I never read Archie Comics as a kid. I never cared for its overly-sanitized look at America, thinking that the most accurate depiction of the U.S. of A was best handled by G.I. Joe who had a black guy named Roadblock, a white guy named Duke, bad guy Zartan, who apparently suffered from “Michael Jackson Disease” , tons of hot white girls, Destro who was apparently a black guy that’d been dipped in silver as part of Cobra-hazing and Cobra Commander himself who had a terrible lisp.
That was my America.
But never Archie. I mean, what’s the big deal here? He’s got two chicks fawning over him like all the time, and yet he wants to hang out with a dude named “Jughead”? Jughead is what you call the big girl in college that everyone knows gives BJs when she gets wasted (“dude, everyone’s hooked-up with Jughead–she’s like part of Freshman Orientation!”); it shouldn’t be the name of your best friend.
And there were clearly stretches where it was clear that Archie didn’t know who he was or what he wanted, as best depicted in the scene below:
Eventually, Archie settled down and picked Veronica over Betty, which is sort of like Brad Pitt picking Angelina “U.N. Rep Trollop” Jolie over Jennifer Anniston, which is to say that Archie picked with his junk instead of his heart.
These things happen.
But yet, clearly, something didn’t quite, well, stick. Because now Archie, tired of the constraints of white-washed Riverdale (what with the malt shops, the beach volleyball afternoons and the segregation) is looking to venture over to the Dark Side, as proven in this up-coming issue of Archie Comics:
Besides setting Walmart stands in the South ablaze with its promotion of its “brazen display of affection of coloured love with a Negress” which I think is still on the law books in Mississippi, this clearly means that Veronica and Archie’s marriage was over quicker than you could say “Loving vs. Virginia”.
If you don’t recognize her from the Archie-verse of comics, that’s Valerie Brown (get it?); the black chick bassist for Josie and the Pussycats. She’s one of the, well, nevermind.
So what’s she got that Betty/Veronica don’t?
- a tail. I mean usually black girls have more in the back, but Valerie’s literally got a tail! Kinky. I’m sure this was what always turned Batman on about Catwoman too. Advantage: Valerie
- Experience: I mean, Betty and Veronica and Archie have only known each other, and there’s even a good chance that Archie doesn’t even “know” Veronica post-marriage. Then there’s Valerie: she’s a rocker. She’s been on the road for years, seeing the sights, touring the world, sleeping with Ozzy Osbourne and Ja Rule. Plus, there’s access to the other Pussycats too (in the movie, Tara Reid played “Josie”), which trumps Betty/Veronica’s “Riverdale Missionary-style” offering. BIG Advantage: Valerie
- She’s black! In Riverdale! And likes Archie! And she’s got a tail (I know, I know, the tail’s not real)! This sort of rareness, one-of-a-kindness goes straight to the heart of comics–collectibles. Advantage: Valerie
- no more hanging out with Jughead. No soul sister like Valerie is going to want to hangout with your pothead buddy with the Burger King crown and a weird meat/oral fixation. Meanwhile, Betty and Veronica almost insist on hanging out with him. Must be to learn how to eat meat. Valerie? Oh, she doesn’t need Jughead, she learned from Foxy Brown and Cleopatra Jones and hey, yeah, maybe Ella Fitzgerald too. Music biz people stick together. Advantage: Valerie
- The chance to say each night, “no baby, leave the tail on”. Advantage: Valerie
So there you have it. It’s on now. It’s only a matter of time before the Wilma Flintstone comes sniffing around ‘Joe headquaters looking to get “Roadblock-ed”.