Archie comics have been consistently delivering as of late with almost surreal outside-the-box plotlines. First Obama and Palin show up in Riverdale. . . and end up sharing a malt (aw, how cute-- if only politics could actually work that way). Then we've had the awesome sweet meets sour, ice cream meets metal combo of Archie meets KISS. And just when we thought it couldn't get any weirder. . .
The Occupy movement hits the pages of Archie comics in July's issue #635, or at least so we're led to believe by this leaked variant cover drawn by Eisner Award winner Jill Thompson. It'll be scripted by former DC scribe Alex Segurra, who most recently has done the Archie meets KISS comics.
So, as though Archie doesn't have his hands full enough of trying to decide between Betty and Veronica, now he's got them on opposite sides of the most divisive social movement of the decade. #OccupyBetty or stick with the 1% Veronica? At least Jughead isn't wearing a Guy Fawkes mask. . . .
I think this is refreshing. Ever since Bankie and Hooper had their argument about Archie comics in Chasing Amy in 1997, the frontiers of possibility on a more nuanced and less "leave it to beaver" take on the Riverdale Gang. And we've by and large gotten that. It's also nice to see comics incorporating the important events of today, where I felt one of the big problems with the DC New 52 relaunch was their incredibly weak Green Arrow title-- DC missed a golden opportunity to capture the zeitgeist of 2011/2012 by incorporating some sort of Occupy/the 1% vs the 99% theme or storyline into a book whose social conscience always seemed to shine as brightly as its superheroism.
But luckly Archie has done that-- and in a way that, I hope, will be fairly evenhanded. If you think Occupy is full of a bunch of lazy, stupid hippies. . .well, you've got Jughead. If you think the little guy has a fair beef talking about income inequality and money in politics, then you also get to see this played out in comics.
What about the rest of you robots? Should Archie stay out of politics? Or is this mature, nuanced, timely take on Riverdale something that makes you want to run and grab your nearest Betty and Veronica Double Digest?