2009-04-13 01:50 am (UTC)
Re: Lantis or Eagle > Betty or Veronica
You're misreading the psychology of the situation - one of the reasons Archie has stayed popular all these years is that it manages to appeal to both the male (heterosexual male, anyway) AND female fantasies.
I think it's absolutely true that there's an element of Mistreated Maiden (as you put it) about Betty and Veronica - but as for your question about how could anyone fantasize about being mistreated by Archie - well, that's where the male fantasies start kicking in.
Archie, you see, is an interesting character, because he is everyteen. He's not great-looking, but he's not ugly, he's not super-talented at anything, but he has his moments, and while he's not an outright nerd, he's not Mr. Cool, either - which is presumably how he gets along with such a varied group of friends. In short, he is designed to appeal to the average teenage male - or, more realistically, for young boys who look forward to being the average teenage male - because everyone, at some point, has felt like a bit of a klutz or a spaz, just like Archie, but they like to think of themselves as reasonably popular and good-looking - again, just like Archie. By staying determinedly middle-of-the-road, he keeps his target audience's attention - and just for good measure, he's got two gorgeous girls fighting over him! Hubba hubba! Archie is not there for girls, even fictional ones, to fantasize about (although they do), he's there for boys to fantasize about being him - because, on a certain level, they already ARE him.
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