Archie Comics has established a surprising amount of cultural relevance lately — most notably the introduction of gay character Kevin Keller — and they’re at it again, with a two-part story starting in December featuring Riverdale-ized versions of Barack Obama and Sarah Palin.
Not entirely sold on the Obama likeness, but it’s kind of eerie how easily Palin translates to the trademark Archie style, isn’t it?
The plot of the comics, quite naturally, involves both our nation’s president and the star of upcoming reality TV show Sarah Palin’s Alaska intervening in a Riverdale High student election between Archie and Reggie. No word on which side of the political spectrum that those two will end up on, but unconfirmed reports place Svenson as a long-time supporter of the LaRouche movement.
Obama is no stranger to comics, having appeared already in a biographical comic from IDW, plus Amazing Spider-Man, the unfortunately titled Devil’s Due miniseries Barack the Barbarian (Barack as a Conan-esque hero, but with a title that sounded like birther-level rhetoric) and even Youngblood #8. (Really.) Sarah Palin, like so many others, was the subject of a biography comic from Bluewater Productions, and appeared as a villain in the Barbarian comic.
The two-parter starts with late December’s Archie #616, and continues in the next issue of the flagship title in January. It’s clear from the images that the theme of the story is partisan unity, as symbolized by the most sacred of all Archie gestures: sharing a malted at Pop Tate’s Chok’lit Shoppe. Sounds like Archie and the gang are perfect candidates to show up at next month’s Rally to Restore Sanity alongside The Daily Show host Jon Stewart.
Timing-wise, if the goal is to teach young readers a fun civic lesson, it’s a bit surprising that they didn’t put this out a month earlier to coincide with the midterm elections. No word on if a Scarlet Witch/Christine O’Donnell team-up is coming from Marvel.
The Obama and Palin appearances were first announced by Archie at this year’s Comic-Con International: San Diego. Archie’s official solicitation info follows:
“Campaign Pain” Part 1.
President Barack Obama and famed politician Sarah Palin get involved as Student Government campaigns spiral out of control at Riverdale High! The race between Archie and Reggie gets hot as campaign chaos reaches to the top, forcing an impromptu visit from these big-name politicos, who get pulled into the fray!
SCRIPT: Alex Simmons
ART: Dan Parent, Jack Morelli, and Digikore Studios
COVER: Dan Parent and Tito Pena
Shipping Date: DEC 15, 2010
On Sale at Comic Shops: DEC 22, 2010
Newsstands: Week of JAN 4, 2011
Comic, 32 pgs, 40 lb glossy stock, Full-Color
ARCHIE # 617
“Campaign Pains,” Part 2
When President Obama and famed politician Sarah Palin arrive, Riverdale becomes the center of a national crisis! Archie and Reggie have each claimed support from one of these political powerhouses, but they don’t! Now Riverdale is in chaos and when the Secret Service gets involved it only gets worse!
SCRIPT: Alex Simmons
ARTIST: Dan Parent, Jack Morelli and Digikore Studios
COVER: Dan Parent
Shipping Date: 1/19/11
On Sale at Comic Shops: 1/26/11
Newstands: Week of 2/8/11
Comic, 32 pgs, 40 lb. glossy stock, Full-Color