Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inks: Rich Koslowski
Colors: Tom Chu
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Betty and Veronica, No. 261-262
Cover Date: October, December, 2012
On-Sale Date: August 15, 2012; October 17, 2012
Length: 48 pages (24, 24)
I’m sorry that this is a bit late.
Part 1: Vamp It Up
This part is itself split into two parts, 12 pages each.
Betty and Veronica are spending a day at the beach. Betty comes back to Veronica, having just bought ice cream and enjoying it immensely (it looks like an orange sherbet bar, yum). Veronica is on her hands and knees, checking out guys (no doubt, she’s assuming the position ahead of time). Notably, Betty’s bikini top has a flower (or blossom) on it. Betty teases Veronica about her dilemma in choosing between two guys. Then Archie comes by, settling the contest in Veronica’s mind (because Archie’s sooo much hotter than those other two guys).
Archie announces they’re going to have a bonfire on the beach tonight, promising burgers, s’mores, and himself. Wait, is this Archie or Reggie? Betty cozies up to Archie, settling for him while really wanting a s’more. Neither Archie nor Veronica seem to mind.
That night, “all” of Betty and Veronica’s friends are at the bonfire (not really). Jughead’s listening to music, which seems to be a trait that he got during The New Archies. Veronica and Jughead rib on each other a bit, and then she throws a s’more for him to fetch. He goes after it.
Veronica notices Betty’s already cozied up to Archie. Betty says Veronica’s taught her very well. Reggie offers to warm Veronica up, but she passes and goes for a moonlight stroll along the beach.
She spots some people surfing at night: dark-haired Lucas, blonde-and-black-haired Charlotte (yeah, it’s weird), token black Nathanial, and blond ponytailed Ashton. We learn Veronica surfs as well (which is nothing new). Veronica invites them to the bonfire. Charlotte accepts and tells Nathanial that these “day-timers” look like fun. Ashton reminds him that they don’t “prey” on them. Nathanial says not until they allow them.
The newcomers are welcomed to the bonfire. Charlotte asks Nancy for a steak. When Nancy offers to prepare it, Charlotte just takes a raw steak and gobbles it down, grossing Nancy out and surprising Veronica and Betty. Licking her lips, Charlotte drops the bone on the sand.
Ashton flirts with Betty. Ethel and Midge freak out over incoming bats, which materialize into two guys and a girl. Apparently, none of the gang sees this happen. Lucas tells the gang to get the fuck out of here. A huge brawl ensues, so Archie decides they’re gonna get the fuck out of here. As they run off, Lucas tells Veronica to meet her tomorrow night at pier 19 (no specific time). Veronica agrees. The blond newcomer with the goatee takes note of this, turns into a bat, and heads for Veronica. Midge warns her (again, seemingly not seeing the transformation).
The bat attacks Veronica, and Jughead just fucking stands around and makes a joke. The bat bites Veronica on the neck and makes off with a clump of her hair. Archie offers to take Veronica to the hospital, and Betty says she’ll call her parents.
Later, Hermione and Hiram pick up Veronica, who suffered only a “flesh wound”. Jughead makes a joke about the “poor bat” that bit Veronica, which, for some reason, amuses Betty. Veronica takes it seriously, though, expressing concern for the “poor bat”, which surprises Jughead. He explains he was kidding and marvels that Veronica didn’t snap back at him. He suggests maybe she’s not all right. Gripping his arms, she insists she’s fine and thanks him for asking. Betty notes to Hermione that Veronica has a strange look in her eyes. Hermione takes Veronica home for some rest.
The next day, Veronica wakes up, feeling better, but the sun is too bright for her.
When Veronica comes downstairs, Hermione notes she looks so pale and suggests more rest, but Veronica insists she’s fine.
They go into the kitchen. Veronica passes on breakfast and instead sloppily gulps down a glass of tomato juice, which looks like, well, y’know. She says she has to meet the gang at the beach today but, upon seeing the bright sun again, decides to take it easy inside instead.
Veronica spends all day watching movies in the dark in the den (she’s currently watching Nosferatu). When Hermione relates this to Hiram, he approves, saying Veronica “needs this down time”.
Veronica comes out of the den and asks her mom for the time, because, y’know, it’s not like she could find that out on a TV channel or anything. Hermione says it’s almost evening (no specific time). Veronica goes to meet Lucas, and Hermione tells her to be back early.
Lucas is relieved to see Veronica. He has no choice but to reveal a secret to her.
Anyway, Lucas proves it to her by turning into a bat and then back again. She’s scared, but he wants to help her. She’s already been bitten by Damien (the blond guy with the goatee), the leader of the Lucificus gang. She’s confused. He explains they’re the bad guys, and Lucas and his gang are the good guys. She’s not convinced but decides to trust him.
He explains Veronica’s on her way to becoming a vampire. Veronica freaks out, because she hates the sight of blood. Lucas says, if the bite on her neck is treated in the next 24 hours, the curse is lifted. He gives her a special red choker to wear around her neck – a “mystical bandage”. He says it has to be followed by a kiss from him. He’s totally bullshitting her on that last part, but he kisses her, and she doesn’t object.
A couple days later, Lucas comes into Pop’s and is surprised to find Ashton hanging out with Betty. Lucas asks if anyone’s seen Veronica. Betty says no and adds, every time that she calls her, she’s in bed, and she doesn’t want to leave the house. Lucas is confused, because the curse was supposed to be lifted.
Just then, Veronica shows up, dressed as Elvis and Elvira’s love child. Betty asks about her get-up. Jughead insults it. Veronica scares him with a simple “I don’t like you!” Lucas finds this strange. Betty invites Veronica to the movies tomorrow, but Veronica will have to check with Reggie, her “man”. A topless Reggie is suddenly there. Betty asks him if he lost his shirt in a windstorm. Reggie’s like “Shirts are for unsexy people!” Pop kicks him out. Veronica tells Reggie to come along. The two of them leave Pop’s, turn into bats, and fly off. Lucas witnesses this and vows to protect the kids without panicking them.
While Betty’s enjoying her milkshake or soda float, Lucas takes Ashton outside and fills him in. Lucas tells Charlotte to watch over the others, and then he and Ashton go to the cove, the hangout of the Lucificus gang.
Lucas and Ashton arrive at the cove. Ashton, a vampire, is scared. Damien shows up. Lucas questions him about Veronica, but Damien feigns innocence. Ashton flies into their hangout (a stone mansion) and calls to Lucas. Lucas goes in and finds Veronica, Reggie, Chuck, and Nancy in a cell.
A female, white-haired vampire scientist (yeah) comes by and explains they’re harvesting vampire clones of the Riverdale gang through the use of DNA from hair follicles and a mix of human and vampire blood. Harvesting clones? More accurately, they’re harvesting DNA and blood for the purpose of creating clones.
Anyway, they’re currently working on “a Moose model”. Damien’s job is to bite them and grab some hair and a little blood. Then Maddy, their scientist, does the rest. Damien uses a device to beam some portable daylight at Lucas and Ashton. He then orders them locked inside their coffins, which, I guess, are here at the rival gang’s mansion?
Back at Pop’s, Charlotte’s vampire sense is tingling, and she takes Betty to show her how to protect herself. Betty’s confused.
Charlotte snaps off a tree branch and whittles a stake for Betty, explaining she has to protect herself from those “rogue vampires”. Betty is further confused. Bitch, you shouldn’t be. Charlotte tells her to plunge the stake right through the heart, and Betty is grossed out by it. Charlotte runs off, saying she’ll be back as soon as she can. She leaves a confused Betty behind.
“Chuck” and “Nancy” show up, and Betty immediately notices they look creepy. “Veronica” and “Reggie” show up. Betty points the stake outward and tries to sound like she’ll defend herself, but “Veronica” says Betty couldn’t hurt a flea. Betty raises the stake and warns her to stay away. “Veronica” introduces herself as “Vampironica”.
Part 2: Fangs a Lot, Vampironica
The first page and the first third of the second page are taken up by a recap of part 1 (using new artwork). Already, there’s a screw-up; the recap shows a waning crescent in part 1, whereas it was actually a full moon. Part 2 continues using a waning crescent.
Betty again threatens to use the stake unless Vampironica stays the fuck away from her, but Vampironica says she doesn’t have the guts. Betty warns Vampironica to not test her. Suddenly, she smells the garlic pizza that Jughead is casually eating inside Pop’s, seemingly unconcerned about the fight happening outside.
Betty runs inside and swipes the rest of his pizza, pissing him off. She runs outside and sloppily flings the slices at the vampires. Repulsed, they turn into bats and fly away. Vampironica bites off a bit of Betty’s hair on her way out.
Nathanial comes by, showing concern for Betty. Betty tells him about the “bad dream” that she’s having. He turns into a bat to show her that he’s a vampire. She decides to “play along” as long as she’s dreaming. He transforms back into human form and says he’s on her side. He explains about the clones (how does he know about that?) and will lead her to the Lucificus gang’s mansion, but she goes to grab some garlic from Pop’s kitchen first (did she pay him?), because it’s “a little less violent” than the stake, even though she’s supposedly bringing that as well (although we don’t see her holding it; is she using it as a dildo?).
Outside the mansion, Charlotte is hiding behind a tree and concerned for Betty’s safety. She has to see what the Lucificus gang’s up to.
She peaks inside and sees Damien putting Lucas and Ashton, who have been “disabled”, in caskets. She sees the Riverdale gang behind bars and Damien adding Mr. Weatherbee and Ms. Grundy to the cell. Damien explains they need some more “prominent” citizens to clone. Vampironica and the Reggie, Chuck, and Nancy clones arrive. Vampironica explains what happened. Maddy asks if she got some of Betty’s hair. Vampironica shows it off. Damien excitedly says they can get started on a Betty vampire. Um, how, if you don’t have her blood?
Seeing this shit’s getting out of control, Charlotte decides to put an end to it, but she’s daylighted by one of the gang members. Damien orders her stuck in a casket next to her friends.
Meanwhile, Betty stops by her house, so her parents won’t be worried, on her way to battle a gang of vampires and save her friends. Um, priorities, girl.
Nathanial explains, when morning comes, they all go into their “sleep mode”. Betty’s plan is to pretend to go to sleep and then sneak out. Despite it going against her better judgment, she’s making an exception, because this is an emergency. What the fuck, girl?! You’re honest and squeaky clean to a goddamn fault!
Anyway, running inside, Betty tells Nathanial that she’ll meet him outside in an hour. Nathanial tells her to hurry.
Inside, Alice is relieved to see Betty. They were getting worried. Betty excuses herself, saying she doesn’t feel well, and goes to bed.
Later, after completely changing clothes and putting on her bookbag, Betty announces her plan to sneak down the trellis as she’s doing it. Nathanial manhandles her and makes a run for it.
When they arrive at the mansion, Betty’s creeped out. Nathanial tells her to stay in the woods while he checks out the situation. He claims they’d spot her too easily. Okay, whatever.
Eventually, Betty get bored. Damien and the guy that daylighted Charlotte show up. Betty’s not bored anymore. She asks what happened to Nathanial. Damien says they’ve taken care of him. He picks her up and carries her back to the mansion over his shoulder. Betty demands to be put down, saying she’s got a babysitting job later today. Okay, that’s kinda stupid but kinda funny at the same time.
Apparently, Damien sets her down once they get into the mansion, because she runs up to Nathanial, who’s not locked up. Veronica explains he’s a traitor. Betty’s pissed. Damien has the other dude lock her up. Veronica is glad to see Betty and hugs her, fearing it’s the end. Vampironica is amused by it. Veronica makes a fist and tells the “second-rate copy” to shut the fuck up. Vampironica claims she’s “the new and improved version” of her. Veronica insults her appearance, so a pissed Vampironica goes into her cell and kicks her ass with her…mad karate skills?
Betty takes off her bookbag and searches for her garlic, but “Reggie” claims his buddies disposed of it back in the woods. Betty finds her stake (which makes its first appearance in 11 pages) and asks if they were too stupid to dispose of it. “Reggie” says she wouldn’t dare, mists into the cell, and demands she hand it over. In their struggle over the stake, she accidentally stakes him and then tries to apologize for it. *facepalm* Bitch, kill all of these bastards!
Betty warns Damien to look out behind him for Jughead and Archie sneaking up with garlic. *facepalm* Bitch, shut the fuck up!
Anyway, Jughead claims to have found them by following the scent of garlic (he has a “very sensitive nose”). Veronica, surprising herself, exclaims “Yay for Jughead!!”
Veronica slaps the “vampire slayer” five for destroying the Reggie clone vampire. Damien says they’ll have a replacement soon. Also, their Betty vampire clone, which Vampironica gets a lady-boner for, is almost complete. How the fuck did they make her without Betty’s blood?
Anyway, Vampironica is eager to see some Betty-on-Betty action and wants to set her loose.
After they wait for the Betty vampire clone to put on some stylish clothes (including replacing her pink hairband with white pearls), Damien makes the introductions. “Betty” looks like she wants to shake hands, so Betty offers her her hand and says “Uh…pleased to meet me!” “Betty” punches the “goodie two shoes” right in the fucking face. She then takes a liking to Archie, wanting to have him as her pet.
Why the fuck are Archie and Jughead not doing anything?! They have a shitload of garlic!
Anyway, Vampironica and vampire Betty fight over Archie, because it’s “in their DNA” (according to Jughead). The two vampire gals beat the shit out of each other. Damien tells them to knock this shit off, becausing they’re embarrassing them all. The vampire gals then beat the shit out of him. Jughead is entertained.
Jughead passes out garlic to the people in the cell and tells them to start throwing it around, because he’s too fucking lazy to do it himself. Only now does the final battle against the vampires begin.
Archie notices the sun’s starting to come up. Damien orders a retreat. Archie looks to Veronica for guidance. She tells him to grab the nearby, large, obvious keys to the cell. He lets everyone out. Betty says they have to save the good vampires. Chuck says they’re in their caskets. Betty says they have to take them out. Veronica tells Moose and Archie (I guess) to go back and get Moose’s van, so they can move four caskets.
Later, Moose and Archie load the caskets in the back of Moose’s van. Moose points out that this won’t look good if they get stopped. Veronica wonders where they should bring them.
While Moose is driving them, Veronica decides on the cave on Riverdale Beach. Then she jumps to the back to sit with Jughead, so Betty can sit with Archie (yeah, I know it’s an artistic error), and adds close by to where they surf. Jughead then asks what about the bad guys back at the mansion. He then answers his own question (I think someone else was meant to ask the question) by saying he’s going back to “garlic-up the place”. He’ll need garlic from every store in town.
They arrive at the beach and put the caskets in the cave. I need to point out an error. There are only three caskets shown, both during the ride in the van and in the cave. That’s correct: there are three good vampires. The error is Veronica earlier saying they have four caskets to move.
Anyway, Veronica says now they just wait until sundown. So…they’re gonna spend the whole day there?
When sundown arrives, the evil vampires wake up in their caskets and find garlic all over the place (including around their necks). They’re trapped until the garlic loses its aroma (in three or four weeks). Nathanial isn’t shown. Neither are any of the Riverdale vampire clones, all of whom except Reggie should still be around.
Back in the cave, the good vampires wake up, disoriented. Veronica and Betty bring them up to speed. Charlotte says the garlic will give them time to figure out a way to terminate the Lucificus gang. Um, how about stakes through the hearts, genius?!
Ashton can’t believe Nathanial betrayed them. Jughead points out a hitherto-unseen Nathanial, tied up with garlic. Lucas says they’ll “figure out” what to do with him. *facepalm* He praises the gang (it seems Chuck and Midge are now present as well) for saving the day. Lucas suggests throwing a beach barbecue in their honor. Betty’s all for it.
Later, Ashton is teaching Betty to night-surf. I feel this should be Lucas and Veronica instead, since they had a discussion about surfing at the beginning of part 1. Anyway, Betty’s surfboard is decorated with blossoms like the kind that Cheryl wears on her clothes. Just saying.
Anyway, Ashton thanks Betty for everything and flirts with her, irritating Archie. Looking at his girls with their vampire love interests, Archie laments he has to compete with vampires now.
The next night, Lucas, Charlotte, and Ashton arrive at Pop’s. Lucas tells Archie, Betty, Veronica (and Pop and the other customers present) that the Lucificus gang and the clones (oh, they are still around; where the fuck were they?) are secured for now – except one. They couldn’t locate Vampironica; she appears to have escaped. How? Lucas guesses she probably fled just as Archie and Jughead attacked. And everyone else, too. Remember, these assholes were too lazy to throw all of the garlic themselves.
Veronica asks if they have to worry about her. Lucas says no and adds she’s probably fled far away. Silently, he hopes that’s true.
Of course, it’s not. Vampironica drives back into Riverdale in a red sports car. The final note promises it’s “not the end”, but I’m gonna take a wild guess and say this story was never followed up on.
This story was a mixed bag. It was kinda funny in spots, but artwork errors (the moon, the disappearing stake, characters appearing and disappearing), characters being stupid, and the utter refusal to have Betty be a badass vampire slayer (contrary to what the covers promised) definitely brought this story down. Archie’s Weird Mysteries did a much better job with vampires in Riverdale.
Tune in next Wednesday!