Writer: Frank Doyle*
Pencils: Harry Lucey*
Inking: Mario Acquaviva*
Letters: Mario Acquaviva*
Original Publication: Archie, No. 156
Cover Date: July, 1965
Length: 6 pages
*The original story had no credits. These credits come from Grand Comics Database.
I’m sorry that this is late.
Archie and Jughead are walking along a sidewalk. Archie’s explaining how he had to cancel a date with Betty. As he contrasts Betty’s calm attitude regarding it with what he thinks Veronica’s reaction to a broken date would be, he fails to see a tree falling behind him, a toy wagon full of rocks speeding toward him, and a flower pot falling from the sky right behind him. Jughead sees them, excuses himself, and runs off.
Jughead confronts Betty over her slapstick attempts to murder Archie. Well, not really. He confronts her over putting “an innocent bystander” (namely, himself) in harm’s way. Betty calls it “the fortunes of war”. She then gives this awesome line: “If you bystand in the target area, you’re bound to collect a few shell fragments!”
Jughead wonders why Betty’s suddenly this angry over a broken date, since Archie’s pulled this shit before. Betty is fucking enraged, lifting Jughead off his feet by the shirt. She says tonight’s broken date was the last straw. He tells her to take it easy. She lets him go but keeps screaming. He climbs a pole to get away from her. Warning Jughead of Archie’s impending death, Betty sends him off to pay his “last respects”.
Jughead finds Archie and warns him, but Archie doesn’t believe him, saying Betty “always comes around” after his bullshit. Jughead suggests Archie try to pacify her. Archie says he has a date with Veronica, but Jughead gives him a mental image of a gruesome death. Still not taking it seriously, Archie runs off to find Betty and “happy her up a bit”.
At home, Betty is ironing…in the kitchen. Fun detail: the Coopers don’t have chairs at their kitchen table; they have a restaurant-style booth. Oh, and there’s a goldfish bowl on the table.
Yeah, I don’t know either.
Anyway, Betty laments to herself that she’s a “born loser” for failing to get Archie and failing to kill him. Yeah, because nothing says “loser” like not being able to murder someone.
Anyway, Betty is swearing revenge to herself when Archie bursts in, excited. Betty tries to smash his face with her hot iron, but he tells her that their date’s back on.
Figuring he ditched Veronica (although I doubt it), Betty is suddenly elated and forgives Archie. So excited is she that she accidentally hits him in the face with her hot iron. Then she lifts him to his feet and makes him spin in circles with her in some kind of weird happy dance. During all of this, Betty fully admits to wanting to kill Archie.
She accidentally releases him, sending him crashing into the kitchen table. His head gets stuck in the goldfish bowl. The two goldfish somehow survive.
Later, Archie is recovering from his injuries in bed. Reasoning Betty is more dangerous when she’s happy, Archie reveals he called off their date again. He calls Betty a screwball. Jughead leaves to get out of the “target area”, confusing Archie.
Just then, Betty throws a boomerang into Archie’s bedroom in her latest attempt on his life.
What the fuck did I just read? This story blatantly portrays Betty as a murderous teen that can’t handle rejection. Yeah, I realize that’s an actual thing these days, but it’s surprising to find it in an Archie comic, particularly from over fifty years ago. One thing, though: what’s with all of the Wile E. Coyote traps? If Betty was at all competent, she’d lure Archie to a secluded spot with the promise of sex, get him drunk, and then stab him to death.
Tune in next Wednesday!