When it comes to LGBTQ+ representation, we’ve come a long way. Whether movies, books, or TV, our portrayal of different gender and sexual identities is finally starting to reflect just how diverse these identities are in the real world. While we still have a ton of work to do, we’re definitely making progress — and this week, Archie Comics has announced that it’s doing its part to help change LGBTQ+ representation in a big way.
According to Comic Book Resources, this week’s Jughead #4 will officially confirm that Jughead, its title character, is asexual. Even more exciting, this “revelation” merely comes up in passing: No one makes a big deal about it, or treats it as anything other than a part of who he is.
Long-time fans of the comic series — reboot or original — probably won’t be too surprised by the news. Historically, Jughead’s #1 love has always been food, and the character hasn’t ever shown too much interest in the sexual pursuit of anyone. Co-writers Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson originally revealed Jughead’s sexual identity at a panel at New York City Comic Con 2015; but this week’s comic proves just how dedicated they are to treating diverse identities with respect.
“My view of Jughead is, over the 75 years [of his existence] there have been sporadic moments where he has dabbled in the ladies, but historically he has been portrayed as asexual,” Zdarsky said during the panel. “They just didn’t have a label for it, so they just called him a woman-hater. But he’s not a misogynist — he just watches his cohorts lose their minds with hormones.”
“People have asked me if there is going to be a romance if I’m writing Jughead, because I’m very romantic, and the answer is no, because there is enough of that in Archie,” he continued. “I think something like asexuality is underrepresented, and since we have a character who was asexual before people had the word for it, I’m continuing to write him that way.”
For those who are unfamiliar, asexuality refers to the lack of sexual attraction to others, or an overall disinterest in pursuing or participating in sexual activity. This doesn’t necessarily mean someone is celibate or aromantic (experiencing little to no romantic attraction to others), but simply that they’re not that interested in sex. In general, asexuality doesn’t get much attention, and it’s kickass to see such an established comic acknowledge it in such an awesome way.
Jughead #4 hits newsstands tomorrow, February 10.