Friday 26th December 2014,
Comic Booked

Editorial: Archie Comics’ Liberal Agenda

Ortegatron 02/22/2012 Features, Reviews

Archie Andrews has been around since 1941, and during that time, his greatest concern has been whether Archie will finally choose between Betty or Veronica. After all these years of dealing with the issue of blond or brunette, the comic-book storyline has undergone some updates in regards to relevancy.

Political themes are not uncommon in comic book titles. And the government has not played an inactive role in shaping comic book stories. Superman stood for “truth, justice, and the American way.” Captain America has had to deal with the ever-changing politics of the nation. The direct involvement of the United States government with the lives of comic book characters has happened again and again. From Lex Luthor’s presidency in the DC universe to The Super Hero Registration Act (Marvel), to the numerous appearances by real political figures. Various world leaders and even Vice Presidential hopefuls such as Sarah Palin and political satirists like Stephen Colbert.These all had one thing in common. No political agenda other than “America” was blatantly visible. Lex Luthor ran for the presidency and won as a Republican — a Republican that proposed a moratorium on fossil-based fuels. The current GOP would not likely have approved. This balances out the underlying political message being sent. On the other hand Archie Andrews and his comic book has been wearing partisanship at every opportunity.Archie begins by having Barack Obama and Sarah Palin visit Riverdale. Archie and Reggie happen to be running for class president, and the sides are chosen. Obama is an Andrews booster of course. Palin with longtime baddie Reggie. The main protagonist and antagonist were sided according to politics. From there, Archie comics brings in Kevin Keller to hammer home a left-wing agenda. He is gay, but that isn’t a left-wing attribute. Rather he enlists in the military to the tearful approval of his father. After enlisting, Kevin gets married to Clay Walker. Again, individually calling any of these events propaganda would be absurd. Only when we view them as a whole does an obvious liberal agenda present itself.
Now comes the latest liberalism from Archie, Occupy Riverdale. Archie’s gang will be doing an occupy protest in Riverdale, and of course, the classic baddies Reggie and Veronica (with a public high school education?) will be the 1%. This will again draw lines in the political sand for the gang. Clearly left.

The story is to be written by Alex Segura, former DC writer now Executive Director of Publicity and Marketing, at Archie Comics. The wave of politically charged guest appearances and story lines fit with his move from DC. If it was his agenda, or if he was brought in with a more liberal Archie in mind, they have chosen the correctly. The left wing has been embraced in Riverdale.

Politicians have long appeared in comic books. The difference here is Archie and his Riverdale gang are attempting to sway your opinions to the left.

Update: A Rebuttal has been posted right here on Comic Booked. Click here to read!!!

Disclaimer: These thoughts and opinions represent those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the thoughts and opinions of Comic Booked. Thank you.

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  1. Skott Jimenez 02/22/2012 at 9:16 am

    Never been thrilled with politics in my comics. Sadly, the industry has always skewed left but it seems like only recently has it been so obnoxiously in your face.

    I hated all the sucking up to Barack when he won the American Idol Presidential Election. I avoided most of it but was forced to get the Amazing Spider-Man story because it was shoe horned in with a good story. I'm just glad they put out a better cover than the Barack one, otherwise I wouldn't have bought it.

    Comics are supposed to be an escape from reality. By shoving all these personal opinions and making our favorite characters 'take sides' it removes that fun. You also run the risk of losing loyal readers.

    I prefer zero reality based politics, left or right, in my comics.

    • The Ronyn 02/22/2012 at 11:06 am

      Reality-based politics helped shape the comic industry, at least only just. It was politics that created Captain America and The Red Skull. The United States government chose a stance during Germany's occupation of most of Europe and the writers and artists followed suit exacerbating patriotism at a time when it was needed.

      Likewise, the change that President Obama promised on the campaign trail was a breath of fresh air the entire country needed. He embodied his campaign slogan, and was featured in artwork across the nation accordingly. It was an important election and an important chapter in our nation's history, a history that comics have emulated since their inception to varying degrees. Politics is a part of that history and needs to be accounted for.

      The fact remains that things like the Occupy movement and same-sex marriage are largely human rights issues that would have ZERO political bearing had it not been for the modern political posturing. They are made political issues because it is easy to do so.

      It's a move to stay relevant, much like the inclusion of these social issues is a move by Archie's writers to keep the comic relevant during a time when it would have become all but extinct.

      I love to see the sales numbers on these key issues; I bet they sold rather well due to the topical and wide-ranging nature of the stories.

      • T Campbell 02/22/2012 at 11:17 am

        A "neutral" political orientation is as impossible as a "neutral" accent. Comics can't help but be political if their creators use them to express any ideas at all.

  2. Ortegatron 02/22/2012 at 11:53 am

    I agree that a “neutral” political orientation is impossible in comics. I also don't mind politics in my comics. As the Ronyn said "Reality-based politics helped shape the comic industry" and I like that to some extent. If "it's a move to stay relevant" then perhaps the recent Archie meets KISS story wasn't the best choice as KISS is hardly relevant. I'm not anti Archie, I've always liked Archie comics(I'm more pro Jughead). I really liked the addition of Keven Keller (I don't like any wedding stories much though). I'm not even anti political comic books. This is what Archie is quickly becoming. If you like left wing political opinions great! I happen to not. But I will still be checking in on Jughead.

  3. Josh M. 02/24/2012 at 1:16 pm

    Nice work. I've noticed a trend of left-wing writing in comics, especially since the 2004 election. I'm not against political comics, if that's what they're setting out to do. But Archie seems to be heading down a road that's going to alienate a lot of readers.

  4. Robb Orr 02/25/2012 at 6:38 am

    All I want to know is: where are the Guy Fawkes masks and intimidating police presence? As we all know, no Occupy event is complete without those elements.

  5. Ortegatron 02/27/2012 at 10:10 pm

    I wonder who will get pepper sprayed?

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