The Everlasting Appeal Of Archie Andrews
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The Everlasting Appeal Of Archie Andrews

Archie Andrews has been around for years, but is he still "America's Typical Teenager"?

The Everlasting Appeal Of Archie Andrews


Up until six months ago, most people (millennials) were quite unfamiliar with this all-American town. But thanks to hit show on The CW, Riverdale is slowly but surely becoming a landmark of the United States.

Of course, it is not the town itself that makes Riverdale an incredible place; rather, it is the people.

The town's most lovable citizens are a rather motley crew of teens. There's Archie Andrews, a well-meaning redhead trying to figure out what he wants out of life; his love interest, Veronica Lodge, a beautiful girl from a well-to-do family with a heart of 24-karat gold. Then there's Betty Cooper, the girl-next-door who has been Archie's BFF for years (don't judge Betty, though; there's more to this girl than meets the eye). Finally we have Jughead Jones, a brooding, mysterious, intelligent (sorry, kinda fangirling here because this is my personal favorite character) writer who is the voice of reason for the gang and the apple of Betty's eye.

There's also something else about this group that makes them cool: they are all famous comic book characters.

Archie Comic Publications, Inc. has been in business for over 75 years (Icons of the American Comic Book: from Captain America to Wonder Woman). Unsurprisingly, Archie comics is the company's longest-running publication, dating all the way back to the winter of 1942. Over the years, Archie Comic Publications has created hundreds of other popular comic book characters, including Josie and the Pussycats (who also play a big role in Riverdale), Sabrina the Teenage Witch--the company has even published a well-received series of comics featuring Sonic the Hedgehog.

Having said that, how have Archie and his pals evolved over the years--if at all?

Let's start with Archie Andrews.

According to Archie, Archie Andrews was "Originally known as 'America’s Typical Teenager.'" With his cross-cut red hair and freckled face, Archie's clumsiness never gets in the way of his desire to help people out. In the comics, Archie is the front man for a band called the Archies. He is also a bit of a playboy; he loves to flirt with girls, especially Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge. The three of them have been in a love triangle since forever, yet the girls still maintain a decent friendship despite their shared affections for Archie.

In Riverdale, we see that Archie has kept his trademark haircut and his little freckles--and got even better shape than before. It is no secret that he is even nicer-looking on screen than in print, but some things have never changed: he's still loyal to a fault, a bit of a klutz, and a damn fine musician.

His love interests, however, have developed stronger personalities.

Betty Cooper has always been sweet-natured, attractive and witty. As mentioned above, she has always had feelings for Archie, even though her best friend Veronica will attempt to steal him away from her. Aside from this, Betty shatters the "Dumb Blonde" stereotype: she is an excellent student and pretty handy with a wrench (she has been known to repair Archie's car on more than one occasion). Betty also has incredible writing skills, weaving whimsical fantasies about the people in her life inside her personal diary.

The television version of Betty is as strong as ever, and at times she has made it clear that she loves Archie as a brother--and nothing more. She deeply cares for the redhead and always watches out for his best interests. Archie knows he can come to Betty for anything, whether it's homework or dating advice (which Betty is fine with, as she has her own man to think of, who we will discuss shortly). Betty also has no problem defending herself, whether it's from bullies or her overbearing parents.

And then there's Veronica Lodge. Veronica is a beautiful, well-off girl--and she knows it. Despite being besties with Betty, Veronica has often used her family's wealth to steal Archie away from her. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. One thing is for sure, neither Betty nor Veronica show any signs of loosening their ties to the redhead. Despite Veronica's catty attitude, she is an excellent trend setter and loves planning parties.

The new and improved Veronica has lost her "mean girl" tendencies and is much more loyal to her friends. Gone is the girl who would often try to compete with Betty; we now have a Lodge heiress who stands up for others--oftentimes to extreme degrees. But Veronica hasn't lost her love for fashion and party-planning, a trait that proved beneficial for special occasions throughout season one. And yes, Veronica did win Archie, but that hasn't stopped her from helping Betty with her new man--Jughead Jones.

Forsythe "Jughead" P. Jones III is the most unique character in the Archie universe. Known for his insatiable hunger and chilled-out manner, Jughead is never seen without his trademark hat, which acts as a good-luck charm for himself. As Archie's best friend, Jughead is more often than not the voice of reason towards his friend's crazy dreams and plans. Jughead is much smarter than he appears to be, and isn't much for the dating scene as he has a front row seat to all the trouble Archie gets himself into with Betty and Veronica.

Riverdale's Jughead has a much darker storyline: without parents or a home, Jughead takes up residence in various places throughout Riverdale: a drive-in theater, the school gymnasium, and finally, Archie's house (at Archie's insistence). Jughead's appetite isn't touched upon here as much as it is in the comics; instead, we see a more intelligent, tortured soul whose softer side is only brought on by the apple of his eye, Betty. In addition to a shared love of writing, Betty and Jughead look for comfort in one another due to their estranged home lives. Like the traditional character, Jughead spends most of his downtime at Pop's Diner; whether he's typing away on his laptop or slurping a milkshake, Jughead always takes his spot in a booth, ready to listen to any of his buddies should they come by.

In conclusion, have Archie and the crew changed over the years? Yes, they have. But all for the better. The Archie comic characters have been given a new life on Riverdale. Here, we see the Archie characters flaunting their best traits: Archie's devotion, Betty's courageousness, Veronica's leadership, and Jughead's intelligence.

If you ask me, these characters--no matter what format they are in--will never die. Teenagers are entertained by watching other teenagers, not because the teenagers being watched are living better lives than the ones watching them, but because they are the same age and are relatively going through the same things they are: schoolwork, relationships, family, and what to do when the time comes to grow up.

Therefore, I say, long live Archie.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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