Comics – Summer Nights

Writer: Britta Lundin
Art: Jim Towe
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Janice Chiang
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. It’s a substitution. I had planned to review Betty & Veronica Vixens #8 yesterday, but I discovered I didn’t have enough of a gift card balance to purchase it. Oopsie.

Anyway, let’s get to the story. This is the second of four in this issue, which serves as a sort of prequel to the first episode.

While Polly does Betty’s hair, Betty’s writing in her diary. Betty is excited, because she got the internship and is going to Los Angeles for the summer. It means no Archie but also no Mom.

As if on cue, Alice walks in, worried, because it’s “unnatural for a girl to want to be away from her family”. Betty points out that she’s staying with Aunt Gertrude. Polly tries to assure Alice. Alice takes the opportunity to shit on the River Vixens, cars (what the fuck?), and “that boy”. Polly stands up, pokes her mom in the chest, and says his name is Jason. Alice swears sometimes it feels like she doesn’t know her own daughters. As she leaves, Betty thanks Polly. Polly says she’ll see her when she gets back and tells Betty to have an amazing summer.

Before we move on to the next scene, what the fuck is Betty writing in? It’s supposedly her diary, but it looks like a notepad. Maybe it’s her cell phone or something. Also, she seems to be left-handed (not complaining, just pointing it out).

It’s a pain getting to the airport. Betty has to sit in the middle seat on the plane, squeezed between two dudes. Aunt Gertrude’s house smells “weird”. The traffic is “horrifying”. The TV is “broken”. Um, more like the little rabbit-ears antenna gets no reception. How old is Aunt Gertrude, anyway? Standing on a hilltop and looking out over the city, though, Betty finds it “amazing”.

Betty’s internship at HelloGiggles (misspelled here with a space) is “so cool”. She loves the Grove (especially riding on streetcars). The weather is “amazing”. The best thing is the freedom (from her mom, no doubt). Someone comes up to Betty while she’s laying out on a towel and says hi.

Back in Riverdale, Polly is on her cell phone, chatting with Betty. She’s not interested in what Betty has to say and asks what the boys are like. Alice overhears and asks if “Elizabeth” is calling collect. Polly informs her out-of-touch mom that Betty has a cell phone. Betty’s hanging out at the beach and tells Polly about the guy that she met, Rad Brad. She also tells Polly to not laugh and says he’s nice. Polly wants to hear everything. Brad skateboards, surfs, brings her food sometimes (from Taco Now!), and helps her with the Toni Morrison book party that she’s organizing. Polly’s impressed. Betty says Brad asked her out to dinner at Mel’s (Betty has to explain to Polly what that is). Betty’s unsure if she’s interested in him “like that”, but Polly tells “Betts” to do it, because she deserves “a little love”. Watching the sunset, Betty considers it and asks how Polly and Jason are. Not smiling, Polly tells her to not worry about them.

Before we move on to the next scene, some notes about Polly’s bedroom: she has a large American flag on the wall behind her bed and a lava lamp on her night stand.

On their date, Betty looks at the pricey food on the menu and offers to split a milkshake, but Brad doesn’t “do dairy”. She orders a chocolate milkshake. He asks what she thinks of LA so far. She loves it (moreso than Riverdale, it seems). He offers to show her the city.

They go to a carnival. He buys her cotton candy. Betty talks about her rejection from the River Vixens last year, due to Cheryl. She doesn’t “really” hate living in a small town, because her friends and Archie are there. After he asks about Archie, and she says he’s not her boyfriend, Brad suddenly kisses Betty on the lips, surprising her. She apologizes to him (don’t; he owes you an apology!) and asks him to take her back to her aunt’s house.

On July 5th, Betty calls home and is informed by Alice that Polly’s “gone away for a bit”, because she’s “not herself right now”. Betty wants to fly home, but Alice suggests she stay there and also informs her that Jason drowned yesterday. A shocked Betty drops her cell phone. After she picks it up, Alice tells her to stay in LA, because there’s nothing that she can do, so she stays.

Nothing ends up happening with Brad, because it just doesn’t feel right, so he leaves her at Mel’s to sob into her expensive chocolate milkshake.

Her internship is amazing. The book signing goes off without a hitch. Toni even signs her book. Betty feels like she’s finally found her voice. Her coworkers present her with a “We’ll Miss You!” cake. She definitely made some new friends. It was a summer unlike any that she’d ever had before.

However, as much as she loves the reserved seating at the ArcLight, the Truffle Burger at Umami (um, I guess money isn’t an issue anymore), and hiking to the Hollywood Sign at sunset, Betty admits missing home, the bijou, Pop’s, her friends, and Polly. She almost misses her mom, and she really misses Archie. Her mom promised her, by the time that she’s home, everything will be back to normal. It wasn’t.

Something changed while she was away. She saw it in the way that people walked and looked at her (or didn’t). She saw it in her sister’s room (Alice got rid of everything except the flag and furniture), where she could still feel her presence (likening it to a car hood that’s still warm).

Betty realizes she’s changed over the summer. She learned a lot about herself, including what she wants, and she’s going to get it, no matter what. She makes herself up and then goes to Pop’s, where Archie’s waiting in a booth with a chocolate milkshake and two straws, and greets him. He smiles back at her. Like in the previous story, I guess this is the beginning of their meeting at Pop’s from the first episode, but their outfits don’t match either the previous story or the episode. The milkshake doesn’t match the previous story either.

This was a pretty good coming-of-age story. Apparently, it will be continued, but I believe it’s referring to the show. I do have to point out that Betty’s outfits are more normal for a teenage girl than the “prim and proper” outfits that she wears on the show.

Tune in next Wednesday!

Author: markmooreauthor

I love watching anime and superhero movies, and I love playing video games. I also write fan fiction and original fiction.

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