Comics – Betty & Veronica: Vixens, No. 2

Betty-and-Veronica-Vixens-2.jpgWriter: Jamie Lee Rotante
Art: Eva Cabrera
Colors: Elaina Unger
Letters: Rachel Deering
Original Publication: Betty & Veronica: Vixens, No. 2
Cover Date: February, 2018
On-Sale Date: December 20, 2017
Length: 20 pages

I’m sorry that this is late.

Before the story, there’s a recap of the first issue on the credits page.

The Vixens ride to Motor Motel (such a creative name) to get a room for the night. Veronica explains to Ethel that they have to stay here, because they’re “on the lam”. Toni adds they’re outlaws. *sigh* Toni Topaz. I’m pretty sure that they added her solely because she’s on Riverdale, but, prior to that, she was the blandest Archie Comics character ever created. She’d been designed by committee and started appearing in the comics in late 2011, her gimmick being she can go toe-to-toe with Jughead when it comes to eating, but that was also Kevin’s gimmick, so there was actually nothing unique about Toni. Searching Grand Comics Database, I can find only one actual story where she played a significant role. Since then, she’s made token cameo appearances in stories (where she does little, if anything) or, more likely, undeserved cover appearances. I cannot overstate her uselessness. Anyway, let’s get back to the story.

Betty explains to Ethel that they don’t want the Serpents following them back into town. Toni adds the cops. Veronica believes her father won’t believe the charge on her credit card and will report it stolen, destroying the paper trail. I’m not sure about that.

The motel is being robbed, so the girls charge in. Toni tackles the robber to the ground. A woman wants the desk clerk, Harry, to call the cops, but Toni says no. Ethel says they’re safe, and Betty returns the money to Harry. Toni pulls the robber to his feet. Veronica tells Harry to give them any room, and they’ll take care of the robber. She tells him to book it under “Fifi Leroy”. Leroy is the name of Veronica’s younger cousin that sometimes pops up. Fifi is a name that’s sometimes used for Veronica’s pet (whenever she has one). Harry hands Veronica the key, and she promises him no more trouble. That’s when Evelyn (more on her later) clobbers the robber with a wrench, leaving Veronica embarrassed. Veronica tells the girls that it’s time to make some plans.

It turns out that this was in the present time, and now we get a flashback to two weeks earlier. Betty and Veronica go to Ambrose’s Mechanics. Ambrose says they’re closed. (He’s a character from the Little Archie comics.) Betty says they’re here to see Bubbles, a heavyset woman. I’m not sure who she is, but there was a z-list character named Bubbles McBounce (a.k.a. Bubbles McBride) in the comics, so this might be her. They go into the kitchen or break room, and Bubbles gives them sodas in glass bottles…with straws. Anyway, after a lot of talking (we learn Veronica is proficient in “Muay-Thai” (there’s actually no hyphen in it), Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu, and capoeira) and Bubbles making fun of them, Bubbles refuses to join their gang but gives them some recruiting tips.

Using these tips, Veroica and Betty recruit:

*Toni (who’s in their Chem class), who they witness kicking some guy on the street after he comes on to her. Of note, Toni’s wearing headphones, a clue that this story occurs in more modern times.

*Midge, despite the facts that she can’t keep secrets, and Moose hasn’t taught her any moves (there’s a funny bit where Midge misunderstands what Betty means by that). She wants to be in charge of her own defense (instead of Moose showing up constantly); she ditches Moose on the football field and goes off with the girls.

*Ethel, who’s trying to have a romantic meal with Jughead at Pop’s, but he’s oblivious to her feelings. The girls are interested in her for her (supposed) built-up rage. Veronica can’t stand that Ethel can’t take a hint, but Ethel is Midge’s friend. Betty tries to delicately bring up the subject of the gang, but Toni just blurts it out, because she wants to get to punching people in the face. Ethel is excited and agrees to join, because her mom had suggested she join some extra-curricular activities. Ha.

At Veronica’s, they get dressed up in their new biker clothes. Ethel asks about their name, but Betty admits they haven’t really thought about it. Ethel “votes” to make them back patches once they get a name (shouldn’t she “volunteer” instead?). She brings up the fact that Evelyn Evernever is back in town. She was a shy girl in the Little Archie comics. Ethel offers to come up with schedules and make cupcakes. Toni tells her to shut up, but Midge won’t have it and mentions she heard Evelyn’s family left her. Veronica puts an end to the gossip and discovers none of the others knows how to ride a motorcycle.

The next morning, at Riverdale High School, Evelyn shows up at Veronica’s locker, startling her. She wants in the gang. Veronica isn’t sure, but Evelyn stares her down. Veronica agrees and tells her to meet them at Veronica’s place tonight at 5. Evelyn is a girl with short blonde hair, a scar across her right cheek, and a tattoo on her right arm.

That night (I guess), Veronica searches for motorcycles online and buys some. This firmly places this series in the present day, so all of these retro fashions are completely out of place.

Anyway, Betty takes the bikes to Ambrose’s shop for repairs. Toni and Midge practice boxing at Box-Gym (such a creative name). Ethel sews the Vixens patches on the back of their jackets during motherfucking Home Ec class (brilliant). Evelyn makes brass knuckles in Metal Shop or whatever (despite the fact that Betty is the one to hand them out “later“). These girls aren’t exactly being inconspicuous about this. Didn’t Mr. Weatherbee threaten expulsion in the previous issue?

At Ambrose’s shop, Bubbles tries to give the ladies basic instructions, but they (or at least Midge and Toni) suck ass.

At Spotty’s, Fangs has a map of Riverdale on the pool table. We learn his dad was in the gang as well. Stupidly, “assholes” is censored, even though “ass” (by itself) isn’t. “Shit” is also censored. Penny wants to find Betty, but Fangs tells her to get him a drink. Fangs wants to strike at 11:01, right after the town curfew. A fellow Serpent, Stitch, has picked “the perfect spot” for something. Fangs says it’ll be “the real deal” this time; he wants blood.

In the girls’ locker room, Betty is having second thoughts after yesterday’s lessons and thinks the other girls don’t get it: Toni’s all about violence, Ethel thinks it’s a sorority, and fucked if she knows Evelyn’s deal. Betty just wants to protect their town. Veronica just wants to protect all of the girls and lowers Betty’s expectations from being “Riverdale’s superhero”. Betty’s on board. During all of this, a shadowy figure is in the locker room, listening in. Oh, and “bitches” is censored. Seriously? In a Teen title? You can hear that on Riverdale. Anyway, Betty and Veronica are about to exit onto the football field and go to browse riding classes online, but Bubbles runs up and reveals the Serpents hit Ambrose’s shop, ransacked everything, stole all of their money, beat Ambrose up (he’s in the hospital), and stole Bubbles’ bike. She tells the girls that they have to do something. Veronica realizes they have to go after the Serpents sooner rather than later, whether they’re ready or not.

This was another good issue! I’m looking forward to the next one. After the story is a one-page cover gallery for this issue, another Riverdale Gazette article (dated December of 2017; this one makes parents aware of warning signs of gang activity in their kids), and the cover of issue #3.

So do we wanna talk about how Betty can be in a biker gang in this series while simultaneously being paralyzed after a car accident in Archie while simultaneously being on tour in The Archies? No? Okay.

Tune in next Wednesday!

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Author: markmooreauthor

I love watching anime and superhero movies, and I love playing video games. I also write fan fiction and original fiction.

5 thoughts on “Comics – Betty & Veronica: Vixens, No. 2”

  1. Toni Topaz (a creation of writer Tom DeFalco for JUGHEAD DOUBLE DIGEST #176) also played a small but significant role in “Speed Dating” from ARCHIE #654. I fail to understand why people feel it necessary to carry on with protesting against the character. Anyone who had read “The Christmas Challenge!” in JDD 176 would realize that the character is just ripe with potential. It’s hardly Tom DeFalco’s fault that the company hasn’t chosen to exploit that potential by commissioning more stories about her by him.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Actually, when I think about it, Toni Topaz is just the unfortunate victim of bad timing. There was a point in the 2010s when a lot of new characters were being introduced, even as various titles were succumbing to cancellation. Ultimately the overall shrinking page count for new stories just hobbled characters like Toni and the whole group of New Kids at RHS.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good summary/review. As for the Betty question – even Archie Comics knows it was a dumb, jump-the-shark move and ignores it in all their other comics lol

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Speaking of criminals, I remember reading that Lil Archie had a whole lot of story stories with Lil Archie meeting criminals!

    I never even heard of Toni Topaz.

    Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Betty is her sweet, loveable old self in the new stories appearing in the digest titles; but she’s a biker in VIXENS, she’s a paraplegic in ARCHIE, a werewolf-hunter in JUGHEAD: THE HUNGER, dead in AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE, a witch in CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA, and an insufferable poster girl for political correctness in the New Riverdale JUGHEAD. Needless to say, they’re all separate stories taking place in their own respective parallel timelines within the “Archie Multiverse”.

    Even in the classic stories — unless you see a footnote, there’s never any guarantee of continuity with previous stories. For example, the most recent B&V FRIENDS digest reprinted two different stories focusing on libraries, and (judging by the art styles, the stories were not separated by too many years’ time) in one of the stories, Veronica goes all-out in a campaign to help save the local library branch from being closed down due to lack of funding. In the story reprinted immediately following that, Veronica couldn’t care LESS about the library, and is mystified by what possible attraction it holds for Betty.

    Liked by 1 person

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