Writer: Jamie Lee Rotante
Art: Jen Vaughn
Colors: Elaina Unger (pages 1-11), Matt Herms (pages 12-20*)
Letters: Rachel Deering
Original Publication: Betty & Veronica: Vixens, No. 7
Cover Date: August, 2018
On-Sale Date: June 13, 2018
Length: 19 pages*
*Think about that.
Before the story, there’s a recap of the previous issue on the credits page. It says Ang is working closely with Doc, something that wasn’t exactly clear in the issue itself.
Yes, I have read about the series’ cancellation with issue #10. It’s a shame, because I’ve mostly been enjoying this series. Maybe strong sales of the first trade, which comes out on July 24, will earn the series a reprieve? On June 22, I noticed a massive price drop for back issues (not for just this series but all of them): $0.99 for most back issues and $1.99 for current issues and some more recent back issues. That’s way more affordable than $3.99 per issue. Of course, it also means Archie Comics won’t be making as much per sale, but maybe it’ll convince more people to buy them?
Anyway, let’s get into the current issue:
The Vixens are doing cheerleading practice on an empty football field. Notably, Cheryl has brought the rest of the biker Vixens onto the cheerleading squad. Cheryl, Betty, and Veronica are on top – with Cheryl being slightly higher. It’s a cute pose.
Meanwhile, on the Riverdale/Pembrooke border, some guy with a beard finds fresh motorcycle tracks.
Back at Riverdale High School, in the girls’ locker room, Cheryl compliments her squad on a good practice but asks Toni to put in a little more effort next time. Toni slams her locker shut and says she doesn’t wanna be a fucking cheerleader, calling it ridiculous. According to Cheryl, it’s a way to “force camaraderie” amongst the Vixens and let them get to know each other better. Toni suggests they join Cheryl’s derby league instead, but Cheryl suggests Toni might not be tough enough. The point is Cheryl’s the motherfucking head cheerleader, end of fucking story. Toni questions everything, including Cheryl’s motives. Evelyn asks Cheryl about her formation. Cheryl says it was terrible.
Y’know, I just noticed the sheer length of Cheryl’s hair in this series. It goes down past her ass. Do any girls really wear their hair that long?
Later, Betty and Veronica are heading out the front entrance and notice a cop car. An officer is meeting with Mr. Weatherbee, Mr. Lodge, and Beard Guy (who decided to shave most of it for a five o’clock shadow look). Beard Guy (whose name is Mr. Williams) is questioning Mr. Weatherbee about Toni. Veronica asks her dad what’s going on. Mr. Lodge says they’ll discuss it in the car. He offers to give Betty a ride home and asks Mr. Williams to join them.
Seemingly a few hours later (seriously, it looks like it’s past sundown), Toni’s walking along a sidewalk, listening to music, and bitching to herself about Cheryl. Doc’s following her in his car and talking to Ang. There’s a trippy sequence where Toni apparently sees ghouls or some shit. What the fuck? Anyway, Ang shows up, scaring the shit out of Toni. Ang has Toni come with her.
Meanwhile, the girls are still riding with Mr. Lodge and Mr. Williams for who knows how fucking long (the limo’s headlights are on). Mr. Williams voices concerns over continued gang activity in the town, despite the Serpents being gone. Mr. Lodge explains Mr. Williams is the head of a neighborhood watch committee that will “crack down” on the town’s rules. Um, what are they gonna go? Record cell phone videos and call the cops? Anyway, Mr. Lodge gets Veronica to agree to this “for the betterment of us all”. Mr. Williams asks the girls if they know anyone that rides a motorcycle. Just then, Betty spots Toni running outside. Mr. Lodge asks if she knows her. Betty starts to say she’s their friend, but Veronica interrupts and says she’s a barely-known classmate. For some reason, this irritates Betty.
Ang brings Toni to Doc, and Toni is immediately pissed. Ang admits she’s been meeting with Doc instead of kickboxing. Doc claims he has “an in with the PD” and will keep them off their backs, so they can really help the people. He brings up Ang’s asshole ex-boyfriend and praises the Vixens. Ang, crying, begs Toni to give Doc a chance. Toni agrees but reserves the right to final judgment in case Doc pulls shit. Doc says she doesn’t have to worry.
As Toni gets out of the car, Cheryl observes the scene from overhead like she’s Batgirl or something. It’s unclear what she’s standing on, but the angle makes it clear that she’s watching from above. She’s drinking a soda or milkshake or whatever and is suspicious of the meeting.
Some blond guy is seemingly getting a text from Mr. Williams asking for info on Toni. He gets out of his car and confronts Toni about being out past curfew (which is now no longer 9:00 PM). He questions her. Cheryl skates by and covers for her, saying Toni is going to Cheryl’s house to study. That seems good enough for the guy, who tells the girls to stay out of trouble. Cheryl skates past them, tosses her cup to Toni (Toni has a “What the fuck?” look on her face; I’m with her; seriously, what the fuck, Cheryl?), and tells Toni to be at the beach tomorrow. That’s it. No specific time.
The next day, outside Bullfrog Beach (which we’ve never heard of before), the Vixens meet. Cheryl says it’s nice of the ladies to show up. It sure is, considering Cheryl’s vagueness about when to show up. And where, apparently. I’m guessing this isn’t their regular beach.
Anyway, Betty’s impatient and asks Cheryl what this is about. Cheryl says one of their own is “moonlighting” with the enemy. Veronica, equally impatient, asks Cheryl what she’s babbling about. Cheryl tells them what she saw. Toni says it’s not a big deal. Betty questions her about it. Toni starts to explain about Doc helping them, but Veronica says they don’t need help. Toni plays the race card and basically calls Veronica and Cheryl privileged white bitches.
Just then, a rival all-girl biker gang (because, apparently, there are two of those in Riverdale), the Thrashers, shows up. There are four of them. Apparently, Bullfrog Beach is Thrashers’ turf, and they’re gonna fucking rumble.
Betty claims they “must be understood” and says they “were just leaving”. That don’t work. The Thrashers’ leader declares “it’s on”. Cheryl cracks her knuckles and is eager to kick these bitches’ asses, but Betty begs her to not do it. Too late, though. It’s on! Evelyn shows up late and casually greets Sue, one of the Thrashers. This is Sue Stringly, one of the old Little Archie characters. Sue was a poor girl, and she and her family lived in a shack near the railway tracks, next to a coal mine. She was always upbeat and cheerful and never complained or despaired. She was apparently Veronica’s cousin. She later reappeared as a teenage secret agent that rescued Archie and befriended Betty (Agent B) and Veronica (Agent V). She also reappeared as an attractive teen in more normal continuity.
Anyway, none of that shit’s relevant here. The Thrashers are scared of Eve, so the leader tells Sue, Cricket (Cricket O’Dell, a teen with the stupid gimmick of being able to determine the exact amount of money that a person’s carrying by smell), and Pep (Pepper Smith, a pre-Pussycats friend of Josie and Melody) that they’re getting the fuck out of here. I guess it’s no longer on.
As the Thrashers are about to leave, Betty asks the leader (who still hasn’t been named) why they wanted to fight them. The leader explains they’re a gang that showed up on a rival gang’s turf wearing their gang colors. Betty suggests ditching those preconceived notions and joining forces. Cheryl face-palms. Betty gives a sweet smile, blushing, and it’s so adorable. The Thrashers’ leader puts on her helmet and tells the Vixens to stay off their turf. I need to point out that she has a picture of a hand flipping the bird on the back of her vest. That’s pretty funny.
The cops arrive. So does Doc. He has both gangs follow him (although the artwork seems to place only Betty, Cheryl, Veronica (I think), and one other person between Doc and the cops).
Anyway, following Doc has somehow allowed the girls to escape the cops. Ethel is appreciative, but Cheryl points out that Doc could have tipped the cops off. The Thrashers’ leader sides with “Big Red”. Toni apologizes to Doc. After the Vixens and most of the Thrashers leave, Doc pulls Sue (who’s trying to fix her apparently-broken bike) and shoves her into his car. He takes off.
Later that night, at Lodge Manor, Veronica works up the courage to ask her dad about what Mr. Williams is doing and if he (Mr. Williams) will find out where Abbey is. They talk about what they know or don’t know about Abbey. Mr. Lodge is pessimistic about her character, but Veronica says “She’s still a human being.” This seemingly convinces Mr. Lodge to have Mr. Williams look into it. He tells Veronica to get some sleep and then walks off, leaving her on the balcony. Veronica whispers “Who are you?” Is she referring to her dad, like asking “What game are you playing?”
Meanwhile, at Sugar’s Roller Rink, Cheryl is in the locker room, lacing up for her team’s next match (she’s #66). Eve and the Thrashers’ leader confront Cheryl about Sue’s disappearance. Eve even picks up Cheryl (well, as much as she can) and slams her against the lockers. Cheryl doesn’t wanna deal with this stupid shit from “undignified” “psychos” and forcefully tells the shorter Evelyn to put her down. Eve does. Cheryl wonders why the fuck they’re shaking her up about this. As the leader (who still hasn’t been fucking named) explains, “You call the shots. You get the heat.” Cheryl’s a bit flattered to be assumed to be the Vixens’ leader. She doesn’t trust Doc either and, referring to Betty as “America’s Sweetheart”, brings up the idea of putting aside their differences to find Sue. The leader agrees but says this doesn’t make them friends. Cheryl is fine with that. Cheryl has some “hips to check” and leaves the locker room with the girls. Basically, that was Cheryl’s way of saying she has to get whistles and cheers from the audience.
In the warehouse, Chester (I guess) throws Abbey and Sue into the back of a van and asks Doc how much that they’ll bring in. Doc says enough, but he has a photo of a winking Cheryl (with crosshairs over her face) and has plans to kidnap her as well.
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 and another Riverdale Gazette article (dated June of 2018); this one talks about the Neighborhood Watch Committee. Apparently, Riverdale has never had one before this one was formed on Mr. Lodge’s discretion. It’s comprised of business associates, legal counsel affiliated with Mr. Lodge, and trained volunteers. The new, earlier town curfew is 7:00 PM on weekdays and 8:00 PM on weekends. We learn Mr. Williams’ first name is Marcus. There’s a full-page ad for the first Vixens trade paperback. Finally, there’s the cover of Betty & Veronica: Vixens #8, which has Veronica and Betty driving down a street. Veronica’s wearing a shirt with a skull on it. Betty’s wearing a shirt that says “Queen B” (um, Cheryl might take issue with that) and playing with a chain.
Tune in next Wednesday!