Writer: Jamie Lee Rotante
Art: Eva Cabrera
Colors: Elaina Unger
Letters: Rachel Deering
Original Publication: Betty & Veronica: Vixens, No. 3
Cover Date: March, 2018
On-Sale Date: January 24, 2018
Length: 19 pages
I’m sorry that this is a bit late.
Before the story, there’s a recap of the previous issue on the credits page. Bubbles is confirmed as Bubbles McBounce, a Little Archie character. Ambrose’s last name, Pipps, is also given. Also, having not read much of Little Archie, I’m surprised to learn from Wikipedia that the Southside Serpents originated in Little Archie as a rival gang of kids.
On their way to a biker bar, the Vixens dodge roadkill. Apparently, they’d come across a dead skunk last time. They arrive at The Perilous Pike (a reference to an uncatchable fish that lived in a pond in Little Archie). They go over the plan, which basically amounts to blending in.
Ethel is worried that it’s a bar, because they’re underage. Toni tells “Mugsy” to just order a soda.
They go inside. Midge makes conversation with a random biker about his bike outside (how’d she know it’s his?). Toni orders a drink. Betty, Veronica, and Evelyn sit at a table, and Evelyn carves “Minerva was here” into it. Um,…okay.
The guy sitting next to Toni at the counter has a problem with her and draws a knife, so she punches him in the face hard enough to cause blood to come out of his mouth. The guy that Midge was talking to tries to go after Toni, but Evelyn pulls a knife, stopping him and surprising Midge. Toni rallies the other girls, who all stand up. Evelyn holds up her knife and somehow manages to intimidate this gang of grown-ass men.
It turns out that this was in the present time, and now we get a flashback to one week earlier. Veronica and Betty try to leave River Vixens practice and round the gang up, but Cheryl confronts them about leaving. Veronica and Betty bullshit an excuse. We learn Midge is also a River Vixen. Cheryl grants them leave but lectures them about attendance. I love that this comic is borrowing the River Vixens from Riverdale. Also, Eva Cabrera changed her art style starting with this issue, and it looks a lot better. Everything looks more normal and less artsy, and there’s not a hint of retro. The girls even have a bit of an anime look sometimes. I like it.
While Betty and Veronica are changing in the girls’ locker room, Mr. Weatherbee pages them to his office. He’s upset that they were talking with Bubbles, who has a “reputation”. He lets them off with a warning and tells them to be careful about who they choose to surround themselves with. Betty says they’ll be careful. Oh, Mr. Weatherbee has a photo of his cat on his desk. Cute. 🙂
As Betty and Veronica go to Ambrose’s garage, Betty is upset about how Mr. Weatherbee talked about Bubbles. The place is a mess. Toni’s already there. Bubbles is taking care of Ambrose. Betty irritates Bubbles by asking if she knows any Serpents from her past. Bubbles knows where they camp out. Toni is eager to kick ass. Ambrose doesn’t want the girls to get involved on his account. Toni says they’ll do it on their own account. Bubbles sends Ambrose to the couch to get some more sleep and unrolls a sheet of paper for the girls to look at. Veronica happily says it’s time to get the band back together.
As the girls leave the garage, Betty’s going on about Mr. Weatherbee again. Veronica gets a text from Midge to come to Pickens’ bridge for a “surprise”. Oh, and Veronica’s got a photo of Archie as her cell phone wallpaper.
Veronica’s confused, but the three of them go to the bridge (which grass is growing on top of) and wait around. Betty keeps going on about Mr. Weatherbee. Veronica is concerned for Evelyn, who hasn’t been seen for days, has no phone, has no social media presence, and hasn’t let Veronica know where she lives. Betty suggests asking around, but Toni says everyone’s too afraid to get that close to her. Ethel and Midge arrive on their motorcycles. They’d pooled their money and taken some lessons at the civic center, which teaches “everything”.
Veronica says they need to confront the Serpents soon, which scares Ethel. Toni wants to kick ass, because they’re a motherfucking gang. Veronica admits she’s not wrong and says it’s now or never. Just as Betty brings up Evelyn, they hear something and check it out.
They’re surprised to find Evelyn spray-painting anti-Serpent graffiti on the side of the bridge, next to the tunnel. Evelyn asks her “friends” if they were on the bridge the whole time (honestly, the artwork makes it hard to tell if they were on or near the bridge). Veronica asks how long she was here, but Evelyn gets existential about time. Evelyn asks about her art, and Midge says it’s great but asks if she shouldn’t have done it on the side entering Riverdale, not leaving it. Evelyn gets existential about sides and wants to “do some crimes”. Betty corrects her that they’re gonna help people. Evelyn’s a bit disappointed but thinks it’s basically the same thing.
Following Bubbles’ advice (possibly from that paper earlier), the Vixens “handle” the following “business” around town before taking on the Serpents:
*Midge and Ethel break into Pickens General Store at night, because Morty always overcharges Bubbles for gum, so they put bubblegum all over the door to the manager’s office.
*Toni dunks a football player’s head in the toilet, because he doesn’t back off when girls tell him no. Apparently, Toni did this in the guy’s house instead of at school, which means she followed him home.
*All of the Vixens (well, Toni and Evelyn, anyway) knock over trash cans in front of Riverdale City Hall as a message to the mayor, who turns a blind eye to some of the real problems in this town. Then they run away from the cops. They go through with this, even though Bubbles had changed her mind about it (“too big”).
They go to the Serpents’ camp (the RV) and circle it to intimidate them. This is what we see at the beginning of the first issue. We’re now all caught up.
Back in the present, the girls run out of the bar and ride off. Betty says sometimes she just hates humanity. She wants vengeance against the Serpents but asks if they’re really their worst enemy. Because, y’know, they’d just had a confrontation with a bunch of guys that hadn’t trashed their town. She also asks what kicking over trash cans and sticking jocks’ heads in the toilet really accomplishes. She doesn’t look where she’s going. Veronica warns her. Some Serpents drive at them. Betty takes a spill just as one of them flips her off (uncensored). So giving the finger is okay, but saying “shit”, “bitch”, or “asshole” isn’t?
Betty stands up and throws her helmet to the ground in frustration. She decides the Serpents are their biggest problem right now (though the wrong word is bolded).
They go into Spotty’s (Spotty was the name of Little Archie’s dog). Fangs meets them. Penny wants them to talk to her instead (because, y’know, girls), but Fangs sends her to get the girls a round of drinks (which Betty declines). Fangs says they’re on him. Veronica is disgusted with the way that Fangs talks to Penny.
Betty and Fangs start talking. Betty gets pissed at his sexist attitude and eventually grabs his jacket. She lets him go and lectures him, which earns her a round of laughs from the Serpents. She challenges him to a one-on-one bike race of Serpents versus Vixens tomorrow at 7 PM at Logger’s Pond (the home of the Perilous Pike in the Little Archie comics). She then has to explain to him who the Vixens are. Fangs agrees; he says, if the Vixens win, the Serpents will leave them alone; if the Serpents win, they get free roam over the entire town; if the police find out, the Serpents will know who tipped them off. Veronica thinks the terms are ridiculous, but Betty agrees to them.
Outside the bar, Midge asks Betty if she’s sure about this. Betty asks for the max speed of their bikes: 150 mph. Betty then asks for the max speed of a V-Rod.
Inside the bar, Fangs pushes past Penny and goes behind the counter and into a back room. He asks “Doc” for “the supplies”. Doc asks Fangs if he wants to win or wants them to die. This is possibly a reimagining of Mad Doctor Doom, a green-skinned mad scientist from the Little Archie comics.
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 (I like the Sandra Lanz cover the best; it’s pictured above), another Riverdale Gazette article (dated January of 2018; this one talks about a record-high truancy rate at Riverdale High, mostly among females; Superintendent Hassle, a character from the older comics, issued the report), and the cover of issue #4.
Tune in next Wednesday!