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Archie Comics Announces New Character

Get ready to meet Riverdale's new resident, Harper. Find out what her connection to the gang is.

It's not often we see a new character added to the Archie gang in Riverdale. This June we'll get to meet Harper. Who is she? Why is she coming to Riverdale? Check it out below.

Archie Comics has made a name for itself as a vibrant, innovative publisher that is focused on representing today’s world through its comics. Iconic characters like Archie, Jughead, Betty & Veronica, and Reggie have stayed true to their history while residing in a modern world. That continues today. Following in the tradition of modern and engaging character debuts like Kevin Keller, Archie Comics is proud to give fans a first look at the latest addition to the Riverdale family: Harper.

Cousin to posh socialite Veronica Lodge, Harper arrives in Riverdale and introduces the Archie gang to something they’ve never dealt with: a friend who is disabled. But while Harper does have a disability, it does not define her, and Archie, his friends, and fans around the world will be treated to her dynamic personality. Harper teaches the Archies an important lesson: that something you think can hold you back can make you that much stronger.

“Harper is the latest in a long line of characters we’ve introduced to make Riverdale feel like a city in today’s world,” said Archie Comics Co-CEO/Publisher Jon Goldwater. “Harper is, first and foremost, a funny, fashionable and witty teenager. The fact that she’s disabled is only one part of her story, and we’re excited to welcome her to Riverdale and Archie Comics."

The idea for Harper came out of a conversation between writer/artist Dan Parent and longtime Archie fan and author Jewel Kats, who is also disabled. From that initial idea Harper was born.

Harper’s debut, ARCHIE #656, hits 6/18.

38 Comments
Posted by ShadowX

This seems pretty awesome

Posted by G-Man

I agree. I can't wait to tell my daughter.

Staff Online
Posted by MadeinBangladesh

Looks like....... Harper Row.

Posted by Brione

Looks like....... Harper Row.

I was going to say the same thing.

Posted by Bsaa

The pc-ness in that character description is hilarious.

Posted by TheBlackHood

@brione said:

@madeinbangladesh said:

Looks like....... Harper Row.

I was going to say the same thing.

Harper Row + Pre-52 Barbara Gordon.

Posted by ShadowX

I find it funny that people call sensitivity and respect, "pc."

Edited by SmashBrawler

I don't see anything wrong with this. Despite being labeled as whitebread and old-fashioned, Archie comics have been enormously inclusive recently and I think it's great they keep doing stuff like this.

Posted by Anjon

@shadowx: “Harper is the latest in a long line of characters we’ve introduced to make Riverdale feel like a city in today’s world,” said Archie Comics Co-CEO/Publisher Jon Goldwater. “Harper is, first and foremost, a funny, fashionable and witty teenager. The fact that she’s disabled is only one part of her story, and we’re excited to welcome her to Riverdale and Archie Comics."

That doesn't read like "sensitivity and respect" to me. They created a disabled character who "isn't defined" by her disability, then proceed to define her here by her disability. They could have just described her personality and what important role she would play in the Archie universe, then end it there. Instead they focus almost exclusively on how being in a wheelchair doesn't define her character...

I agree that "PC" probably isn't the correct term here, but it certainly seems like they created Harper as a token disabled character while trying too hard to disguise her token-ness. I love that they're adding more diverse characters, and I truly hope she's written in a way that doesn't read like "that wheelchair kid from Degrassi" -- maybe this is just the misguided musings of a corporate exec and not the opinions of the actual writer -- but I'm naturally cynical about these kinds of things.

Posted by Miguelgomez701

I'll be sure to pick this up

Posted by ma_rc_01

That pink wheelchair looks dumb.

Edited by orionbolt

Wait did they take Harper Row

and mix her with a little Barbara Gordon?

Edited by orionbolt

Looks like I forgot to thoroughly read the comments again?

Posted by Transformers1024

So it's practically an amalgamation of Barbara Gordon and Harper Row (some of the most exciting characters in DC) thrown into the most dull and boring comic of all time? Sounds kinda dumb but I may flip through it to see what her personality is like.

Posted by bretmaverick2

Since she is a relative of Veronica's, shouldn't she have a chair that is self propelled?? Not the old fashioned, needs someone to push it for her style??

Posted by imredjimmy

Now the crossover with Glee makes so much sense. They do have some of the same intentions (with Archie being much less annoying about it). But I won't complain, after all these years, Archie Comics are finally adding characters to put diversity. No matter the intentions, I don't see how that could be a bad thing.

Posted by Farkam

@anjon said:

@shadowx: “Harper is the latest in a long line of characters we’ve introduced to make Riverdale feel like a city in today’s world,” said Archie Comics Co-CEO/Publisher Jon Goldwater. “Harper is, first and foremost, a funny, fashionable and witty teenager. The fact that she’s disabled is only one part of her story, and we’re excited to welcome her to Riverdale and Archie Comics."

That doesn't read like "sensitivity and respect" to me. They created a disabled character who "isn't defined" by her disability, then proceed to define her here by her disability. They could have just described her personality and what important role she would play in the Archie universe, then end it there. Instead they focus almost exclusively on how being in a wheelchair doesn't define her character...

I agree that "PC" probably isn't the correct term here, but it certainly seems like they created Harper as a token disabled character while trying too hard to disguise her token-ness. I love that they're adding more diverse characters, and I truly hope she's written in a way that doesn't read like "that wheelchair kid from Degrassi" -- maybe this is just the misguided musings of a corporate exec and not the opinions of the actual writer -- but I'm naturally cynical about these kinds of things.

I agree but it is still nice to see different kinds of people get some spotlight regardless.

Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@bsaa said:

The pc-ness in that character description is hilarious.

Totally

@shadowx said:

I find it funny that people call sensitivity and respect, "pc."

I'm partly disabled, and I would totally call this PC.

Edited by Nathan_Fleischman

I guess that this character's full name is Harper Lodge.

Edited by Mucklefluga

That's pretty cool.

Posted by Saint_Wildcard

Next month Archie will announce Sam, a girl with Tourettes who wants to be a chef. After that they will announce Clara, a transgendered character who is a part time DJ. Both of them will love Archie too.

Posted by NightFang

@anjon said:

@shadowx: “Harper is the latest in a long line of characters we’ve introduced to make Riverdale feel like a city in today’s world,” said Archie Comics Co-CEO/Publisher Jon Goldwater. “Harper is, first and foremost, a funny, fashionable and witty teenager. The fact that she’s disabled is only one part of her story, and we're excited to welcome her to Riverdale and Archie Comics."

That doesn't read like "sensitivity and respect" to me. They created a disabled character who "isn't defined" by her disability, then proceed to define her here by her disability. They could have just described her personality and what important role she would play in the Archie universe, then end it there. Instead they focus almost exclusively on how being in a wheelchair doesn't define her character...

I agree that "PC" probably isn't the correct term here, but it certainly seems like they created Harper as a token disabled character while trying too hard to disguise her token-ness. I love that they're adding more diverse characters, and I truly hope she's written in a way that doesn't read like "that wheelchair kid from Degrassi" -- maybe this is just the misguided musings of a corporate exec and not the opinions of the actual writer -- but I'm naturally cynical about these kinds of things.

You're reading way too much into a simple introducen.

Online
Posted by Ms-Lola

Next month Archie will announce Sam, a girl with Tourettes who wants to be a chef. After that they will announce Clara, a transgendered character who is a part time DJ. Both of them will love Archie too.

Actually, I would love that.

Isn't there any characters who are blind or deaf? Something that isn't a visible physical disadvantage but yet is still a "disability"? (Jughead's chronic eating disorder not withstanding)

Posted by CrazyScarecrow

At least Archie is creating new characters to for PC.

Posted by Shazam78

I think it's better to create new characters to reflect the diversity of society. I mean DC new 52 has changed a lot of characters who been around for decades into something completely different from what they were into to something reflects the diversity of society.

Posted by iaconpoint

Seems legit. Now all they need is a gay muslin from Venezuela and they'll be set.

Posted by PunyParker

@brione said:

@madeinbangladesh said:

Looks like....... Harper Row.

I was going to say the same thing.

"Thanks for the lift, Harper"

They clearly had something in mind....

Posted by fables87

I like this news :D

Edited by cbishop

I hate to be the first voice of full on dissent, but Archie's attempts at diversity blow. Kevin Keller does not come off as a real person. He's perfect in every way. He married his partner, became president in a tale of the future, and firmly unseated Archie as the center of the gang while the company pushed him out there... and everyone loves him (except Reggie, but he's an a-hole to everybody). Does he have any flaws? Archie strings two girls along, Betty & Veronica show jealousy, Jughead eats all the time, Reggie is d-bag, Moose is dumb, etc. Kevin Keller is perfect.

Now, Harper is disabled but upbeat? Will she have any flaws? Doubtful.

Can we not show inclusion with flaws? I mean, Northstar was a bigger d-head than Reggie has ever been, and it was still a big deal when the character got married. The chair-bound Barbara Gordon was super smart, but couldn't stand for anyone to push her chair. She frequently got pissy with the people around her...and shocker- was still a great character.

PC inclusion is great, but perfect characters are going to get boring after awhile. When they finally do decide to expand their personality and show a little bit of their bad side, fans will be in an uproar, because at that point it won't seem in character for them to act that way. I think the characters are a great idea, but horrendously executed.

And P.S. I have never met anyone in a wheelchair who would be okay with someone sitting in their lap for "a lift." Complete crud.

Edited by Pixel_Kaiser

I appreciate that ComicVine never mentions Harper is handicapped, in the headline of the article or the content. Like, "Archie Comics announces a new character" as opposed to "Archie Comics announces a new disabled character", which is how most news sites seem to be writing their headlines.

But yeah, as someone in a wheelchair, the picture of Archie sitting in her lap strikes me as bewilderingly tone deaf. That's... not okay. Super disrespectful. They get points for trying, I guess.

Posted by Mutant God

@cbishop said:

I hate to be the first voice of full on dissent, but Archie's attempts at diversity blow. Kevin Keller does not come off as a real person. He's perfect in every way. He married his partner, became president in a tale of the future, and firmly unseated Archie as the center of the gang while the company pushed him out there... and everyone loves him (except Reggie, but he's an a-hole to everybody). Does he have any flaws? Archie strings two girls along, Betty & Veronica show jealousy, Jughead eats all the time, Reggie is d-bag, Moose is dumb, etc. Kevin Keller is perfect.

So your saying he treats everybody equally

Posted by DocFishstick

Harper Row is everywhere.

Posted by cbishop

@mutant_god: equal opportunity offender is not a good thing. And actually, he is nice(ish) to Veronica.

Posted by Darling_Luna

Glasses !?

PC PC !

Posted by charlieboy

I really like the Kevin Keller character and am looking forward to Harper.

Posted by ArturoCalaKayVee
Posted by personz

Is it just me or is Archie comics slowly becoming the Burger King Kids Club?