Archie Goes Multiculti

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It looks like in the years since we’ve graduated from reading Archie, the comic book has gone multiculti. Meet the newest addition to the Riverdale gang: Raj Patel. According to Archie artist Fernando Ruiz:

“As for the rest of the family, there aren’t much background details but they do look good. Raj’s father Ravi Patel is a doctor and his character is along the lines of Mr Lodge, only younger and Indian. Mona Patel, Raj’s mother, is a lovely, elegant looking lady, who apparently has the ability to change clothes between panels. Younger sister Tina is an Indian Veronica; and judging by her body language in the few panels she appears in, she shares more than looks with the inimitable Veronica.”

Despite the coolness of having an Indian Veronica, making the Indian character’s father a doctor? A bit stereotypical, that. Ditto for the unibrow.

The character of Raj Patel marks the third attempt by Archie Comics to diversify their traditionally all-white cast of characters: There is also the African-American Chuck Clayton and the Latino Ginger Lopez. The longtime comic book publishing company has made numerous attempts to adjust to the contemporary market, with mixed success.

— Neal Ungerleider