Comic Book Adds Character With Disability

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The long-running “Archie” comic book series will introduce a new character named Harper, who has a disability, later this month. (Archie Comics)

In an effort to better reflect modern life, comic book mainstay Archie and his pals are set to get their first-ever friend with a disability, the series’ creators say.

Archie Comics said that a new character named Harper will join Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica and Reggie in the fictional town of Riverdale beginning later this month.

A cousin to series regular and posh socialite Veronica Lodge, Harper is described as a “spunky fashionista” with a “dynamic personality.” Despite being depicted in a wheelchair, she does not let her disability define her, those behind the comic said in announcing the addition.

“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 Jon Goldwater, co-CEO and publisher of Archie Comics. “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 to add a character with a disability to the venerable comic book series, which originated in the 1940s, was prompted by a conversation between writer and artist Dan Parent and Jewel Kats, an Archie fan who has a disability, officials said.

Harper’s first appearance will be in “Archie” No. 656, which will be available June 18.

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