Alright, Part 6 to this Archie key issues series, and this will have to be the last part for now. Not that I'm getting burnt out on it or anything, but as we get into the newer characters that surface during the Modern Age, I'm not sure if the sources are correct since I keep finding conflicting information.
As I'm no expert nor even own any of the newer comics, I can't really confirm them or not. This series was requested several times, and I can only do my best with the limited amount of knowledge I possess or that's out there to dig up concerning the world of Archie.
So I apologize to those who did request this key issues series, but this series did feature quite a bit of key comics concerning Archie and his gang already. Of course, if you got other ones I don't know about, you can list them in the comments section. Would be appreciated by fans of the comics for sure.
Part 5 link brings you back. Scroll lets you see the last batch.
2nd appearance of the Pussycats
1st Pussycats cover
1st Pussycats cover
2nd appearance of Josie and the Pussycats also marks the 2nd appearance of Valerie smith as well. This issue also has the first cover debut of the all-female band. Like the Archies, a real fictional band was put together to record an album.
Unlike the Archies, none of the Bubblegum songs from the Josie album even charted. Actually, hardly anyone even knew the album released by Capitol Records in December, 1970 even existed.
Josie and the Pussycats #46 has the cover date of February, 1970.
3rd appearance of the Pussycats
3rd appearance of Valerie Smith
3rd appearance of Valerie Smith
Much like their 2nd appearance in the previous issue, the 3rd appearance of Josie and the Pussycats should also hold the 3rd appearance of Valerie Smith. Valerie Smith did share Archie's first interracial kiss, and the two were even married with child in an alternate universe. April, 1970 is the cover date for Josie and the Pussycats #47.
1st appearance of Chuck Clayton
During the Bronze Age, Archie comics would take baby steps to diversify the cast. Valerie Smith had already been introduced as part of Josie and the Pussycats.
Chuck Clayton was created as a means to further diversify Riverdale. Immediately during his first introduction, he is seen as a good friend to Archie.
He is one of the top athletes at Riverdale High and a gifted artist as well. Considering that the new Archie TV show on CW will probably want to have a diverse cast as well to appeal to as many folk as possible, I would have no doubt that Chuck Clayton and his girlfriend Nancy Woods will be cast in the show.
Well, that and Chuck is also the son of Riverdale High's Coach Clayton. If you feel like you're in a speculating mood, this one is pretty over-looked, although I can't find high grade copies online.
May be one to be on the hunt for if you're looking for a future flipper. June, 1971 is the cover date to Life With Archie #110, and Chuck Clayton appears in the story "The New Generation" in this issue.
1st appearance of Nancy Woods
Nancy Harris? Nancy Baker? Once again a character in the Archie-verse has different last names. In her first appearance, she debuts as Nancy Harris. This would occasionally change to Baker and Jackson before officially settling on Woods.
Nancy Woods is the girlfriend of Chuck Clayton and friends with Midge Klump, Veronica and Betty. Unlike the other kids at Riverdale, Chuck and Nancy date exclusively as they are the few African-American teens in the high school.
Of course, during the 70s inter-racial coupling was still too controversial a subject to tackle for the publisher. Nancy recurred off and on during the 70s and 80s, but became a prominent recurring character during the late 90s.
Pep #309 has the cover date of January, 1976.
1st appearance of Maria Rodriguez
I love the Latinas! They just don't love me back.
Regardless, Maria Rodriguez is the first Latina recurring supporting Archie character to be drawn in the pages of Archie Comics. She started out pretty meh, but would later evolve into a more fiery character.
Like Chuck and Nancy (I keep wanting to type Sid and Nancy), Maria and Frankie Valdez are one of the few definite couples. Archie's Girls Betty and Veronica #257 has the cover date of May, 1977.
1st appearance of Frankie Valdez
Reggie Mantle gets more competition and Frankie Valdez dishes it out. Valdez is of Puerto Rican ancestry and the very first Latino recurring character in Riverdale.
Frankie is a musician, charming, witty, and flamboyant. He is good friends with Archie and Chuck Clayton. His girlfriend is Maria Rodriguez.
Archie #265 has the cover date of September, 1977. I would not doubt that this character will be in the Riverdale television show.
1st appearance of Cheryl Blossom
1st appearance of Jason Blossom
1st appearance of Jason Blossom
Cheryl Blossom is perhaps one of the most popular characters to appear in the Riverdale world during the 80s. She was initially suppose to be a third love interest for Archie, but her character proved to be too risque sexually for the kiddies.
So, the redhead and her twin brother Jason disappeared for 2 years or so. Cheryl is a rich girl and proud of it, often competing with Veronica about whose life is more extravagant.
As Cheryl is a rival to both Betty and Veronica, her twin brother Jason is a rival to Archie concerning Betty's affections. He is arrogant like Reggie Mantle. October, 1982 is the cover date for Betty and Veronica #320.
1st appearance of Jellybean Jones
Looks like Jughead gets a baby sister in this issue. Forsythia "Jellybean" Jones will be her name. Her birth was depicted in this very issue. She got the nickname "Jellybean" from Jughead as he hates his name Forsythe in any form.
Jellybean depiction of age varies from story to story. Sometimes she's a toddler and other times she's a preschooler.
Either way, she idolizes her brother, and also does not get along with Veronica. Despite Jughead's apathy towards females, he does adore his little sister. Jughead #50 from the 2nd series has the cover date of November, 1993.
1st appearance of Brigitte Reilly
Unlike most Archie female characters in the comics, Brigitte Reilly did not have what's deemed as the perfect hour-glass shaped body in her early appearances. She was not drawn unattractively like Ethel Muggs first was, but she was depicted on the ample side.
Brigitte first met Betty in this issue and Betty introduced her to the crew. She is a spectacular singer and has often performed with Frankie Valdez.
Brigitte often dates Dilton Doiley. This Betty and Veronica Spectacular #50 is a January, 1998 issue.
1st appearance of Ginger Lopez
Another Latina added to the pages of Archie's comics. Ginger Lopez is a Spanish-American gal who works as a teen editor for "Sparkle" magazine in New York. Supposedly she spends half her time there and the other half in Riverdale?
Anyways, she was initially suppose to replace Cheryl Blossom, but fans had an outcry about that. In her early appearances, Ginger was to have Cheryl's personality and was a rival of Veronica.
Since Cheryl was brought back, Ginger Lopez was made to have a nicer personality. Unlike Nancy and Maria, Cheryl often dates outside her ethnicity but has no steady boyfriend or love interest. Betty and Veronica Spectacular #50 has the cover date of November, 2001.
1st appearance of Raj Patel
Adding more to the diversity of Riverdale, Tales from Riverdale Digest #21 sees the introduction of Raj Patel, the first Indian Archie character to join the cast. He is the son of a doctor and Raj's hobby is film making.
Raj has a sister Tina as well and both are in the same grade though she is a year younger. She's a smart cookie so she was moved up a grade. Tales from Riverdale Digest #21 has the cover date of August, 2007.
1st appearance of Kevin Keller
The first openly gay character in the Archie comics has become quite popular, and while there was a backlash to this from One Million Moms condemning the issue of Kevin Keller's marriage in Life With Archie #16 (2nd Series) being sold in Toys 'R' Us, Archie Comics stood by their decision with gusto!
“We stand by Life with Archie #16. As I’ve said before, Riverdale is a safe, welcoming place that does not judge anyone. It’s an idealized version of America that will hopefully become reality someday. We’re sorry the American Family Association/OneMillionMoms.com feels so negatively about our product, but they have every right to their opinion, just like we have the right to stand by ours. Kevin Keller will forever be a part of Riverdale, and he will live a happy, long life free of prejudice, hate and narrow-minded people.”
Don't know any better way to put it. Despite being a Modern Age comic, the first appearance of Kevin Keller in Veronica #202 is considered a groundbreaking Archie key and has the cover date of September, 2010. He is created by Dan Parent.
There are a few other characters worth noting that are recurring characters in Riverdale, but the information about their first appearances are either scarce or I don't entirely trust them. Tomoko Yashida is said to have first appeared in Betty #150, but then again two other sources list her first appearance in the free give away comic Archie and His Pals in the Peer Helper Program back in 1991.
So I have no idea if either is correct or not. Also, Sheila Wu has become a prominent nemesis of Vernocia's fashion sensibilities. A source says she first appeared in Archie #614 while another source has the character in Archie and Friends #148 which came about before and is Part One to the crossover story.
Once again, no idea there either. There are tons of other characters as well, but as I mentioned, little to no info on when they really or truly first appeared.
Well, I gave it my best shot here, and I'm sure someone will come across the key issues series that's more knowledgeable about Archie than I. If so, feel free to list some other keys and first appearances relating to the character of Archie and his gang that I missed in the comments.
That concludes this series for now. I may or may not update it later on, but considering that I have quite a lot of new key issue requests and prior key issues lists to update, I doubt I'll be getting back to this one anytime soon.
Hope this somewhat helps any Archie fans out there. Good luck on your hunt or selling. Until next time.