As much as I enjoy graphic novels, my first love will always be old-school cartoons and comics—specifically, Archie Comics. (My feminist self recognizes the absurdity of Archie’s double-playing of Betty and Veronica, although I never would have gotten through childhood car trips without Archie Double Digests.)
Other than occasionally flipping through an Archie comic at the grocery store checkout line, I’d been out of the Riverdale loop for a while… until I spotted this article in yesterday’s New York Times: “Archie’s Destiny, as Shaped by Robert Frost.”
The article asks, “Is Archie Andrews a bigamist?” and details his proposal of marriage to Veronica… and Betty:
The wedding story was written by Michael E. Uslan and illustrated by Stan Goldberg, a longtime “Archie” artist. The first half was called “Archie Marries Veronica,” but issue No. 603, on sale next month, is called “Archie Marries Betty.” The end of bachelorhood began in issue No. 600, in which Archie found himself on a road named Memory Lane, which he has often traveled. This time he walked a different direction and encountered a fork in the road. He chose the left path, which allowed him to see his future with Veronica and their twins, and himself working for her tycoon father.
At the end of the October issue, No. 602, Archie goes for an evening stroll and encounters the fork again. In the November issue Archie will find himself back in Riverdale High, this time envisioning a future with Betty as his wife. (A set of twins factors into this destiny as well.)
The marriage plot has given Archie Comics a surge of popularity, and polls have reported that fans prefer a Betty-Archie union over Veronica-Archie at an 80/20 split.
Uslan said that there will be an ultimate fate for Archie, noting, “Everything they say, don’t say, every action they take and fail to take, is going to add up to determine which of these two roads are taken. And one of them will be.”
So, readers, here’s an important question for you to think about at the end of your day: Betty or Veronica?
And if Archie’s not your thing, check out this extensive list of comics and graphic novels covered in BookPage through the years.