Jughead Jones, always famous for being the only Archie character who's not into dating, now canonically identifies as asexual, as of today's Jughead #4, by Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson.

Interestingly, it's not Jughead himself who uses the word, it's his friend Kevin Keller, who's specifically contrasting his own experiences as a gay high school student (looking for other boys to date) with Jughead's experiences as an asexual student (not looking for dates at all). But Jughead quickly agrees, and points out that his asexuality makes him better equipped to deal with Riverdale High's problems than Archie, who of course is constantly distracted by girls.

This really should come as no surprise, given how open to new things Archie Comics has been in recent years, and it's certainly not a shock from Zdarsky, who offered his opinion on Jughead's sexuality at a New York Comic-Con panel last year:


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. 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. 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.


An asexual Jughead is just another step toward a more inclusive Riverdale and a more progressive Archie Comics. I like that they're continuing on this path as a company, and I look forward to seeing where it takes them next. Maybe some queer female characters could happen sometime soon? How about if we start by getting to know these two girls, who also appear in Jughead #4:




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