Most people view the Archie Comics Universe as a safe, sanitized world where things like murder, teen sex and bad hygiene just don't happen, and for the most part that's true, except for the sex part. They've kind of half-gone there.

Scan from Stupid Comics

The closest an Archie comic has ever come to this hottest of buttons was in a Betty and Me issue where Archie's car fell into a lake while he was out driving Betty around. They got soaked, and had to take refuge in a motel. Betty's dad found out they were in a rented room without their clothes on and flew over in a paternal rage. The comic never stated exactly what he was mad about, only that it had to do with teenagers in a motel room. Kids were free to draw their own conclusions.

This wasn't the last time either.

From To Riverdale and Back Again: The TV-Movie Adaption. I'll be getting to this one eventually, rest assured.

It's extremely rare, and usually bars the story it happens in from appearing in any digest reprints, but there have been times when the characters have almost mentioned sex....but never actually used the terminology directly. They've implied it. But they've never explicity said the word "sex."

Except for That Wilkin Boy #21, January 1973, where they said it about fifty times.

That Wilkin Boy was introduced by Archie Comics as a reboot of sorts to Wilbur, a 1950's Archie knockoff the company itself printed. Wilbur Wilkin's name was changed to "Bingo," but aside from their sharing similar surnames, they have nothing in common.

This was a good thing, because as a mere xerox, Wilbur wasn't worth reviving. The new-and-improved Bingo Wilkin loves his next-door neighbor, Samantha Smythe. Samantha's dad is this intimidating muscular guy named "Samson" who hates Bingo, Bingo's dad, and most other things. There is also a Snoopy-type dog named "Rebel" involved in all this.

Anyway, if Samson is freaked out by scandalous terms like "this is how the baby is born," wait'll he hears the actual word. Wait for it...

And there's the S-bomb. So.....Samantha didn't know how babies were born until this minute?

If this is really Samson, I believe it.

The middle panel is my favorite in the whole story. Pure unintentional comedy.

When That Wilkin Boy first began, Norman Lear sitcoms like All in the Family had just become popular, and TV was discussing controversial subjects for the first time in network history. Never ones to back down from knee-jerk reactions to a trend, Archie intended Wilkin Boy to break the same barriers -- at least initially. But this was as far as that got.

They didn't apply a light touch with the All in the Family influence -- Samson Smythe, here, is an exact copy of Archie Bunker. He never uses the word "meathead" but Carrol O'Connor could have read all these lines in character. Later on Smythe would lose all trace of Bunker-ness once the show dipped in the trend-o-meter and they forgot they were copying it.

How was Samantha born? Her dad couldn't possibly be this guy.

Samson isn't going to find sympathy here either. Because, you see....something happened in this guy's past due to his lack of education regarding sex. He seems to laugh about it now, but...hmm. I wonder what sordid past he's keeping secret?

Wait, this whole class is about animal sex? This is what he's up in arms over?

Now you see the loophole Archie was operating under. They kept the first eight pages vague enough to give the impression the class was all about abstinence and contraception and STDs, but in Comics Code reality they were studying chickens. They weren't learning how to take care of themselves at all! Isn't that a relief?

Scans from the abandoned "Eep! Omigosh!"

One little fish will have 300 babies at once? Such scandalous talk! I can't believe Archie got away with this one!

Even still, was it groundbreaking for its time period? was 1973. At the same time Archie was timidly dipping its toe into edginess, other companies were killing their Gwen Stacies and giving their Harry Osborns drug addictions. By contrast Archie wouldn't tackle the issue of drugs until well into the 80's, when everybody was doing it.

But now that we know the class was about animal reproduction....then let's think back to page 8. Why was the "dirty old man" regretting he'd never had this kind of class? What kind of past must he.....what did he........he........