Monday, April 23, 2012

More Details on Gender-Swapped Archie & "Reversedale"

I wrote this weekend about an upcoming storyline in Archie #636 where Archie, Betty, and Veronica get magically transformed into Archina (?), Billy, and Ronnie! I'm still curious about this new storyline, but it looks like I got at least one detail messed up, judging from this New York Post interview with Archie Comics president Mike Pellerito. Sabrina the Teenage Witch doesn't cause this magical transformation. Salem the Cat does!

Here are some more details:
The gender swap happens after Sabrina the Teenage Witch's cat hears Archie and long time love interests Betty and Veronica argue over who has it easier - boys or girls... Betty and Veronica are also affected by Salem's spell - becoming Billy and Ronnie in a world where they've always been boys and Archie has always been a girl. Pellerito said "Archina is still the most popular kid in school," and she still can't decide between the filthy-rich Ronnie and the perfect boy next door Billy. "Even in 'Reversedale,' some things are forever," Pellerito said.
Still no word if Jughead gets affected by Salem's spell. However, it might be a blessing in disguise if he's left out. Archina is an awful name. I don't even want to imagine what new name they'd come up with for a female Jughead!

Updated Later to Add: I made the mistake of reading the comments section of the New York Post story and kind of wish I hadn't. Check some of these out:

"And they wonder why the company is in the dumpster and no one wants to buy it."

"The fags & lesies can't produce a pop culture so they suck on straight people's legacy. Rosie and Chaz strike again, probaBLY with Oprah's money."

"This shows just how twisted and fugged up we are becoming."


Forgive me for pointing out the obviously, the gender-swapping in comics isn't hardly original. I don't even think it's original for Archie Comics! I've seen it happen to members of the X-Men, Justice League, Alpha Flight, etc.

This isn't a long-term storyline dealing with homosexual sexualities or transgender identity. It's a short (probably one- or two-issue) story where the main characters get transformed by magic into the other gender and where they eventually come to a greater appreciation of the other person. I mean, I just read a similar storyline in one of the Archie digest books where Archie and Mr. Weatherbee get mind-swapped. It's pretty much the same thing.

Sometimes a story is a story, without political context or agenda. Chill...

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