This week Archie dropped a preview of Jughead #4 by Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson that casually revealed that the famed crowned cap wearer is asexual, defined as someone who is not attracted to people of any gender. This is a follow up to writer Zdarsky’s comments at NYCC ’15:
“My view of Jughead is, over the 75 years [of his existence] there have been sporadic moments where he has dabbled in the ladies, but historically he has been portrayed as asexual,” Zdarsky said at an “Archie”-themed panel at NYCC. “They just didn’t have a label for it, so they just called him a woman-hater. But he’s not a misogynist — he just watches his cohorts lose their minds with hormones. People have asked me if there is going to be a romance if I’m writing Jughead, because I’m very romantic, and the answer is no, because there is enough of that in Archie. I think something like asexuality is underrepresented, and since we have a character who was asexual before people had the word for it, I’m continuing to write him that way.
While the characterization certainly fits in with Jughead’s long association with being dorky around girls and, perhaps, sublimating sexual urges to things like eating fries (while remaining slim, the bastard), not everyone was satisfied.
Fox news proclaimed in a headline “Archie Comics reveals Jughead is asexual in new issue” perhaps hoping that some readers would be unaware of the word’s definition and build up a good head of outrage steam over Jughead’s adoption of a life of asceticism and study. However the article could not work up much scandal:
All of the years of Jughead’s love for food since the inception of Archie Comics appear to have finally meant something, as the writers of the current series have announced he is asexual in a newly released issue.
And it just stayed calm from there. Maybe there is something to this asexual choice!
Of course, Jughead’s lifestyle is in opposition to the proclaimed “pansexual” Deadpool, meaning someone who is attracted to everyone and everything. Star Ryan Reynolds extended this idea all the way to having a boyfriend in the next movie, already all but greenlit, it seems. Maybe the boyfriend could be Jughead, and Deadpool could try to turn him to a new lifestyle?
BTW, Deadpool is based on the classic trickster character, perhaps best exemplified by Bugs Bunny, who I’m pretty sure was also pansexual, only they didn’t call it that in those days. We live in more enlightened times. Oh and here’s the Archie #4 preview, on sale today:
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.