FROM THAT KEYBOARD!
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