Friday, October 18, 2013

Does Archie Comics dare to break with tradition? Look what they have planned for Betty & Veronica!

One of the eternal questions in comics has been which of his two girlfriends Archie Andrews would eventually choose to marry. Now, the same writer that postulated two possible answers to that question is moving in a completely different direction.

The best known love triangle in comics, with Archie caught between spoiled heiress Veronica Lodge and tomboy Betty Cooper, is at risk if writer-producer Michael Uslan has his way next year with a proposed series that sends Betty & Veronica away from Riverdale, with two new girls moving in to take their places.

Uslan is better known for his association with DC Comics. As a producer, he's been involved with every Batman movie since 1989, and before that, he also worked on the two Swamp Thing movies and subsequent TV series. However, what you might not know is that Uslan began his association with Archie Comics with the alternate reality "Archie Gets Married" arc that spun off into the current, magazine sized Life With Archie, with comics veteran Paul Kupperberg picking up the baton and writing the series, which is over 30 issues old at this writing.

So why would Uslan mess with tradition? Like its competitors, Archie Comics is looking to boost its profile with casual readers, and, like DC & Marvel, is getting the word out through mainstream media. The proposed Farewell to Betty & Veronica, due next year, was first announced at the NY Comic Con last weekend, on the heels of the company's latest hit, Afterlife With Archie, the first issue of which has gone to a second printing, a rarity for an Archie book, after selling out its entire print run last week. Archie and friends have been around almost as long as Batman has, and the status quo has rarely changed. To paraphrase a line from the 1968 Archie Show's theme song, it wouldn't be the Archies without Betty & Veronica, however.

That said, expect this to be another alternate reality that Uslan is exploring, and fans can relax. Even if Betty & Veronica go away for a while, they will return. The last thing Archie Comics needs is for readers to riot over a tradition spanning nearly 70 years.

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