Thursday, February 23, 2012

When Did Archie Comics Get So With It?

So, here, via Bleeding Cool, is Jill Thompson's cover art for the upcoming "Occupy Riverdale" story in Archie Comics:

I believe this makes Archie, what, the only comic book character who knows there's an Occupy movement going on across America?

I don't expect comic books, particularly today, to be relevant to anything going on in the world, so Archie has been a fascinating departure for the past few years. Seriously, I like Archie just fine, but I never would have accused it of being with the times. Now they've introduced a gay character, Kevin Keller, who isn't a one-dimensional stereotype, and through him Archie has been able to explore the issues surrounding marriage equality and gays openly serving in the military. That's a lot of sensitive storytelling for a comic book series that's garnered a reputation as toothless and saccharine. The company is turning that reputation around.

Meanwhile, this is what a gay person looks like in the DC Universe:

I don't know. Maybe Bunker, the openly gay member of the Titans, isn't a stereotype. Most of the DCnU books are so impenetrable that I haven't even read the thing. Since DC decided to go with a Murderer's Row of the most forgettable comics creators of the 1990s, they've been putting out a lot of crap books with ugly art and the worst Dark Age of Comics storytelling. I figured Bunker was DC's response to Marvel's new Ultimate Spider-Man, who is half-black and half-Latino. They decided to up the ante with a flamboyant homosexual Latino. I can't say for sure that his main character trait is being gay, but since Batwoman's main character trait is being a lipstick lesbian, who knows?

So, somehow Riverdale is not only more progressive than the higher-profile but creatively bankrupt DC Comics, it's more progressive than America actually is. About the only thing disappointing about Kevin Keller thus far is that he didn't turn out to actually be the "It Gets Better," post-makeover version of Little Ambrose. That would have been fun.

So, yeah. Riverdale is having a debate over the uneven distribution of wealth in the country, and Superman, the biggest superhero in the world... fighting a leatherboy called The Masochist.


Well, maybe one day DC will catch up with the clear storytelling and progressive humanism of Archie.

1 comment:

Daskaea said...

Archie They may have won me as a reader.