For decades, fans have argued over Jughead. Is he gay and in love with Archie? Does he secretly love Ethel? What’s going on under that strange hat? Well, we finally have an answer, and it’s perhaps a bit unexpected. Turns out that it’s none of the above.
Chip Zdarsky has mentioned this in the past, but Archie makes it official in Jughead #4 later this week. Asexuality is pretty much what it sounds like: Jughead doesn’t experience sexual attraction, to anybody. While rare, it’s estimated that roughly 1% of the population is asexual, so Jughead isn’t alone. Besides, he’s too busy. The guy’s got time to police and burgers to eat.
It’s an interesting choice from Zdarsky, and ground he’s explored before. A recent issue of Sex Criminals, the best comic book you can never read in public, took asexuality head-on by introducing an asexual character and exploring her viewpoint. It was a controversial issue even for a comic with that title, and Zdarsky will likely court at least a little controversy with his latest step. But, as he’s pointed out, it makes more sense than Jughead being stuck in perpetual childhood — even if it does leave Big Ethel high and dry. Although we guess Dilton could use a hookup.