Jughead’s bromance is comic focusWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Who says comic books don’t resemble real life? Take Archie Comics, for example; for almost 70 years the venerable funny book company has been offering teen romance tales with characters who may not age but who try to adapt to changing times. Now, they’ve upped the ante to tackle a bit more controversial issue.
“Many times I’ve had new customers stop by the store to see what kind of material we carry and they are often shocked and amused to find out that the adventures of the kids from Riverdale are still in monthly publication,” reports Ed Katschke of Monarch’s Cards & Comics. “Early this year, Archie Comics scored a hit with answering the intriguing question of what would happen if Archie married Betty or Veronica, and now they’ve gone one step further by introducing a new boy in town with a secret.
“In ‘Veronica’ No. 202, written and drawn by Archie veteran Dan Parent, Veronica finds herself seething with frustration when new boy Kevin shows up at Riverdale High and she can’t get him to give her a second look. Imagine everyone’s surprise when Kevin confesses that the reason he isn’t taken by Veronica’s feminine wiles has nothing to do with her — he’s actually gay!”
Katschke points out that below the usual Archie hijinks there floats a “message of tolerance” that he applauds. The story also highlights a curious “bromance” between Kevin and Jughead, the latter thrilled to find a kindred spirit on the subject of eating and comic collecting. Unfortunately, Jughead decides to use Kevin’s sexuality in a prank against Veronica, an odd note of mean-spiritedness in an otherwise innocuous tale. And for all of Archie Comics’ ballyhooing of its new “breakthrough” character, Kevin comes off as something of a stereotype with his Adonis looks, T-shirts and love of shopping.
Interested parties should decide for themselves; the book will be easily found at Monarch’s as Katschke reports he’s placing it with all the other Archie titles — right up front in the store.