Comics – Beach Party Blossom

World-of-Archie-Digest-69
Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inks: Bob Smith
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: World of Archie Comics Double Digest, No. 69
On-Sale Date: June 7, 2017
Length: 5

The gang’s at the beach, kicking off the summer with a beach party. It was Veronica’s idea. Everyone’s having a great time. Then Cheryl and Jason show up, and one of them (it’s unclear who) insults the party, which angers Veronica.

Jason shows up in gold trunks, and Cheryl shows up in a gold jacket and white shoes. Hmmmm, she’s smart enough to not burn her feet. Anyway, they weren’t invited to the beach party, so they’re crashing it. Veronica says this is a private party. Cheryl says Veronica doesn’t own the beach. Veronica holds up her cell phone and, without showing Cheryl the screen, claims she has a permit from “the Riverdale Beach Department” to hold this private party here today. If I was Cheryl, I’d call Ronnie out on her bullshit – or, y’know, ask Betty if they could stay. She doesn’t do either, though. She and Jason leave. Jason’s ready to leave the beach to the “commoners” and have fun on their boat, but this gives Cheryl a “delicious” idea.

Later, the gang’s having fun in the water. Betty regrets they couldn’t let the Blossoms stay. Veronica is surprised at this remark, although she shouldn’t be. Betty and Veronica get knocked off their floaties when Jason drives the boat by. Cheryl and Jason wave at them.

Veronica makes a fist and repeats her “private party” claim. Cheryl claims to be in “international waters”. Veronica points out that they’re twenty feet from shore. Betty suggests ignoring them and says they still have their friends. Cheryl takes off her jacket, revealing a red bikini (they really should have seen this coming). Archie and Reggie get boners. Chuck takes an interest in their “totally smokin’ boat” (sure). Kevin’s bored. Betty’s upset that the guys are ditching them for the Blossoms but then gets an idea to salvage their beach party.

She climbs onto the boat. Jason welcome her to the “big Blossom bash” (note: there’s no sign of any of the guys that have supposedly abandoned the girls). Betty gets Jason to talk up the boat, which he claims is “the fastest boat in Riverdale”. Betty claims two random guys in a much smaller boat were talking shit about the Blossoms’ boat and claiming theirs is faster. Jason is doubtful but decides to gun it, knocking Cheryl, who’s on deck, into the water. As Cheryl comes to shore, pissed, Veronica has a laugh at her expense, and Kevin’s got this look on his face that basically says “These stupid motherfuckers…”

So Betty’s plan was to knock Cheryl into the water, possibly endangering her life, just because the guys left Betty for Cheryl? Some friend. Well, I guess now Betty’s got all of the het guys, and Veronica’s stuck on shore with her gay friend and Cheryl.

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Comics – Hot Stuff

AGBV-328.jpg
Writer: Frank Doyle*
Pencils: Dan DeCarlo*
Inks: Dan DeCarlo*
Colors: Barry Grossman*
Letters: Bill Yoshida*
Original Publication: Archie’s Girls Betty and Veronica, No. 328
Cover Date: February, 1984
Length: 5 pages

*I don’t have the original issue and am reviewing this story from the digital version of Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 1 (1995). I don’t know if anything was censored or otherwise altered for this reprint. The story might originally be uncredited. The credits come from Grand Comics Database and may or may not be accurate.

Prior to this story, earlier in the issue, there’s a fashion page titled “Wild West Fashions”, where Betty, Veronica, Midge, Nancy, and Cheryl model fashion designs submitted by readers.

In the winter, while it’s snowing, Veronica and Betty walk by Cheryl, who’s getting romantic with a boy. They talk about her supposedly constant displays of heterosexuality, and Betty comments about how Cheryl’s “supposed to be some hot stuff”. Veronica laughs it off, and Betty agrees. Then Cheryl kisses the guy, and the snow melts around them.

This makes Veronica and Betty feel like failures, and they part ways, each going home to sulk.

Veronica passes by Archie. He asks her what’s wrong. Veronica tries the snow-melting thing with Archie, but it doesn’t work. Archie calls her “hot stuff”, but she’s more convinced than ever that she’s “a colossal failure as a woman” and storms off.

Archie walks off, confused. He sees Betty and decides to ask her about Ronnie’s behavior, but she kisses him before he has the chance. Since no snow melts, she drops him on his ass in the snow and storms off, declaring herself to be “a total washout”. Archie stands up, confused but pleased. He thinks it’s all about him, of course.

Archie comes across Cheryl and decides it’s time to “make some points” with her. Archie comes on to her. Cheryl thinks all boys are great, and she always feels like kissing. Taking Archie by the arm, her one reservation for him before they proceed is for them to stay away from the heat vent outside the bakery, because it almost melted her shoes a while ago. Ha.

This story is pretty cute. While Veronica and Betty will be sulking at home, probably drinking hot cocoa, Cheryl will be getting busy with Archie.

This story was reprinted as a flashback within the “Seymore No More!” story in Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 1, in 1995.

Comics – Graduation

Betty-and-Veronica-5.jpgWriter: Jamie Lee Rotante
Line Art: Sandra Lanz
Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Betty & Veronica, Vol. 4, No. 5
Cover Date: July, 2019
On-Sale Date: May 8, 2019
Length: 20 pages

Before I get into the story, I need to mention it’s untitled in the issue itself. I’m using the title given in the blurb at the end of the previous issue.

Before the story, there’s a recap of the previous issue on the credits page. It also lays out the plot of this issue: it’s up to Betty and Veronica (for some reason) to fix their friends’ relationships before graduation. Why?

The issue begins with the graduation ceremony. Mr. Weatherbee addresses the Class of 2019 (which immediately dates the issue). He introduces the valedictorian, Elizabeth Cooper. Betty’s the valedictorian? I would have thought Dilton would be. Ms. Overachiever has had so much shit going on during senior year; how’d she ever manage to keep her grades up?

People cheer and clap for Betty as she takes the stage. She and Mr. Weatherbee shake hands. She thanks him. He congratulates her. This ceremony is happening in the morning. Betty addresses the graduating class. After previously thinking of the girl-next-door label as an insult, she’s come to embrace it. Oh, Dilton’s wearing a medal. I guess he’s the salutatorian.

Anyway, Betty continues talking about Riverdale High and its students being welcoming to everybody and helping each other out.

It flashes back to prom night (Betty’s speech will occasionally show up as captions in these flashbacks). Veronica and Betty go around the room. Veronica helps out Midge and Ethel. Betty helps out Moose. Cheryl talks about the prom sign and again blames Reggie. It turns out that she didn’t want to talk with Betty about anything in particular but then fishes for a compliment on her “gorg” dress. That’s pretty funny. Anyway, Betty and Veronica give each other five, and now Veronica wants to discuss “the whole college thing”. Wow, they fixed all of their friends’ problems in one page. Amazing. But, um, that was the promised plot of this issue, and we still have 16 pages to go.

On the last week of classes, Archie’s reading Jughead’s article in the school paper and takes issue with his use of that photo. Jughead says it’s about Betty and Veronica saving him, not about him. That makes it okay. We learn Jughead’s planning on studying journalism in college, so this was practice. Veronica asks Archie where he’s going and if he’s still undecided. Archie made quarterback this year (and didn’t mention it to her, I guess). A scout from Pickens saw him play and offered him a football scholarship. He’s conflicted, though, because he’d really like to pursue music. Veronica suggests doing both. Archie hadn’t considered that but guesses he could do that. Betty sees a flier on the bulletin board for Spellman University.

Betty flashes back earlier. One week before prom, Betty went to Spellman University, wearing a fancy suit and armed with a folder containing her grades. The chancellor or whoever is impressed but wants to know what Betty will bring to their community and why they should accept her over their other applicants. Apparently, all of those extracurriculars and volunteer work that Betty did aren’t worth shit here. Betty realizes this and also realizes she forgot about herself somewhere along the way.

Betty believes she couldn’t do anything for Spellman and wouldn’t fit in. Ms. Prescott tries to remind Betty of the importance of even being offered the opportunity to attend Spellman. Betty abruptly stands up, thanks her, withdraws herself from consideration, and walks out of Ms. Prescott’s office, surprising her. Betty seems happy. Outside the office, Betty sees a flier for something called World Reach on the bulletin board.

We’re back to the scene right before Betty’s flashback. Veronica brings up senior skip day. She’s had her father restrict access to Pickens Park (because I guess he can just do that), so they can use it. Betty takes out her phone and, distracted, says she’ll catch up with them in a bit.

At Riverdale Elementary School, Toni’s doing her STEM program, despite the fact that Dilton had said it was for middle schoolers. Mr. Weatherbee comes in. He mentions he used to work here before he became high school principal. He’s impressed with her work, but she’s humble. She mentions “Lodge Industries”, even though it’s been called Lodge Enterprises in this series. (The classic comics alternated between the two names.) The three of them will be attending a scholarship ceremony tonight. During this scene, there’s a cute background gag of a kid that looks like a little Archie messing shit up.

That night, at the community center, during a speech, Veronica names the new head of funding for Lodge Industries: Hal Cooper. Hal thanks Hiram, but Hiram says it was Veronica’s idea. Hiram misses Betty’s absence and hears she’s helping out a friend with a sick family member. Veronica wishes she could be more like Betty. Outside the center, Veronica says she’s about to be going away to college with no idea what she wants to do in her life. Hiram suggests asking herself what’s most important to her.

At Reggie’s house, he tells “Nana” (who’s unseen) to get some rest. Betty apologizes to Reggie for not being a good friend. Reggie takes the blame. They go outside. Betty admits they should have just talked about it. Betty tells Reggie something that she hasn’t told anyone: she’s been offered the opportunity to do volunteer work in Peru, and she thinks she’s gonna do it. Reggie thinks it’s for the summer, but it’s for the year.

Reggie asks about college. Betty says it’ll still be there when she gets back, but this is something that she needs to do right now (because cliche of Betty being a ceaseless do-gooder). Reggie calls her amazing. Betty asks about him. Reggie felt powerless while watching his grandma suffer, so he’s thinking of enrolling in some nursing classes at Riverdale Community College in the fall. Betty playfully punches him and says he’s not so bad. Reggie says he’ll miss her and seems to think there’s no chance of them getting back together. Betty thinks she needs this time to really focus on herself, but she offers to get back together with him for the summer – and maybe not in secret this time. As they move to join hands, Jughead rides by on his bike and says the camera’s at home, which causes Betty and Reggie to laugh.

On senior skip day, everyone’s hanging out in Pickens Park. Veronica observes the non-couples (Moose/Midge) and couples (Reggie/Betty). Midge is leaving for college in California this fall. Veronica literally says “#Beggie”.

Meanwhile, some assholes from Central High sneak beer into a cooler and then call the cops to get back at the “Riverdale idiots” for taking over the park on Central High’s skip day. Archie and Reggie have an awkward encounter, but Reggie notices Archie’s frisbee and asks Archie if he and Betty can join him. That eases the situation.

Unfortunately, the popo arrive at that moment. Despite Veronica’s protests of innocence, a cop finds two six-packs of beer in the cooler, and another one is unrealistically aware that Moose no longer attends Riverdale High.

He also mentions Reggie has priors. He calls for Moose and Reggie to be arrested while they question the others here. Betty’s pissed. Archie says they’re innocent. The officers don’t listen and handcuff Moose and Reggie. Archie says they’re gonna have to arrest all of them, too. Betty, Veronica, Jughead, Ethel, Cheryl, Dilton, Midge, and Toni stand behind him in solidarity.

The cops arrest all of them and throw them in jail. Hiram, Hal, and Mr. Weatherbee arrive, having sorted this out. This won’t be on any of their records. The Central High kids were caught a few blocks over. Mr. Weatherbee’s like “Best senior skip day ever!” Betty thanks her dad for helping sort this out. She tells him that she’s not going to Pickens. They sit down to talk. She know what she’s “meant to do”, hugs him, and thanks him for everything.

Back in the present, Betty finally wraps up her speech with an excited “We did it!”

Everyone cheers as they take off their caps and throw them in the air. Well, everyone except Veronica. I don’t know what the fuck she’s doing with her weird, shoulder-level hand gesture.

Veronica and Betty talk about what they’ll be doing. Betty will be building houses in disadvantaged areas. Veronica will be studying psychology, seemingly instead of (or perhaps in addition to) fashion, at Hitchens. She credits Betty for her newfound like of helping people. Veronica booked a flight to Lima once the fall semester is over and basically gets Betty to be her tour guide.

A few days later, Veronica and Betty are lying on a picnic blanket, like last summer. Veronica says “I can’t believe it’s already the first day of summer.” I hope she’s not being literal, because, if so, how late was the graduation ceremony held? Anyway, Betty says “And, damn, is it going to be a good one.” Veronica offers her pinky and asks “Best friends forever?” Betty links her pinky with Veronica’s and says “Best friends forever.”

There’s an ad for the collected edition (called Betty & Veronica: Senior Year), on sale on September 18th, 2019. That’s followed by a cover gallery for this issue and an ad for the trade paperbacks of Betty & Veronica: Vixens.

This is another good issue and a nice end to the series. I just wish they didn’t go all stereotypically do-gooder with Betty. Even if they did, there’s no reason for her to go to Peru; there’s plenty of good that needs doing right here in Riverdale, because there’s need everywhere.

As far as it being a send-off for the characters, it was okay. But it’s made immediately irrelevant by the fact that the Archie title is still going, and the gang’s still in high school. That’s the thing about Archie Comics: despite various alternate universes or continuities, they’re always gonna be in high school.

That leads me to bringing up a project that I do every year called Archie Universe Sliding Timeline, where I go day by day and map out the characters’ lives as if they were real teenagers in high school at that point in time. Here’s my latest post, based on the idea that the teens are entering senior year this fall and will graduate in 2020. If you wanna read something really long, check it out.

Comics – Over the Edge

Archie-324.jpg
Writer: ?*
Pencils: ?*
Inks: ?*
Colors: ?*
Letters: ?*
Original Publication: Archie, No. 324
Cover Date: July**, 1983
Length: 6 pages

*I don’t have the original issue and am reviewing this story from the digital version of Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 1 (1995). I don’t know if anything was censored or otherwise altered for this reprint. The story might originally be uncredited. Grand Comics Database’s entries for various printings of this story don’t have any credits.

**Grand Comics Database has the following note: “Publication date on the Indicia of Archie 324 shows July, 1983 rather than May.”

Cheryl drives by in her sports car. She stops when she sees Archie and suggests they “wrestle”. He kinda flirts with her. She asks where he’s going. He’s heading downtown to pick up his car at the service station. She offers him a ride.

He accepts. She suggests he forget about picking up his car, because she and her car are at his disposal. He politely declines. She drops him off at Pete’s Service. He gets out of her car, waves, and says he’ll take a rain check. She agrees, waves, and drives off. This is the last that we see of Cheryl in this story.

Veronica just happens to be here and just happens to have overheard. She’s pissed that Archie dared to accept a ride from Cheryl to avoid walking. He nervously explains, but she’s still pissed. Jason arrives in his sports car. Archie tells him to fuck off. Veronica gets into Jason’s car without asking permission and tells him to take her away from here. He agrees.

As they drive, he asks if she’s mad. She is. They talk for a bit and have a misunderstanding over the meaning of the word “poor”. She’s overly dramatic. He flirts with her. A cop gives chase, because Jason…blew through an intersection? Possibly at a red light? I dunno.

Veronica tells him to stop in order to avoid them getting in trouble (um, only he would), but this is fun to him. We get some street names in downtown Riverdale (Wilson, Fourth, Twelfth). Despite Veronica’s yelling, Jason refuses to stop, because one more speeding citation means back to skateboarding for him. Jason ditches the two cop cars by speeding across train tracks right in front of a speeding train. Veronica screams he’s gonna kill them.

Veronica demands he stop the car, saying she wants out. He stops. She gets out and sarcastically thanks him for getting her head back on straight. He does some townie bashing. Archie just happens to drive by and offers her a lift. She starts sobbing. He gets out and hugs her. She tearfully apologizes.

He asks what happened. As they get in his car, she explains. He starts driving and threatens to decapitate Jason. As they see the cops have arrested Jason, Veronica tells Archie to look for a snob on a skateboard, which confuses him.

This story is pretty nice. Jason’s insane. Ronnie’s lucky to be alive.

This story was reprinted as a flashback within the “Coming Distractions” story in Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 1, in 1995.

Comics – Which is Rich

Archie-323.jpg
Writer: Frank Doyle*
Pencils: Dan DeCarlo*
Inks: Jim DeCarlo*
Colors: Barry Grossman*
Letters: Bill Yoshida*
Original Publication: Archie, No. 323
Cover Date: April, 1983
Length: 5 pages

*I don’t have the original issue and am reviewing this story from the digital version of Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 1 (1995). I don’t know if anything was censored or otherwise altered for this reprint. The story might originally be uncredited. The credits come from Grand Comics Database’s entries for reprints in digests and may or may not be accurate.

Before we get to the story, please take note of tiny cowgirl Cheryl on the front cover.

Archie and Veronica are walking along. Cheryl drives by in a gold sports car, comes to a screeching halt, and greets them. Archie is happy to see her, but Veronica isn’t. Archie notes it’s a new car, and Cheryl confirms it. Archie asks why, saying her other one was pretty much new. Cheryl gets out of her car and admits she changed her car to match a new shade of nail polish that she’d decided to try. This pisses Veronica off. Oh, please, like Ronnie wouldn’t do the same thing.

Veronica goes along with Cheryl’s reasoning, though, and it’s only now that Archie realizes what Cheryl did. He really is an idiot. Archie flips his shit, but Cheryl doesn’t care. Veronica then basically challenges Cheryl to a “flimsiest reason that I’ve gotten rid of a car” contest. This lasts one turn each.

Veronica then mentions her father just bought a $60,000 mink coat for his limo and cut it up to cover the floor. Archie feels physically ill. Cheryl accuses Veronica of exaggerating, which she denies.

Cheryl reveals her family is vastly richer than Veronica’s (without stating an amount) and shows off her impressive vocabulary. Veronica is at a loss for words. Betty comes by and asks Archie what’s up. He explains.

Betty thinks it’s silly. Archie agrees. Betty reveals she has $4.96 to her name. Archie is surprised that she has that much. Reasoning Cheryl and Veronica won’t miss them, Betty offers to treat Archie to a hot dog. He accepts. She also gets a drink for herself from somewhere.

So this story is pretty cute. Not a lot to it, but it was enjoyable.

This story was reprinted as a flashback within the “Coming Distractions” story in Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 1, in 1995.

After this story (in the original issue) is a fashion page called “Cheryl Blossom Struts Her Stuff”, where Cheryl models outfits submitted by fans.

Comics – The Fears of a Clown

Archie-and-Friends-98.jpg
Writer: Scott Cunningham
Pencils: Rex Lindsey
Inks: Rich Koslowski
Colors: Barry Grossman
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Archie & Friends, No. 98
Cover Date: April, 2006
Length: 11 pages

Before I get into the story, I need to call out the cover for its desperate attempt to tie this story to the epic Love Showdown storyline.

Archie and Cheryl are walking along a street. Archie says it was nice running into her, and he thanks her for keeping him company while he did errands. Cheryl was glad to do it, because it’s always fun hanging out with him. Archie asks her to have “some more fun” with him on Saturday night. She agrees. Archie is pleased.

He worries when he imagines Veronica and Betty finding out and yelling at him, though. Cheryl picks up on his worry and asks if he’s sure he wants to go out. He says he is and claims he was thinking about where to take her; he wants it to be really special. She asks what he has in mind. He thinks for a moment and then sees a sign for The Bolling Bros. Circus. He suggests that. At that moment, Reggie looks around the corner of the building and sees them.

Cheryl is surprised and uncertain. Archie tries to get her excited, even using “sawdust on the ground” as a selling point. He says they’ll get in touch with their inner child. Cheryl agrees, saying she’s “always had a thing for clowns”. She waves to him as he leaves. He says he’ll see her on Saturday night but makes no plans with her regarding a specific time. Reggie decides to pull a “childish prank”.

On Saturday night, Archie and Cheryl arrive at the circus and go into the tent. Cheryl can’t believe they got seats right up front, saying she feels like a kid. Archie offers to get them some cotton candy. Cheryl is initially disgusted, saying she hasn’t touched that stuff in years – and then readily agrees to it. That’s pretty funny, but I don’t understand Cheryl’s dislike of cotton candy. It’s awesome. Hell, I drink energy drinks that taste like cotton candy.

So Archie goes and gets two things of cotton candy. He’s on his way back to his seat when he passes behind Reggie, Betty, and Veronica, who don’t see him. Reggie’s treating the girls. Veronica suggests turning around and looking for seats up front.

Reggie turns around, suggesting they get some refreshments before they settle down. The girls follow him. In a panic, Archie hands off the cotton candy to two random kids, Zach and Maddie, who are delighted. How do I know their names, you ask? Zach has his name printed on his sweatshirt, and Maddie has her name printed on…her skirt. Okay. She’s also wearing a blossom shirt.

Archie runs out of the tent as he hears Reggie talking about possibly running into someone from school here. Veronica doubts it. Archie hides in a clown’s trailer just as the clown is searching in the closet for his nose. Archie trips and accidentally slams the closet door shut, trapping the clown inside.

Archie finds the red clown nose on the floor. The clown manages to get the closet door unjammed just as the ringmaster barges in, slamming the trailer door against the closet door and re-jamming it shut. Somehow, the ringmaster mistakes Archie for the real clown, Fire Red Fred, and has him get into costume. Archie makes no attempt at correcting him. Okay, no. There’s no way that this would happen in real life. It really shouldn’t even be happening in a comic book. Anyway, an “accident with the cannon” is mentioned as having recently occurred to Fred. Once Archie’s dressed, they leave the trailer and head for the tent. The ringmaster decides to get “Fred” a new fire red wig, because this one (Archie’s actual hair) is looking “ratty”. The crowd is cheering for Fred.

In the ring, the ringmaster makes the introduction. Archie tries to sneak off. The ringmaster tosses juggling sticks at him, and the crowd laughs over the fact that Archie gets hit. The ringmaster sets a juggling stick on fire, since apparently that’s what Fred’s known for juggling.

Archie runs away. The ringmaster gives chase. The crowd yucks it up. Reggie thinks the clown’s voice sounds familiar (*smacks forehead*) and then sees Cheryl alone, seemingly looking for Archie. Archie runs up some steps, thinking they lead out.

He then spots a “tunnel to the top” and climbs in. No, that’s a cannon, you dumbass. Archie is stuck. The ringmaster is eager to fire “Fred” from the cannon. The audience finds this hilarious.

Meanwhile, Fred gets the closet unjammed and rushes to the tent. Hearing laughing, he vows to stop Archie before he’s out of a job. Fred thinks of himself as the “star performer” that will “save the show”, but he’s surprised at the (undeserved) reaction that Archie’s getting from the crowd, which he never got. The ringmaster counts down. Fred cries “Imposter!!” and adjusts the cannon.

Reggie, Veronica, and Betty are enjoying themselves. Reggie is still wondering about the “familiar” voice. Archie is fired directly into the audience and lands in their laps. This causes no injuries.

Cheryl is furious when she sees Archie. Veronica and Betty are pissed that he’s here with Cheryl and tried to hide it. Reggie stupidly spills that he’d overheard Archie’s “inner child” remark (which he’d later used himself on Veronica and Betty). Veronica and Betty put things together. Cheryl tells Veronica and Betty that neither of the guys can be trusted. Veronica and Betty agree. As an angry Archie growls at a scared Reggie, the three girls walk out of the tent. Betty suggests the three of them head to Pop’s. Cheryl agrees, saying they’ve “had enough clowns for one night”.

This is a pretty fun story, but the setup is completely ridiculous.

There’s a page of fan art after this, followed by a Josie and the Pussycats manga story.

Comics – Lord of the Games

Archie-Double-Digest-297.jpgWriter: Francis Bonnet
Pencils: Pat & Tim Kennedy
Inks: Jim Amash
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Archie Comics Double Digest, No. 297
On-Sale Date: March 13, 2019
Length: 5 pages

Veronica is over at Archie’s house, but she’s pissed that he’s playing a Fortnite knockoff with Jughead instead of giving her some loving. Jughead’s being a fucking slob, getting crackers all over the living room floor. Veronica finally screams so hard that Archie falls off the couch.

Veronica yells at Archie about how she’s barely seen him since he got the game. Archie and Jughead say the game’s fucking awesome. Archie’s lost track of time, not realizing it’s been a month since he’s taken Veronica out to dinner. Veronica doesn’t get the appeal of the violent game. Jughead says, as a non-gamer, she couldn’t possibly understand. Veronica decides to try the game and judge for herself. Archie claims he and Jughead are “master-level players” and would kick her ass, but Jughead reveals a ten-year-old kid kicked their asses yesterday. Veronica violently face-palms Archie in the fucking face (Archie’s dog, Vegas, seems to enjoy this) and goes off to show Archie up…somehow. She slams the door shut behind her. Jughead asks Archie if he’s going after her. Archie admits he’s frightened of her.

Veronica goes to a comics comix/gaming store, where a tournament is being held today (why aren’t the guys here?), and intends to buy the game, but she gets confused when the guy behind the counter starts talking about an expansion pack that just released today. Her sole experience with video games was playing a Candy Crush knockoff on her phone. The guy suggests testing the game before buying it and mentions one of the developers is here to help promote it. The developer is an old, white-haired man that looks like he got confused over that newfangled contraption called Pong back in the day. Regardless, Veronica thinks she’s lucky.

She goes over, introduces herself, violates all notions of personal space by randomly pulling on his shirt, and asks him to teach her the game. Taking a wireless controller in his hand, he agrees, which is the opposite of what I would have done. Veronica plays the game and really enjoys it, surprising herself. She wants to hire the developer as her personal coach. She mentions her name and offers a lot of money. The developer makes the connection to Lodge Industries and agrees.

Later, on the same day, Veronica returns to Archie’s house. He asks her if she’s still angry. She’s not and is ready to play. Jughead says they’ll go easy on her. She snatches his controller from him and reverses what he said. A few hours’ worth of practice is enough for Veronica to kick Archie’s ass, which makes Archie sweat. Jughead finds it embarrassing. Archie throws his controller on the floor in frustration (Veronica’s playing with Jughead’s controller, but there’s a hitherto-unseen third controller on the coffee table, so why’d she take Jughead’s?), gives up on the game, and declares his attention is now completely hers. She face-palms his face again, because he’s interrupting her. She says maybe they can talk later. Jughead makes a dumb joke. Archie, pissed, says maybe, in a month, Veronica will pay some attention to him again.

So that’s that. Perfectly mediocre story.