|Look how sick of his shit that tiger is.|
America's favorite teenager has survived so many weird and off-model incarnations that the brief turn he and his pals spent as superheroes barely registers on the mark. Still, lurking in the pages of Archie as Pureheart the Powerful vol.1 No.3 (February 1967, "Terror in the Center Ring") was one of the most disturbing menaces ever faced by the regulars from Riverdale - the murderous, misogynistic Madman Clown!
|But doctor, I AM Pagliacci|
But murder IS on his mind. With Veronica held against her will in his trailer, the Madman Clown outlines his plan - he's going to kill her! Why, asks Ronnie? Well, "Because you remind me of my wife!" he explains, "The wife who ran off with the tattooed man! The wife I swore to kill!" Archie comics get grim sometimes.
|"Get these dry cleaned for me"|
Reggie unwittingly saves Ronnie and the day, while Archie mostly accidentally upends the greasepainted nogoodnik's schemes. As superheroes go, Pureheart's a little underpowered; not only can he not fly, he's afraid of heights.
Still ,the story ends with the Madman Clown falling into a cannon, which he subordinates promptly fire into the sun, pretty much, killing him dead no matter where he ended up. Pureheart is allowed to count that in the W column, so hooray Archie! Boo Madman Clown! And sorry that you'll probably have to go to therapy Veronica! At least you'll have some vivid nightmares of murderous clowns to share with your doctor.