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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Wait, Archie Will Marry Betty?

posted by Nell Minow

Now that Archie has not just proposed to Veronica (issue 600), but actually married her, gone on a honeymoon, and is going to be a father (issue 601), the comic is hitting rewind and sending Archie down the literal road not taken, so he gets to propose to Betty. In issue 603, Archie returns to the “Memory Lane” road that took him from high school graduation into adulthood and takes the other path, one apparently endorsed by the fans as the New York Times reports 80 percent favor the blond girl next door over the glamorous brunette.
The series is written by Michael E. Uslan, a lifetime Archie fan, who told the Times that this idea was inspired by Robert Frost’s famous poem, “The Road Not Taken” as well as the Gwyneth Paltrow movie “Sliding Doors” and the song “Both Sides Now.” This dual storyline allows the characters to explore the way choices large and small affect the future. But Uslan promises that all will be resolved.

“I have written his final fate in one of these two futures,” Mr. Uslan said. “Now, back in high school, it’s up to the three of them. Everything they say, don’t say, every action they take and fail to take, is going to add up to determine which of these two roads are taken. And one of them will be.”

  • Wendy

    It seems like it was a little bit sneaky to put the first story out there as if it were real, but it sure got the public talking about Archie et. al. It was smart that they went with Veronica first–much more publicity than if it were just revealed he’d married Betty and then they’d switched. I sure have an interest I’ve never had before in seeing how it plays out. And Sliding Doors is one of my very favorite movies. I love its ending–it is so unexpected and gut-wrenching and then so right! “You know what the Python boys always say…”

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    “No one ever expects the Spanish Inquisition!” Love that movie, too, so many fabulous moments, very funny, and then, as you said, very touching.

  • Alicia

    We just knew there had to be more to it than that! I also love “Sliding Doors” and I vote for Archie and Betty. With Veronica, he’ll end up in divorce court.
    Interestingly, the movie that I believe inspired “Sliding Doors” was called “The Double Life of Veronique.”

  • iorek

    Not since Pam Ewing awoke to find Bobby in the shower…
    Mr. Uslan has taken a tired, cheapened brand and stretched it even thinner. Most comic books, when they use this ploy, tell readers it is an “imaginary story” so there is at least some intellectual integrity and consistency to the exercise.

  • jestrfyl

    I vote for Betty too. OF course, Archie could get half of Veronica’s wealth in the sure-to-happen divorce. That would set Betty and him up for a good long while.
    But all that aside, what gives with the new artwork for Archie. Some of the digests I see near various Big Box store checkouts has a very different style – much more “real” or representational. It looks like it is being drawn by the artist from Mark Trail or someone like that. I prefer the old Archie art – it is in keeping with the frothy story lines and characters. This other art is simply wrong.

  • http://blog.havetherelationshipyouwant.com Rori Raye

    Oh my, I’d heard the part about Veronica, and not the “road not taken” part with Betty. I hope he never chooses…and they just go on being young forever and uncommitted, or that Betty finds a man who adores her, sweeps her off her feet, and leaves Archie scratching his head, or that Veronica starts a company, becomes a successful CEO, becomes famous for being herself — perhaps a motivational speaker — and winds up with a dashing, enigmatic, powerful man who enables her to discover her softer side. I believe this situation plays out in the head of every man. It’s Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Anniston. And it causes all of us women to categorize ourselves, and deny the part of us that is “the other.” We are all Betty AND Veronica…and power and love to us all. Sincerely Rori Raye

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    GREAT comment, Rori! I wish you were writing the comic books! I think what made this eternal triangle so eternal was Archie’s perpetual internal blank but sunny essence. He had no anguish (beyond a panel or two here and there). And the girls had little by way of personalities beyond their defining characteristics and their love for him. And so we are able to project onto them our own thoughts and issues. I wonder if when this series concludes it will be, as iorek suggests, all a dream, and they’ll go back to their eternal teenager-hood.
    And I preferred the old-school artwork, too jesterfyl. Simple, but conveyed the essence.

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