After Cole and Dylan Sprouse left the Disney Channel behind to finish school and attend university, some audience members thought that might have been the last they’d see of them in front of the camera. At least one of the talented siblings is returning to the small screen as Jughead in the CW’s adaptation of “Archie” comic books, “Riverdale.” Sprouse, who appeared at the Television Critics Association press tour this month, revealed that he has been fighting for his character to have one of the more recent comic book storylines - the reveal of his asexuality.

Jughead on the page

In February of 2016, the comic books, which had been very busy finding ways to make the long running “Archie” series (and its spin-offs) fresh for readers, released the comic that revealed Jughead identified himself as asexual, meaning he isn’t attracted to men or women, for the purposes of the comic.

Before the reveal, the character was frequently used as comic relief in a relatively tame series about high schoolers in a small town. As the comics have grown over the last decade, though, the “Archie” universe has grown to have alternate timelines, zombie stories, and modern-day antics instead of the stale strips from seven decades earlier. One of the franchise’s staple characters identifying as asexual was a huge step in representation for the comic industry in general.

After all, comic books aren’t all superhero stories.

Jughead on the screen

Cole Sprouse, when he was announced for the role of Jughead at the same time that the comic book reveal occurred, did plenty of research into sexuality and just what being asexual would mean for Jughead. As he explained to Hollywood Life at the TCA press tour, he has been “fighting… pretty heavily” for Jughead to be represented the same way on the show.

While we know that Jughead will still have his healthy appreciation for burgers from the comics, Sprouse also confirmed that there will be romances with young women in store for the character as well, despite his wish for “the forms of representation that are otherwise lacking in our public media.” (Fans might want to remember that even though Sprouse might be fighting for Jughead’s sexuality, he’s not in charge of the scripts.)

The actor does not think the romances coming up preclude Jughead from realizing his sexuality at a later date, though.

He went on to explain during his interview that, “Asexuality is not one of those things in my research that is so understood at face value and I think maybe the development of that narrative could also be something very interesting and very unique and still resonate with people, and not step on anyone’s toes. I think sexuality especially is one of those fluid things where often times we find who we are through certain things that happen in our lives.”

One thing in Sprouse’s favor when it comes to his hopes for Jughead? The same creative team that is bringing the series to the screen has been behind the creative developments in the comics as well.

Coming up in ‘Riverdale’

Sprouse was given the chance to preview what audience members can expect from his character when “Riverdale” joins the CW lineup on January 26, and he’s described his character as a little “film noir.” Sarcastic and not afraid of standing out, Jughead is an aspiring writer who finds his previous friendship with Archie (KJ Apa) strained when the show opens.