I’m behind the times. The Archie Wedding comic came out in 2010, but I just had a chance to read it this week. The story starts with the high school graduation of the Riverdale kids. Now we know that this will be a traumatic event because the comics have always covered the kids as teens in high school. What would happen if the teens actually became adults? Well, we get to find that out in Archie Wedding. Before the high school graduation ceremony, Archie goes for a walk, and he comes upon Memory Lane. In the past, Archie always walked down Memory Lane, which is the phrase people use when they remember the past. This time, Archie decides to walk up Memory Lane. As he walks, he comes upon a fork in the road. Archie takes one branch and finds himself in the future at his high school graduation. In this future, Archie marries Veronica, and Betty becomes a fashion seller in New York City. Mr. Lodge gives Archie a job at Lodge Enterprises, and Archie and Veronica have twins. Then one night, Archie goes for another walk, finds himself at Memory Lane, and this time he takes the other fork in the road. Archie’s back at his college graduation, and this time, he marries Betty. You get the feeling that Archie would have preferred to marry Veronica, but he realizes that he really doesn’t fit into her life style. Betty gets a job in New York, and she and Archie move there. That doesn’t work out, and they find themselves back in Riverdale, with both Betty and Archie teaching at Riverdale High. Archie is the music teacher. In this reality, Jughead marries Midge, Moose is into anger management, and Reggie is a car salesman. Archie and Betty have twins in this reality; the writer must have a thing about Archie having twins even though twins don’t seem to run in his, Veronica’s, or Betty’s families. Veronica winds up marrying Reggie. This time, when Archie goes for a late night walk, he walks down Memory Lane and returns to his current life. Archie has some memories of marrying Betty and Veronica, but no one believes his story about the future. Meanwhile, life is pretty much as always, with Archie getting into by arranging dates with Betty and Veronica on the same night. We do hear that Dilton Doyle, Riverdale’s resident genius, is missing after discovering parallel universes. That ties into the Life with Archie comics that play out the two future realities with this evil character who is trying to manipulate things for his own gain.
I’m not sure how I feel about looking at Archie’s future. I’m perfectly happy with the comic book life cycle. Archie has been a teen since the 1940s, and as far as I’m concerned, he can stay there. I don’t want my comic book characters to grow up and have real life experiences. The thing I love about comics is that I can use them as an escape from the realism of real life. If I had to choose, which girl would I have Archie marry? Well, I think that I would bring in a third girl. That would create some tension and cause Betty and Veronica to team up against the third girl. Would Archie marry her? Maybe. I just think real life situations would intrude on the fun too much.
Who do I like better? Betty or Veronica? Both of them annoy me for different reasons. Betty is just too wishy-washy, and Veronica is too spoiled. If I had to choose, I guess I would say that Jughead is my favorite character. There are hidden depths to Juggie.