Thursday, June 8, 2017

RIVERDALE #2: Archie & Friends Reenact "The Breakfast Club" While Kevin Keller Snubs a Chubby Gay Teen

I've been terrible about writing about comic books recently. Then again, I've been terrible about reading my comic books recently, between my job, my new part-time job, preparing for British Fest, etc. But I'm slowly catching up with my comic book reading lately, including RIVERDALE #2. RIVERDALE is a comic book adaptation of The CW's "Riverdale" series, which of course is a television adaptation of Archie Comics. It's written by many of the same people who write the TV show and it's pretty good.

But back to RIVERDALE #2... This story, titled "The Breakfast Club," is heavily inspired by the classic 1980s teen flick "The Breakfast Club." And they try. Just not very well.

The original "The Breakfast Club" featured five teens from different cliques who get stuck together in a Saturday detention and learn to overcome their various stereotypes. RIVERDALE's "The Breakfast Club" certainly plugs different stereotypical characters into a Saturday detention, but they always hang out together. It's not like they learned anything about themselves or others from this exercise. They basically shared the story of a recent food fight from each of their personal perspectives.

Except for Josie. See her rolling her eyes in this pic? That's the image of a black girl who finds herself unjustly accused of being instrumental in something bad, even when it's clear that she did nothing. And she truly did nothing. Check out the lunch room scenes. She was eating lunch with her friends and she was sitting there while the other kids threw food everywhere. I don't blame her for rolling her eyes. Roll away, girl!

Anyway, I was less interested in the detention scenes and more interested in this scene where Veronica and Kevin were trying to start up a Gay/Straight Alliance at Riverdale High -- not because they wanted to learn about LGBT issues or provide support for sexual minority students, but so Kevin could find a non-closeted date. Leave it to Reggie to ruin the mood...

Notice that Reggie is being portrayed much more like his classical comic book image. Which I also find interesting. Reggie is a white character in the classic comic books, who was recast as an Asian teen in the "Riverdale" series, who's now been white-washed in the RIVERDALE comic book adaptation! My head is spinning.

I was a bit disappointed with Kevin in this comic book. Reggie offered to set him up with another gay kid on the football team. But Billy the Fridge, as he's known, isn't as conventionally gay in his appearance. So, despite the fact that he's clearly expressing some interest in Kevin and despite the fact that Kevin is supposed to be starting up a GSfrickingA for all of Riverdale High's LGBTQ student, he dismisses Reggie's efforts to hook him up with Billy.

I was actually quite proud of Reggie for sticking up for his friend and teammate. Which is a first.

I'm actually hoping that Billy the Fridge shows up sometime on the "Riverdale" TV show. And I hope that Joaquin dumps Kevin for Billy. Just because it would hopefully teach our favorite gay teen a lesson about body-shaming.

"The Breakfast Club" features writing by Greg Murray & Daniel King, art by Joe Eisma & Thomas Pitilli; colors by Andre Szymanowicz, and letters by John Workman.

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