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EXCLUSIVE: A Classic Archie Character Returns in The Archies #2

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comic News Comment
EXCLUSIVE: A Classic Archie Character Returns in The Archies #2

Li’l Jinx is a familiar name to old-school Archie Comics fans, and the character is back in November’s The Archies #2 — except she’s grown up, and now a rock star fronting her own band.

The Archies ongoing series launched earlier this month as part of Archie Comics’ continued modernization of its classic concepts, this time taking the garage band formed by Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead and Reggie and looking at their journey in a (slightly) more realistic context. Real-life bands have already been confirmed to appear — Chvrches in December’s issue #3, The Monkees in issue #4, with more to come — but #2 sees the debut of the Jinx and the Little Miss Steps, described as a “Le Tigre meets Helium” act consisting of Jinx and classic Li’l Jinx supporting characters Charley Hawse, Greg, Gigi, Roz and Mort.

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The classic Li’l Jinx is a young, mischievous girl created by Joe Edwards in 1947. She starred in her own series — published by Archie Comics but separate from the adventures of the Riverdale gang — in both the ’50s and the ’70s, and is likely most recognizable to today’s fans from reprints of her comics in the Archie digests. In 2012, Archie published new stories featuring the character as a teen, and this latest reinvention gives her not only a full-fledged musical career, but integrates her directly with the iconic Archie cast.

With The Archies #2 on sale early next month, CBR talked with newly announced Archie Comics Co-President Alex Segura, the co-writer of the series alongside Matthew Rosenberg, and artist Joe Eisma about updating Li’l Jinx, other musical eras the series may explore, the importance of humor and whether Veronica might be a secret metalhead.

The Archies meet Jinx in The Archies #2. Art by Joe Eisma and Matt Herms.

CBR: Alex, Joe, let’s talk about the reintroduction here of Li’l Jinx — well, actually just Jinx, as I think she’s older than the Archies. What can you say about the decision to bring the character into this series — and making her, and her supporting cast (Charley Hawse!), part of a Le Tigre-meets-Helium band?

Alex Segura: From a logistical standpoint, we knew going in that we weren’t going to have a guest band until #3, so it was a question of, “How do we make this issue meaningful to fans?” I think one of the coolest part of Mark Waid’s Archie run, and the “new” Archie books in general has been how they update and tweak pre-existing characters. We want The Archies to not only be a celebration of the core five and their interactions with real bands, but also a way to showcase the vast library of characters Archie has — like Bingo, Sam and the Bingos, and now, Jinx and the Little Miss Steps. It just seemed like a cool opportunity to reintroduce readers to a character that’s been a big part of Archie’s publishing history in a cool and memorable way.

Going back to Jinx for a second, though, I loved the idea of making her this powerful, energetic and no-BS Kathleen Hanna type — it just clicked in my brain when we were trying to figure out how to bring her into the new Archie world. It’s my favorite part of the issue.

Joe, what went into redesigning Jinx as a rock and roll frontwoman?

Joe Eisma: This is a pretty radical reinterpretation of her, and based on Alex and Matt’s description of her in the script, I saw her in the Shirley Manson and Siouxsie Sioux school of rock and roll frontwomen. She’s confident, she’s tough and she could probably mop the floor with the Archies.

Jinx and the Little Miss Steps in action. Art by Joe Eisma and Matt Herms.

In a short amount of time, we’ve now seen That Wilkin Boy and Li’l Jinx reintroduced via The Archies — are there more classic Archie Comics concepts that could find a home in this series?

Segura: Totally. I have a running list, and I know we’re building toward a pretty significant moment for the Archies that involves a major element of Archie history.

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