The dark underbelly of Riverdale

Archie Comics were the first ones I ever remember reading, along with Harvey titles like Casper and Richie Rich. I can’t say with certainty that the presence of a gay character among the Riverdale populace would have enhanced my enjoyment when I was five, but the prospect delights me as a 42-year-old. I haven’t read an Archie comic in ages, even the wedding issues, but I’ll certainly pick up this one. (If you want to save energy and see the full spectrum of reactions to stories like this, please visit this comments thread at The Beat. You know what you’ll find, so I won’t waste time summarizing.)

I already like Kevin a lot for his ability to zero in on the core question of the sexual dynamics of Riverdale:

Don’t dwell on it, Kevin.

That preview page reminds me of an old Archie story I must have read in some station wagon back in the 1970s, though I can’t precisely remember when, or even which Archie comic featured it. In it, Veronica has been heaping abuse on Jughead, because that’s one of the things she does, and everyone accepts it as normal.

Jughead, however, privately conceives a revenge scheme. When no one else is around but Veronica, he slips into this predatory lothario mode that would have Reggie taking notes. He insists to Veronica that they’re meant to be together and that she knows it’s inevitable. She freaks out, as would anyone who rightly believed that Jughead could never muster amorous intent towards anything that didn’t come off of the grill at the Chok’lit Shoppe. No one believes her when she swears that Jughead is creepily wooing her, and she snaps by the end of the story as Jughead watches with malicious but concealed glee.

Has anyone else ever read this story? Does it actually exist, or has my memory started actually constructing twisted fan fiction?

Update: This story is described in Jughead’s Wikipedia entry, so I’m not crazy.

4 Responses to The dark underbelly of Riverdale

  1. judi(togainunochi) says:

    I use to sit in the laundromat reading while Mom did her thing. Can’t say I remember that story line, but then I read more Superman than Archie.

  2. DanielBT says:

    Sounds like the kind of story Sam Schwartz would’ve had a blast drawing. If he didn’t, he should have.

  3. Ahavah says:

    I loved Archie as a kid (I loved the Harvey Comics titles, too) and I’m kind of surprised that they had to bring in a new character to be the token gay kid when Jughead has never, ever expressed any genuine interest in a girl as long as he’s been drawn. Am I the only one who thinks he should come out of that closet already? Or is he meant to be an asexual character with an eating disorder?

    Oh, Jughead, I still love you. Especially since you got a cute baby sister named Jellybean. Speaking of which, is Jellybean still around?

    (Oh, and that Jughead/Veronica story sounds hilarious! I’d love to read it!)

  4. Ahavah says:

    Does Archie need another token character that will be barely utilized/practically forgotten in a a year or so? 2. I grew up reading Archie comics, and as a Jewish kid, always felt a little weird reading all those Christmas stories, complete with characters quoting Jesus. I don’t think there is one *non-Christian* character in all of Riverdale. It’s not like I want a “Hanukkah Special” (spare me!), but is one Jewish, Islamic, Hindi,or whatever character too much to ask for? *sigh* s/he’d just be token, too. Just don’t try to tell me that Archie comics are not openly Christian #MostofWhatIknowoftheNewTestamentIlearnedfromArchieComics…

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