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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

One of the world's great love triangles will finally resolve itself after almost 70 years. The eternal teenager, Archie Andrews of Archie Comics fame, has finally chosen a bride. There's no spoiler alert here because Betty has already blogged about it.

In issue 600, Archie picks Veronica, and we have complete coverage this morning from NPR's Nina Gregory.

NINA GREGORY: Our unlikely hero is an awkward but polite 17-year-old redhead. He somehow manages to hold the attention of both Betty, the girl next door, and Veronica, the raven-haired rich girl.

Archie is distinctly average. He's middle class, works part-time, plays in a band, and is not quite athletic enough to make the team.

Victor Gorelick has worked at Archie Comics for over 50 years and is "Archie"'s editor-in-chief. He explains the Archie mystic.

Mr. VICTOR GORELICK (Archie Comics): He's not a Superman. He's not a Batman. He doesn't have all these powers, but he just has the power of being able to have people like him.

GREGORY: And it's not just Betty and Veronica who like Archie. Generations of readers have been drawn to these stories.

Comic book store owner Joe Ferrara owns Atlantis Fantasyworld in Santa Cruz, California.

Mr. JOE FERRARA (Comic Book Store Owner): Archie is kind of like the beginning point for the majority of people who've read comics. It's kind of like your rite of passage - you know, as you're introduced into the world of reading and the world of comics and entertainment, you find out about Archie and all of his classmates and how much their normal lives reflect the same thing that happens to all of us.

GREGORY: We here at MORNING EDITION are following the Archie saga closely and would like to present our interpretation of this momentous occasion. The NPR Players bring you Archie Pops the Question.

(Soundbite of music)

GREGORY: It's five years in the future and Archie and Veronica are in the big city, walking past Spiffany's.

(Soundbite of the song, "Sugar, Sugar")

THE ARCHIES (Music Group): (Singing) Everything's Archie. Sugar, ah honey honey...

Unidentified Woman #1: (as Veronica) Oh well, Archie, you know I can't stand that song. You've been singing that for decades. Now, will you ever change your tune?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Unidentified Man #1: (as Archie) Hey Veronica, let's go in. I need your help picking out something for my, uh, mom.

Unidentified Man #2: (as character) Well, Hello. Welcome to Spiffany's.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Unidentified Man #1: (as Archie) Actually, Veronica, I'm here to get something for you.

(Soundbite of song, "A Summer Place")

Unidentified Woman #1: (as Veronica) Oh my, what a beautiful diamond ring.

Unidentified Man #1: (as Archie) Veronica, we've known each other for more than 65 years, and by the way, you don't look a day over 16.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Unidentified Man #1: (as Archie) And I think I'm ready to...

Unidentified Woman #1: (as Veronica) What are you trying to say, Archie?

Unidentified Man #1: (as Archie) Veronica, will you...

Unidentified Woman #1: (as Veronica) Marry me? Uh-huh.

(Soundbite of "Wedding March")

GREGORY: Just at that moment, Betty walks by and sees Archie down on one knee.

Unidentified Woman #2: (as Betty) Oh Archie, no.

GREGORY: What will Betty do? What will Veronica say? Will Archie really go through with it? Stay tuned.

(Soundbite of music)

GREGORY: Well, Betty did what any modern girl would do. She went home and blogged about it, weeks ago, and her friends went mad.

Editor Victor Gorelick said fans have reacted strongly.

Mr. GORELICK: Everybody wanted it to be Betty. I mean I think they want to read and see what's going to happen. It's a long story.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. GORELICK: That's all I can tell you.

GREGORY: And just as the love triangle is a literary device, as all the storytelling itself, so too is the plot twist. And comic book seller Joe Ferrara doesn't think this is how it will all end.

Mr. FERRARA: If I owned the company and I know what's made it work for so long, I'm not going to change it so dramatically, you kill the golden goose that has been producing the success they've had for so many years.

GREGORY: You can go to NPR.org and see pictures of what comes next in this tale of love and betrayal.

Nina Gregory, NPR News.

(Soundbite of song, "Sugar, Sugar")

The ARCHIES: (Singing) Oh-oh-oh-oh, sugar, ah honey honey. Honey, honey. Pour a little sugar on it baby.

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