Writer: Brian E. Paterson
Art: Elliot Fernandez
Colors: Thomas Chu
Letters: John Workman
Original Publication: Riverdale One-Shot
Cover Date: April, 2017
On-Sale Date: March 1, 2017
Length: 10 pages
I’m sorry that this is a bit late. This can be blamed on two things: thunderstorms (today) and a drunken redneck country karaoke party with fireworks (yesterday). Imagine the worst goddamn country music that you can think of and then imagine it being sung by a bunch of drunks…while shooting off fireworks…pretty much right in your backyard.
Anyway, let’s get to the story. This is the first of four in this issue, which serves as a sort of prequel to the first episode.
Archie’s hanging out by himself at Pop’s. He narrates about stuff. Wait, who’s he narrating to and why? Anyway, he thinks about a movie quote. Betty left Riverdale for a summer internship in L.A. a week ago. He and Jughead had a falling out. With no school, no friends, and no football practices (Archie practiced football before the show?), he decided to help his dad full-time at Andrews Construction. He has a feeling that “there’s something big coming”.
So we get a montage. Basically, Archie bulks up (getting looks from the ladies in the process) and composes poems in his head.
One day, Fred decides to clean out the garage – after Archie has worked a ten-hour shift. Basically, Fred’s a packrat and doesn’t wanna throw any useless shit out. He has a Stratocaster from back in the day. Archie’s surprised that Fred used to play and wants to borrow it, but he has to be content with the acoustic guitar that his dad got him for his sixteenth birthday.
Then we get the flashback from the first episode where Ms. Grundy picked Archie up after work, but it doesn’t exactly match the scene in the episode. Every night, she picks him up after work, they drive out to Sweetwater River, and they fuck. Archie has some mixed feelings and is insecure. Typical teenage stuff.
One day, “Geraldine” drops him off at home and notices the guitar on his front porch. They go up to the porch, and he plays for her. She says he has potential and suggests “private lessons”. He agrees.
One day, toward the end of June, he stops by Pop’s after work, because he wants to surprise Ms. Grundy with dinner. Jughead’s there, typing on his laptop, and he invites Archie to catch up with him. He does. Suddenly, Jughead suggests they take a road trip down to Centerville on the Fourth of July to see fireworks, like they used to when they were kids. Archie agrees, although he’s not sure why.
On July 3rd, Archie’s hanging out with Ms. Grundy outside somewhere. They both love summer. He asks what she’s doing for the Fourth. She says going camping down by Sweetwater River. She invites him to come, and he agrees.
Then we get the July 4th flashback from Archie’s perspective that we saw in episode 02, except, again, it’s not quite the same, since the comic adds a campfire and a blanket.
They’re mostly silent during the ride home and tell themselves that it was a hunter, shooting a deer, or fireworks. Archie asks who’s lighting fireworks at 6:00 AM on July 4th, but, from what I’ve witnessed around here, idiots light fireworks at all times of the day, even before July 4th.
Anyway, then they hear the whole thing about Cheryl and Jason. Clifford looks way too blue-collar (literally) and shows more compassion in this comic than he did on the show. Ms. Grundy turns into a nervous wreck, suddenly feels it was all wrong, and makes Archie promise to keep quiet. She breaks it off with him and drops him off at home. He understands it’s right and for the best, but it still hurts like hell.
On July 6th, Archie’s with Jughead at Pop’s. He’d forgotten about their broken date. Jughead is upset and questions Archie about it. Archie nervously says his dad needed his help, but Jughead sees through his lie and leaves.
After that, Archie puts his poems to paper and realizes they’re song lyrics about dying young and losing friends.
By July 26th, he’s filled up the notebook with song lyrics.
On August 13th, he picks up his guitar (which he’d already picked up on July 26th) and “[writes his] guts out” until the last day of summer vacation.
Then Betty texts him. She’s back home from her internship and invites him to Pop’s. He considers telling her everything but doesn’t because of his promise to Ms. Grundy. He accepts her invitation.
Then we get what I guess is the beginning of their meeting at Pop’s from the first episode, but their outfits don’t match at all. Archie had ordered milkshakes (strawberry for him, vanilla for her). They hug.
He wonders how different that things might have been if he’d just been honest with Betty that night instead of pretending nothing had happened.
This was a pretty good. story. Apparently, it will be continued, but I’m not sure if it means on the show or in the next story in the issue (which isn’t a continuation).
Tune in next Wednesday!