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Archie as he appeared for several decades in his publisher's house style
|First appearance||Pep Comics #22 (December 1941)|
|Created by||John L. Goldwater
|Portrayed by||Christopher Rich (1990)
KJ Apa (2017)
|Voiced by||Charles Mullen (1943–1944)
Jack Grimes (1944)
Burt Boyar (1945)
Bob Hastings (1945–1953)
Dallas McKennon (1968–1976)
J Michael Roncetti (1987)
Andrew Rannells (1999–2002)
|School||Riverdale High School|
|Significant other(s)||Cheryl Blossom
Miss Grundy/Jennifer Gibson (Riverdale)
|Relatives||Fred Andrews (father)
Mary Andrews (mother)
Artie Andrews (grandfather)
Alistair Andrews (cousin)
Archibald "Archie" Andrews, created in 1941 by publisher John L. Goldwater and artist Bob Montana in collaboration with writer Vic Bloom, is the main character in an American comic book series published by Archie Comics, as well as the long-running Archie Andrews radio series, a syndicated comic strip, The Archie Show, and Archie's Weird Mysteries.
Fictional character biography
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Archibald "Archie" Andrews debuted in Pep Comics 22 (cover-dated Dec. 1941). He is the only child of Mary and Fred Andrews. His father works as a mid-level business executive. His earlier life is revealed in the "Little Archie" stories when he had a dog named Spotty. Archie lives in Riverdale, where he attends Riverdale High School.
Archie is a typical small-town teenager. His main crush is Betty Cooper, but is also fond of Veronica Lodge, forming the love triangle driving many of the comic's plot-lines. He has the best intentions, but often comes into conflict with Veronica's rich father, Hiram Lodge, and Riverdale High's principal, Waldo Weatherbee. As the lead singer of The Archies, Archie performs with Betty and Veronica, as well as his rival Reggie Mantle, and best friend Jughead Jones.
Mary and Fred Andrews are of Scottish descent. Archie's paternal grandfather Andy Andrews, immigrated to the United States from Scotland and befriended Moose Mason's Russian ancestor, who had emigrated at the same time. Archie has been depicted wearing the traditional kilt of his ancestors and playing bagpipes (but not very well).
The Little Archie series, published from 1956 through the mid-1990s, chronicles the adventures of pre-teen Archie and his friends while in elementary school.
The 2010 revival of the Life with Archie series chronicles two alternate, parallel story lines in which Archie marries Betty and Veronica.
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The love triangle between Betty, Archie and Veronica became the hallmark of the Archie stories since the character was created more than 70 years ago. In Archie's debut, when he was nicknamed Chick, he was trying to impress the richest girl in Riverdale, Veronica Lodge. When Betty Cooper moves to Riverdale, however, he switched his attention to her, making Veronica both angry and jealous. She began competing with Betty for his affection.
The problem is that Archie reciprocates both girls' feelings for him. Archie and Betty frequently, and he can count on Veronica to lift his ego by showering him with affection. He often thinks of Betty only as a close friend and confidant. Veronica loves Archie, but he frequently takes her for granted. Archie likes it that he can use Veronica as a back-up when he does not have a date with his primary girlfriend Betty. He dislikes it when Veronica dates other boys as well, wanting her to stay available as his second choice. Now that Veronica sporadically dates Jason Blossom and Adam Chisholm, Archie shows a tinge of jealousy. Archie is married to Betty in Archie Marries Betty: Life With Archie series and is married to Veronica in Archie Marries Veronica: Life with Archie series.
Archie considers Betty to be his girlfriend, saying that she is always a friend to everyone. Archie is always fighting for her affection with his rival, Reggie Mantle, and occasionally other boys. Veronica, on the other hand, keeps Archie guessing, never letting him take her for granted, which makes him prefer Betty over Veronica, much to Veronica's chagrin.
A third love interest is a wealthy red-headed girl named Cheryl Blossom. At first, she was deemed too sexual and a bit promiscuous and she was taken out of the series, but due to her popularity, she was brought back again in Love Showdown, a four-part mini-series in which Archie attempts to make a decision between Cheryl, Betty and Veronica. Despite the efforts of both Cheryl and Veronica, he surprisingly chose Betty, much to her delight.
On May 15, 2009, Archie Comics announced that Archie would finally pick one of the girls to marry, in a story arc in Archie #600–606 (Aug. 2009 – Feb. 2010). However, Archie Comics publicly revealed this to be a dream sequence to show two possible futures: one where Archie marries Veronica (issues 600–602), and the other Betty (603–605). In both, he has twins: a boy also named Archie who looks like him, and a girl named after and resembling whichever girl he married. Issue 606 was an epilogue to Archie Marries Veronica/Archie Marries Betty that returns to the comics' old format.
In Archie # 608 (May 2010), Archie began a relationship with Valerie Brown, making her Archie's first Black girlfriend. The Archies and Josie and the Pussycats were touring together. While rehearsing, Archie and Valerie secretly fell in love as they co-wrote the song "More Than Words" that described their feelings. Issue #609 revealed that this relationship had seeped into common knowledge by the end of the tour. Archie and Valerie were forced apart when the Pussycats were touring Europe without the Archies, but hoped to keep their relationship going. In the comic Archie Marries Valerie, Valerie is expecting a baby with Archie, whom they name Star.
Jughead Jones has been Archie's best friend ever since childhood. When Jughead first came to Riverdale, he was in a bad mood and tended to dismiss Archie. However, Archie, of good heart, tried to cheer up Jughead and the two have been inseparable ever since. Jughead wears a trademark clubhouse beanie (a Depression-era style of makeshift hatwear, crafted from an inverted fedora with a scallop-cut brim, and decorated with assorted pinbacks) and an inscrutable, closed-eyelid expression. Often Jughead has to help Archie out from a tricky situation. Jughead usually knows when Archie's ideas will not work, but is powerless to avoid getting involved.
Reggie Mantle is Archie's constant romantic and athletic rival. Each often makes attempts to separate the other from Veronica, occasionally exhibiting physical violence, and both have won their fair share of scrapes with each other. Reggie takes every opportunity to play practical jokes on Archie and make cynical wisecracks. However, Reggie is often shown as a companion to and of Archie despite his arrogance and competitive nature, and they are often seen together practicing athletics or pursuing dates.
Archie's other friends include Dilton Doiley, the local genius who gets Archie into and out of trouble through his experiments and inventions; Moose Mason, the dim-witted but likable star athlete of Riverdale High who is often Archie's teammate; Chuck Clayton, another of Archie's teammates who was originally shy and reclusive but came out of his shell when Archie befriended him; Moose and Chuck's girlfriends Midge Klump and Nancy Woods, two of the very few attractive girls Archie does not fall for; and Ethel Muggs, a girl with a major crush on Jughead, who often wins his heart with the use of fresh-baked cookies.
Outside of dating, Archie largely enjoys sports. He plays baseball, basketball, and football for the Riverdale High teams. Though often not as good an athlete as Moose Mason, Chuck Clayton or Reggie Mantle, he proves a valuable member of the school team. Coaches Kleats and Clayton value him for both his athletic abilities and his team spirit. However, Archie's athletic abilities vary from story to story, due to his frequent clumsiness. He also has a tendency to pay more attention to cheerleaders than to his playing. For this reason, Coach Kleats often tries to avoid resorting to use Archie in a game.
Automobiles are one of Archie's hobbies, and he is passionate about his car. For decades, he was shown driving a 1916 Ford Model T jalopy called "Betsy". In Archie double digest #192, it is said to be a Model A. In a story during which Archie tried to have his jalopy insured, he described it as being a "Ford, Chevy, Plymouth, Pierce-Arrow, Packard, DeSoto, Hudson ..." explaining that his jalopy was "a collection of replacement parts from several junkyards", some of which dated back to 1926.
Archie's jalopy was destroyed permanently in issue #238 of Life With Archie, which was published in 1983. In the newer comics, he drives a mid-1960s Ford Mustang, which is more contemporary in appearance, but still unreliable and prone to breakdowns. Archie Digest 239, published in October 2007, included a new story in which Mr. Lodge owned an antique car that had a strong resemblance to Archie's jalopy. The story featured Archie's grandfather who, as a teenager, looked and dressed like Archie from the 1940s. It turned out that he owned the same jalopy that Mr. Lodge now owned.
The Archies is a garage band containing Archie (lead vocals and lead guitar), Reggie (bassist or guitarist), Veronica (vocals and keyboards), Betty (vocals and tambourine), and Jughead (drums). Archie founded the group himself. Although not as famous as Josie and The Pussycats, the band plays numerous gigs and has some notoriety. In the Little Archies series, the band just starts to form, although Archie, Betty, Jughead, Reggie, and Veronica start to play different kind of songs.
Death of Archie
72 years after the character's first appearance, in April 2014, Archie Comics announced that the adult Archie would be killed in the July 2014 issue (#36) of Life with Archie, while the teenage Archie would continue in the other Archie comic series titles. Archie dies when he is shot in the stomach while saving his friend, Senator Kevin Keller. The story is written so as to terminate both storylines, without committing to which girl Archie married, and contains several flashbacks to the Little Archie days. The final issue (#37) is set one year after Archie's death. All his friends memorialize him and Riverdale High School is officially renamed Archie Andrews High School in his honor. The story ends with Jughead, owner of the Choklit Shop, serving a sundae to three children who resemble Little Archie, Betty, and Veronica.
In other media
Montana's characters were heard on radio in the early 1940s. Archie Andrews began on the NBC Blue Network on May 31, 1943, switched to Mutual in 1944, and then continued on NBC radio from 1945 until September 5, 1953. The program's original announcer was Kenneth Banghart, later succeeded by Bob Shepard (during the 1947–48 season, when Swift and Company sponsored the program) and Dick Dudley. Archie was first played by Charles Mullen (1943–1944), Jack Grimes (1944) and Burt Boyar (1945), with Bob Hastings (1945–1953) as the title character during the NBC years. Jughead was portrayed by Hal Stone, Cameron Andrews and later by Arnold Stang. Stone later wrote about his radio career in his autobiography, Relax... Archie! Re-laxx! (Bygone Days Press, 2003). During the NBC run, Rosemary Rice portrayed Betty, Gloria Mann portrayed Veronica, Alice Yourman portrayed Archie's mother, Mary Andrews and Arthur "Art" Kohl was Archie's father, Fred Andrews.
- Archie Andrews appeared in The Archie Show, a 1968 cartoon series produced by Filmation. He also appeared in the various spin-offs produced in the same format from 1969 through 1977: Archie's TV Funnies, The U.S. of Archie, and others. He was voiced by Dallas McKennon.
- Archie Andrews appeared in The New Archies, a 1987 re-imagining of Archie and the gang. Archie was portrayed as a pre-teen in junior high. He was voiced by J. Michael Roncetti.
- Archie Andrews appeared in Archie's Weird Mysteries voiced by Andrew Rannells. This version is a reporter for the local school newspaper.
- On 6 May 1990, NBC telecast Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again, a TV movie (and subsequent comic book) depicting the characters as adults 15 years after their high school graduation. Christopher Rich portrayed Archie Andrews.
- Archie appears in Riverdale, a drama series for The CW with KJ Apa starring as the character.
- Archie Andrews appeared in The Archies in Jugman, voiced by Andrew Rannells. The film was released direct-to-video and takes place after Archie's Weird Mysteries.
- Archie appears as a character in the mobile game Crossy Road.
- Windolf, Jim (December 2006). "American Idol". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on July 13, 2016. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
Since the [court] settlement, every Archie product has listed John Goldwater as 'creator.' The name Bob Montana falls under a separate credit line that defines him as the 'creator' of 'the original characters’ likenesses.'
- Pep Comics #22 at the Grand Comics Database. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- Offenberger, Rik (March 1, 2003). "Publisher Profile: Archie Comics". Borderline (19). Archived from the original on October 28, 2016. Retrieved January 9, 2017 – via MightyCrusaders.net.
- "Archie Andrews Is Getting Married!" (Press release). Archie Comics. May 15, 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-08-26. Retrieved August 16, 2010 – via Archie-blogs.
- "Media Discover Archie/Veronica Marriage an Imaginary Story". Comics Worth Reading. Retrieved 2010-08-16.
- Life With Archie #238, The Grand Comics Database Project
- Ethan Sacks (April 8, 2014). "Archie slated to die in pages of comic book". NY Daily News.
- "For fans of Archie, comic book character's sacrifice to save gay friend makes an impact". The Gazette, July 14, 2014.
- Siegel, Lucas (November 5, 2015). "Riverdale Casting Breakdown Reveals Major Changes for Archie Andrews and Friends". ComicBook.com.
- Andreeva, Nellie (February 24, 2016). "'Riverdale' Finds Its Archie & Josie: KJ Apa To Topline CW Pilot". Deadline.
- Haverhill cartoonist Bob Montana
- Archie:To Riverdale and Back Again on IMDb
- Interview with Michael Silberkleit by Rik Offenberger
- Vanity Fair: "American Idol" by Jim Windolf" (December 20, 2006)
- Gallery of Archie covers #1–200
- Archie at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on April 4, 2012.
- Archie as Pureheart the Powerful at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on April 9, 2012.