I wonder. I feel like they probably didn't get past the discussion phase. Butttt one thing kinda throws a wrench into the situation. Ray's blue shoes. The 1st instance of that was in the Archie series, but Ray had some initial appearances in the comic with his original red shoes. Eventually Ray's blue shoes became a part of his character, and even found their way into Mania. I'm all for the blue shoes because there are enough red sneakers in the series but still, what an oddly specific change, and it's not like Archie ever significantly altered the established character designs (save for green jesus Knuckles but that's it's own mess). Maybe Archie received some Ray art we've never seen?