Writer: Jamie Lee Rotante
Art: Sanya Anwar
Colors: Elaina Unger
Letters: Rachel Deering
Original Publication: Betty & Veronica: Vixens, No. 8
Cover Date: September, 2018
On-Sale Date: July 18, 2018
Length: 20 pages
Before the story, there’s a recap of the previous issue on the credits page. It reveals the full name of the other all-girl gang: the Sassy Thrashers, something that wasn’t stated in the issue itself.
The series has another new artist, Sanya Anwar.
Yes, I have read about the new B&V series that Jamie Lee Rotante will be writing. I’m looking forward to it. Also, the Archie title will be renumbered after a stopgap Archie 1941 miniseries, and the new direction is supposed to be a bit more influenced by Riverdale. We’ll see how that goes.
Anyway, let’s get into the current issue:
One evening, in Midvale, Betty and Veronica drive through a fence and into a warehouse, where they intimidate some guys that are up to no good. Veronica’s armed with a bat, but Betty doesn’t seem to have anything. Veronica’s the narrator, which is interesting. She says things have gotten “weird” in Riverdale, and it hardly even feels like home anymore because of the disappearances. She also doesn’t like the people that her “daddy” hired, because they’re treating her friends like villains. So the girls have to take matters into their own hands.
Betty tells the guys that they’re not here to disturb their business, but they want to know where the girls are. The guys either don’t know anything or play dumb, so Veronica pours gasoline and blows the warehouse up. Yeah, you read that right. Yeah, she half-assedly tells them to run, but this is still a bit extreme (especially after Betty’s earlier remark). To be fair, the guys just stand around like dumbasses and let Veronica douse their place – instead of using one of the many guns that they have lying around to kill the girls. It’s not clear who throws the match or lighter, so we don’t know who’s culpable if any of the guys don’t make it out. Regardless, Veronica says, even though their hands get dirty, their consciences are clean. Really? Sleep well at night, do ya?
Veronica continues to narrate about their determination and her musings about Doc as we see Doc threatening his captives as Ang looks unsure.
Midge and Ethel are hanging out outside a bar near Sugar’s Roller Rink, waiting for the punks that had been harassing Abbey to return. One of them does. They go to confront him. He runs away and seemingly trips and falls (it’s unclear, because it happens between panels). Ethel offers him a hand to help him up, and then…she runs up behind him? And then Midge knocks off his hat and grabs his hair? The fuck? Sanya Anwar isn’t doing a very good job here. Also, Rachel Deering leaves a period off a sentence.
Anyway, Midge and Ethel question the guy, and Midge is persuasive by stepping on the guy’s hand. He spills about Doc and calls the girls psycho sluts. Midge steps on his hand again. She and Ethel leave just as some roller derby girls come out of the rink.
Later, Betty and Veronica come into the remodeled Perilous Pike (the Serpents’ old dive), which was taken over by Penny and Bubbles. Penny serves “America’s sweethearts” root beers (they look more like root beer floats). They’re here about the missing women. When Veronica brings up Doc, Penny tells them to stay the fuck away from him, because she saw him do “horrible things”. She doesn’t elaborate, but we learn Doc dealt in weapons before switching to drugs. She’s surprised he’s stuck around here. Veronica gets a text from Midge confirming it’s Doc. Veronica and Betty leave.
Later, they meet up with Midge, Ethel, Toni, and Ang at a gas station. Veronica goes off on Toni about Doc. Betty tells her to stop, but she won’t. Toni’s confused, but Ethel confirms it. Toni questions Ang, and Ang confirms it. She’s scared Doc’s gonna kill all of them. She apologizes to Toni. During all of this, Rachel Deering drops another period.
Betty tells Ang that it isn’t her fault. She wants Ang’s help and promises her safety. She also wants Veronica to pass “an anonymous tip” about Doc on to her father.
Meanwhile, Cheryl, Eve, and Sassy (the Sassy Thrashers’ leader, who’s finally named) spy on “Doc” and “Sue” in the park. Cheryl has Eve and Sassy ride up first to create a bunch of smoke, and then Cheryl goes in for the attack. Unfortunately, it’s just a couple of decoys. Trapped in the circle of smoke, Cheryl gets taken at knifepoint by Doc, who comes out of nowhere. When the smoke clears, Eve and Sassy see Doc’s muscle car speeding away. Eve finds a bit of Cheryl’s hair on the ground.
Eve and Sassy go to the gas station. Eve informs the girls that Doc has Cheryl. Betty wants the girls to move. Midge asks about Veronica. Betty will let her know but says they need to leave Riverdale tonight.
Meanwhile, Veronica arrives home, opens a garage door, and brings her motorcycle inside. Mr. Lodge flips on the light and welcomes “Princess” home.
The rest of the girls are driving toward the Riverdale city limits. Toni calls Ethel out on being worried about not being home by curfew. Betty tells them to shut the fuck up and says they’re all “in deep ish” (huh?) back home, but the missing girls have it worse right now. She can’t deliver a text to Veronica but decides they’ll do what they can for now and hopes Veronica can get them help. They head for Greendale.
Veronica tries to make excuses about the bike. Why does she even store it in her family’s garage? Why not rent a storage space or keep it at Eve’s or wherever. Mr. Lodge knows everything, thanks to his “task force”. He lectures her and then informs her of Cheryl’s disappearance. He tells her to hand over her phone and go upstairs. She refuses. He informs her that he’s cancelled her phone service and turns his back on her. He calls Mr. Williams and has him alert the police and close the town’s borders. No one will be getting in or out for the next 48 hours.
Some artwork confusion, the drop of Veronica’s narration after only five pages (why use it at all then?), and possible murders aside, 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 July of 2018); this one features another roller derby team, Charm City Roller Girls of Baltimore, who made a cameo appearance earlier in the issue; Jamie Lee Rotante says more teams will appear in upcoming issues (I wonder if this was written before the cancellation) and thanks friends and fans for their support. Finally, there’s the cover of Betty & Veronica: Vixens #9, which has Betty, Midge, Ethel, and Toni driving down a dirt road while Veronica, separated from them, is worried.
Tune in next Wednesday!