PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Mr. Sulu in Riverdale? Oh my!
Actor and equal rights advocate George Takei, whose portrayal of the Star Trek character in television and film has made him a science fiction legend, is crossing a new frontier this week by appearing as himself in issue No. 6 of Archie Comics' "Kevin Keller," a series about Riverdale's only gay teenager.
Takei, who is also gay, said his appearance in the issue that is released Wednesday dovetails nicely with his real-life advocacy for equal rights because it helps bring home his message that anyone can aspire to be what they want to be no matter who they are.
"With Archie Comics, it's a fun way and a natural way and an ideal way of advocating happily," Takei said.
Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics' co-chief executive officer, said writer and artist Dan Parent "met George at a convention and asked him if he'd be interested in appearing in the Kevin Keller comic, and being a huge Star Trek fan I flipped when he agreed. Sulu was always my favorite character so I said do whatever it takes to get him in the comic."
Takei, who is signing copies of the comic Wednesday at Midtown Comics in New York, was quick to say yes.
"I remember as a preteen and a teenager, I used to read Archie Comics," said Takei, 75, who grew up in California. "I was so flattered."