The Devil In Miss McCoy

With all the bad news that’s come down the pike here at ISB Headquarters over the past few days, I thought that tonight might be a good time to turn the spotlight onto something a little lighter, and when I think of levity, there’s only one place I turn: Archie Comics! The Mirth of a Nation!

Yeah. That was their slogan back in the forties. I know.

Anyway, longtime ISB readers will no doubt be familiar with my mild obsession with Archie Comics, especially the “serious” strips that appeared in books like Live with Archie and Archie at Riverdale High. Rather than the standard “Two Dates For the Dance” formula that the core titles would head back to time and time again, these were stories that centered around Archie having to save Betty and Veronica from certain death in a burning building, stopping a robbery at the little-used Diamond Exchange, or clearing Chuck’s name in the aftermath of the infamous Riverdale Race Riots of ’72…



…which had the effect of making otherwise boring morality plays into the most bizarrely, hilariously incongruous stories that I have ever seen.

And when those stories started sneaking into the other titles, well, that’s when things just got ridiculous.



Yes, screaming in from 1973 are Josie and the Pussycats in Vengeance From the Crypt! Those of you who read bitterandrew’s Armagideon Time–and really, that should be all of you–might remember this one from when he covered it back in March. I’ve been looking for a copy of my own ever since, and since I tracked one down in the quarter bins at HeroesCon, we both agreed that this thing of beauty is worth another look.

Because after all… this is the one where Josie gets possessed by the Devil.



That in itself is crazy enough, but man… I’ve got to think that for the kids of the ’70s, getting a story where the Author of All Lies inhabits Josie’s body with murderous intent in the same comic where Melody has to deal with a dress falling apart and revealing a generous amount of leg, this thing had to be confusing as hell.

Then again, this is a series where Josie’s primary rival for Alan M.’s affections can cast spells when she holds a cat that is also the reincarnation of an ancestor who was sentenced to death for consorting with witches, so who knows? Maybe they were cool with it.

So here’s how it goes down: One summer morning in 1973, the creators in the Archie Comics Bullpen decided that it was a good time for kids to learn about death, and so the Pussycats took the morning off to accompany Alexandra to the Cabot Family Mausoleum when she went to lay flowers on her recently deceased grandfather’s casket. Josie, however, decides that it’d be a good idea to explore the spooky lower level, gets a noseful of Eau de Satan for her trouble, and before you know it, this is happening:



Yes, Josie’s got a bad case of the Devil! Or to quote the floating head of Valerie Brown that appears on page one…

Deep into the heart of our good friend they flow, and Josie becomes the devil’s advocate, a screaming, hate-ridden banshee, a monstrous messenger bent on delivering Vengeance From the Crypt!

Oh go cry about it, Val.

I mean really, sure it’s the Devil, and sure the first sign that something’s wrong is that Josie tries to burn down the Cabots’ house while everyone’s out at the pool, but it turns out that much like Andrew, all the devil really wants to do is have a girl-on-girl bikini catfight with Melody.



And don’t we all?

Unfortunately, before the fight can spill out into the kiddie pool full of Jell-O that the Cabots keep next to the patio (see Josie #84), Valerie the Spoilsport hits on the idea of exorcising the demon with the family Bible, and the chances of getting a Josie and the Pussycats cover of Number of the Beast are lost forever.

But hey! At least we got a happy ending out of it!



…sort of.

40 thoughts on “The Devil In Miss McCoy

  1. The only thing missing is Peter Cushing revealing that Josie’s pact with the devil has already damned her, and the only thing to do is let him slay the beast in a storm of holy water, wooden stakes, and manliness.

  2. Why are they smiling at her tears at the end?Maybe the exorcism wasn’t such a success after all…

  3. So… WHEN will Jim Balent be taking over the art chores of Josie & the Pussycats?

    Any day now, I hope.

  4. Rock and roll as exemplified by Josie and the Pussycats truly is the tool of the devil.

    I wonder what they say if you play the cartoon theme backward…

  5. Perhaps this was one of the Christian comics published by Spire?

    I thought the same thing, but nope; it’s an actual issue of Josie, not a Spire one-shot.

  6. The real question is, why is the Cabot family crypt haunted by Lucifer? What kind of business are they into to attract the attention of the capital-D Devil?

    If I were in the band, I’d re-read that contract they signed.

  7. Oh, man… the Cabots were pikers compared to the Lodges.

    Veronica’s impressive dowry? You can thank Grandpa Lodge, now burning in the 4th circle of Hell.

    (And now… I suddenly want to see John Constantine drawn by Dan DeCarlo.)

  8. Phrase I never expected to see: “Rachel Leigh Cook don’t Shiv.” Thank you, Mr. Sims.

    Soooo, comic book store savvy types, what’s the status of Josie and Pussycat reprint trades? There hasn’t been a thorough Complete Dan DeCarlo Josie and the Pussycats or anything yet, has there?

  9. That panel of Josie running around in her bikini screaming “hate! kill! revenge!” is quite easily the funniest thing I’ve seen all week.

  10. In their bikinis? That’s not a cemetery … that’s a sexytery!

    Wait, I can do better. Let me try again.

  11. There are more potential Band Names per Post (BNP) in this entry than any other post in ISB history, including the one that gave us “Hooray for Gooba!” A cursory glance shows us:

    Two Dates for the Dance
    Riverdale Race Riot
    Tops in T.V.
    Messenger of Evil
    Vengeance From the Crypt
    Hate! Kill! Revenge!
    Bikini Catfight; and
    Exorcising Josie

    I predict that this record will stand until the long-delayed ROM/Jem and the Holograms crossover finally sees print.

  12. I suspect the reason the exorcism failed was that the “family Bible” was in actuality a copy of The Secret.

  13. Aw man, I was thinking of posting this tale as well.

    It’s funny, because just a few days ago I remarked how a Dan DeCarlo horror story would be interesting.

    Than I found this issue of Josie at my LCS.

    Coincidence … or is it Satan?

  14. Cabot Family Mausoleum is a pretty bitchin’ band name as well.

    Though I gotta say, my bad may have to change our name to Riverdale Race Riots… that’s so damned cool.

  15. Incidentally, since the devil is not powerful enough to posses somebody without their consent, the real question is what does that say about Josie? Both the pure-hearted Melody and righteous Valerie retained their Christian virtue, but not the red-headed strumpet you see thrashing about in the above panels.

    We can then conclude that Ms. Mccoy’s lurid tale of occult occupation is in fact a cover for the fact that she’s just satan’s little slut.

    Satan’s Little Slut would also be a good band name.

  16. Ah, this was the Golden Age of Archie. When Betty had an uncle who was a vampire and was possessed by an evil spirit (repeatedly), Archie was shanghaied into a male harem, and international assassins made Riverdale their destination of choice. Good times.

  17. Man, Forties Archie is creepy. He looks like some kind of deranged, murdering hillbilly. Deranged, Murdering Hillbilly Archie would also be a good comic title.

  18. Deranged, Murdering Hillbilly Archie would also be a good comic title.

    I think that’s actually the next Rob Zombie film.

  19. I’ve read enough Josie via the digests over the years to realise she’s isn’t exactly all that nice to begin with. She loses her first boyfriend Albert by issue 35,strings Alexander along through out the whole series knowing full well he’s madly in love with her to the point of sponsoring her band, then basically stealing his sister’s potential boyfriend Alan M.(she meets him first in issue 42) who never stops trying to win back. Then Alex kicks Alexandra out of her own band and replaces her with Valerie(issue 45).It’s also interresting that Josie getting possessed(grandpa helping Alexandra?)is the last issue to feature an original supernatural storie. Was this the last straw? After that the sales began to decline. One other thing. Has anyone ever seen an issue with any of the characters’mothers in them? I haven’t.

  20. NO! I’m the cringe inducingly totally besotted Reggie from the The Archies jam with Josie and The Pussycats comic :) Hmm. Maybe her cover of “Road Runner” is really about herself?

  21. It’s been over a week! Did my last entry completely throw everyone with it’s probably too obscure reference or has the devilcat caught your tongues…um…fingers? Hmm,james,jones or Mccoy-sounds like a good name for a band–a country band.

  22. I’d like to make a belated apology for my previous remarks. Time has made me realize they came out harsher than was my original intent. I do still enjoy the Josie comics, but over the years they seem to have developed an adult subtext that is hard to ignore, especially after watching that live action Movie, and it’s real life lawsuits. I often wonder what they would be like as adults. Would they still tour, or become FBI agents like Scully and Mulduar?

  23. Hmm.If she gains superpowers maybe she could hook up with Marvel’s Hellcat,who in reality is Patsy Walker,former teen comic competition for Josie and all. Seriously,I’m not making that up.Check out the more recent post on 25 rivals of Archie.