Media Discover Archie/Veronica Marriage an Imaginary Story

Now that information on Archie #604 is starting to come out, due to advance solicitation dates, the media is picking up on the fact that Archie marrying Veronica is an imaginary story, and there’s going to be a corresponding storyline in which Archie marries Betty, beginning in Archie #603.

Archie #603

The New York Times attempted to sensationalize the idea with a story that began “Is Archie Andrews a bigamist?” That ties into a lot of adult reader fantasies when they think about the Archie/Betty/Veronica triangle.

That news story continues by attributing an awful lot to one “what if” story:

The wedding, which began as a way to celebrate the 600th issue, has become a game changer for the company. “What the story has done is to introduce Archie on a global level,” said Jon Goldwater, co-chief executive of Archie Comic Publications. The company plans to roll out new titles for international markets, pursue film and TV opportunities and release a series of deluxe collected editions. …

Until the wedding story began to unfold, the core readers of “Archie” were female, between the ages of 7 and 17, Mr. Goldwater said. But the new story line has multi-generational appeal, he added, with feedback from readers indicating that the comic had been shared among parents and children.

Wow! All because of a wedding? I guess it’s true that they raise ratings. The writer of the story, Michael Uslan, is interviewed, and he reveals “The polls that I’ve seen ran about 80/20, Betty over Veronica, with Jughead continually coming in a strong third.” Let’s see THAT imaginary future!

Also mentioned are direct market sales numbers, which for #600 are estimated at “just over 54,000″ while #597 sold about 2,500 copies. However, that doesn’t consider newsstand sales, which last year were around 13,000 an issue, or five times the sales in dedicated comic stores. (Archie comics traditionally sell much better to the general public than in the comic market.) So we don’t know whether newsstand sales for this issue had a similar multiplier effect or whether this simply brought the comic to the attention of collectors.

The Rachel Maddow Show, on the other hand, follows up their earlier coverage with this clip, called “Archie punks everyone”, in which Kent Jones covers the “controversy” by pointing out that if we look at things from their viewpoint, the girls likely have other, different comic book fantasies:

Update: Archie Comics’ latest press release on the topic plays it up hard as responding to fan outcry, even though this “twist” was planned all along:

Since the world first found out Archie was getting married, fans everywhere hoped Betty would be the bride. But those fans discovered quickly Archie Andrews chose Veronica Lodge over Betty Cooper and they were angry! They felt Archie had made the wrong choice, and they are very vocal about it! On television, in the newspapers, and on blogs all over the internet, fans loudly rejected Archie’s choice. … They didn’t care that Archie and Veronica are happily married, that he has a good job and that they have twins. It didn’t matter what Archie wants, the fans want Archie to choose Betty! Now Archie Comics will listen to the cry of fans around the world and in ARCHIE #603, Archie Andrews will propose to Betty Cooper!

Nice spinning, pretending that this other alternate future follows from the first one. Kind of a shame that Veronica got her proposal in a jewelry store while Betty gets hers in a burger joint, but that’s one of the distinctions between the characters. Jughead doesn’t even appear on this cover. I guess they want to avoid that “third choice” option.

13 Responses to “Media Discover Archie/Veronica Marriage an Imaginary Story”

  1. El Santo Says:

    I really wish that Archie Comics hadn’t made this a dream sequence/alternate future thing. It would’ve been much more an event if it’d been canon. I will, in fact, pretend that it is canon and not pick up Arche #603, because if I did so I’d feel kinda used.

  2. Arthur P. Says:

    People need to grow up. It’s a comic. People getting outraged over who a comic character marries? Get a life.

  3. Margaret Says:

    You know, of all the comics I read, I think Archie is the one I take the lest seriously, for obvious reasons. I think it’s hilarious that people expect a comic as irreverent as Archie to play by any real world rules. :-P

  4. Dani Atkinson Says:

    Anybody who didn’t see this coming, raise your hand, and then smack yourself over the head with it for your foolishness. Seriously. The odds of Archie comics NOT doing a Betty version were about as high as the odds of Marvel NOT bringing Captain America back from the dead. (Anyone who also didn’t see Captain America’s resurrection coming, give yourself an extra smack.)

  5. Journalista – the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » Oct. 9, 2009: Separate from the format Says:

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  8. MattK Says:

    As Alan Moore said: This is an imaginary story…aren’t they all? And too bad we won’t get another follow-up where Archie marries Jughead.

  9. Adrian Says:

    Thank you lord,that it was a dream sequence

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    […] six-issue imaginary marriage story that’s gotten so much press here enters its second phase. Instead of being married to […]

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  12. Bettygirl Says:

    Like Archie would have *really* chosen Veronica! Betty all the way… if he marries Veronica, it’s for money, if he marries Betty, it’s for love. ‘Nuff said.

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    […] Archie #605 completes the Archie marriage storyline that began in Archie #600. For 3 issues, we read the imaginary story of how Archie and Veronica got married and had twins. Then, it was Betty’s turn. […]




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