Writer: Angelo Decesare
Pencils: Bill Galvan
Inks: Al Milgrom
Colors: Digikore Studios
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Archie & Friends, No. 146-147
Cover Date: October, November, 2010
Length: 44 pages (22, 22)
The story begins in an old, ivy-covered building, during a thunderstorm. A black-haired guy named Edwin reveals to a (largely-unseen, except for having long, brown hair) woman that he’s a vampire. After he vamps out, she screams.
It turns out that Veronica must have screamed, too, because it turns out that she and Betty were just watching a trailer for a new movie, Cloudy with a Chance of Vampires, on a laptop…in the hallway…at school. Isn’t that against the rules? Archie runs over to check on Veronica, and Betty informs him of what they’re doing.
Archie asks if they’re worried about having nightmares, but the girls are gaga over Edwin the vampire. Reggie and Jughead come by. Reggie plays himself up. Jughead talks about food. Archie wants the guys to explain the girls’ lady-boners for a vampire. Veronica basically says the guys would act the same over a female vampire, and she’s totally right. Jughead talks about food again: he likes chili burgers.
Veronica says they want other things in a guy besides good looks, and then they watch the trailer again before class. Ha.
In homeroom, Ms. Grundy introduces two new students, Ivan and Jared. Before we move on, I just gotta say the continuity between panels in this scene is absolute shit. Main characters move around, and extras appear and disappear. Oh, and, judging by the posters on the wall, Ms. Grundy teaches English, Science, and Math. One nice detail is it seems to be raining during this scene, I guess. It’s kinda unclear, and no one brings it up.
Veronica and Betty are shocked. However, rather than it being because Ivan looks kinda like Edwin, it’s because there are two new “hotties” in their homeroom. Apparently, Veronica (a teenager) asked Santa to bring her one. We get some facts about Jared (who has brown hair): he averages twenty minutes of sleep in Math class, he likes sports (especially football, hockey, and lacrosse), and he’s on an all-pizza diet. He and his family just started working at the local zoo, so he’ll try to get them all free admission on a school day. Two random students get excited over this, even though I don’t see how Jared can convince anyone to go along with this.
Reggie exclaims “Jared seems like a cool guy, yo!” Awww, look at Reggie, pretending to be “in tha hood”. Jared is now Jughead’s “hero” because of the all-pizza diet. Ivan declines to talk about himself and just finds his seat. Reggie makes fun of him, calling him “weird”. Archie tells Reggie to leave Ivan alone, guessing he’s just shy. They argue a bit. Jughead insults Reggie. Before we move on, I readily admit I had a hard time telling Chuck apart from a random black guy in this scene (assuming they weren’t just the same character whose cap appears and disappears and whose sweatshirt slightly changes its tone; this character is never actually addressed at all, let alone by name).
After school, Veronica asks Betty why she’s hanging out at the entrance instead of practicing one of her “sports thingies”. The girls argue over why they’re here. Then Ivan shows up, followed by a random white guy that’s dressed just like the random black guy in the previous scene. Nothing says “in tha hood” better that a sweatshirt with a hoodie and a red backwards cap.
As the girls watch Jared, Reggie, Archie, and four other guys (one of whom may or may not be Chuck) play frisbee (as high school kids are known to do at school), they discuss Jared and Ivan. Reggie goes “deep” to intercept the frisbee from Jared, and he and Ivan collide.
Reggie yells at Ivan, but Archie says it wasn’t his fault. Ivan accuses Jared in one of the weirdest lines ever: “You timed that perfectly…but you’re not the only one who can throw a frisbee!” Well, aren’t you a badass? Ivan throws the frisbee (behind his back!), and it soars into the distance. Chuck(?), who’s now suddenly wearing a blue cap backwards, wants to recruit Ivan as the new captain of their frisbee team. Frisbee team. Frisbee. Team. Anyway, even Jughead now thinks Ivan’s weird.
Archie tells Ivan to ignore those assholes. Ivan thanks Archie for defending him and advises him to keep away from Jared, saying he’s not what he appears to be. There are puddles on the walkway, and then it starts to rain. Jared says it’s starting to rain “again” and suggests they get going. So it was raining during the homeroom scene earlier.
Later that afternoon, as the rain’s coming down hard, a shadowy figure races through the streets to deliver “incredible” news.
Meanwhile, inside Pop’s (close to where the shadowy figure was running), Archie says Ivan and Jared are “definitely not friends”. No shit, Sherlock. Betty makes a dumb joke about marrying one of them and being unable to invite the other.
Reggie (the shadowy figure) arrives. Jughead asks “S’up, Reg?” Ooh, apostrophe catastrophe! The gang had thought Reggie was with his “new best friend”, Jared. He was, and Jared told him this about Ivan: They went to the same school. Ivan was always a “weird dude”. His family lived in an old Victorian house, and his parents came out only at night. Ivan dresses in black all of the time and tries to avoid the sun. Jared also supposedly heard a rumor that Ivan once tried to bite a girl on the neck. Reggie guesses Ivan might be a vampire, but he’s all “scary” about it, so no one believes him.
Jughead says that’s “whack”. Archie says vampires aren’t real. Veronica says she wouldn’t believe what Jared says, because he and Ivan are enemies. Reggie says Ivan has both girls under his spell. He warns the girls again and then puts on his hoodie and leaves. Hmm, what’s with all of the green sweatshirts with hoodies in this story? Archie thinks Reggie’s losing it. Jughead’s hiding under the table and asks the others if Reggie’s gone, even though he hid under the table only after Reggie started walking away from them.
Later that week, at the Riverdale Zoo, Ms. Grundy’s homeroom class arrives. She jokes a bit. A random student thanks Jared for coming through with the passes. Okay, but how did Jared convince Mr. Weatherbee to approve this trip? A random girl says this is better than sitting through French medieval history. How random. We learn from Archie and Jughead’s dialogue that, last time, Jughead swiped a banana from a chimp and got thrown out. Veronica and Betty have an agreement: they’ll both hang out with Ivan and let him choose between them.
Soon, as Ivan, Betty, and Veronica head toward the flying creatures exhibit, Veronica volunteers them as his zoo guides. Betty adds she worked here last summer on the maintenance crew, so she knows where all of the “best trash bins” are. Great pick-up line, Bets. Ivan declines their offer, but they won’t take no for an answer and invade his personal space. Reggie and Archie observe this, and Reggie twists it into Ivan hitting on the girls. Archie tells Reggie to shut up and stop trying to make him jealous.
Reggie warns Archie about Ivan. He also refers to Betty and Veronica as their two best friends. Archie accuses Reggie of being jealous and walks off. Jared comes by with a plan to out Ivan as a vampire. He thinks Ivan’s on his way to the world of darkness.
Sure enough, soon, Ivan and the girls arrive at The World of Darkness (the flying creatures exhibit). As they enter the building, Betty and Veronica gets into an argument over Ivan’s fascination with bats. According to Betty, Veronica screams when she sees a butterfly. Ivan talks about bats’ helpfulness to humans. Veronica pretends to be interested in what Ivan’s interested in. Jared and Reggie observe them from a distance. Jared got a key from his dad’s office. He’s gonna unlock the door to the room where the bats are kept. Reggie’s gonna turn out all of the lights, so it’s totally dark. Then Jared will grab Ivan and lock him in with the bats. Then Reggie will turn the lights back on. Reggie asks Jared how he’ll see Ivan in the dark. Jared says he’s strong, he’s fast, and he sees very well in the dark. In the panel in which he says this, his skin is pale, and his eyes are red, but this isn’t addressed. Instead, he’s back to normal in the next panel, and he wants to show Reggie where the main light switch is.
A few minutes later, Ivan and the girls are looking at the bats. Veronica asks him how bats communicate, he answers, and Betty makes a texting joke. Veronica tries to get romantic with Ivan. Suddenly, the lights go out. Jared grabs Ivan. Veronica calls out for Ivan. A loud slam is heard.
The lights come back on (“sort of”, according to Betty, which I guess is supposed to mean back-up lights, but it looks the same as normal). As the girls hold onto each other, Veronica asks where Ivan is.
Actually, he’s fine, and he’d locked Jared in the bat room. Ha. He doesn’t take credit for it, though. As the bats attack Jared, he calls out for help. Betty runs off to find a security guard. Veronica asks Ivan if the bats will hurt Jared. Ivan says no, but he fears Jared might hurt the bats. He focuses on Jared and the bats and dramatically commands “Rest!”
They fall asleep. Veronica asks Ivan how he did it. He says it doesn’t matter, says goodbye to her, and leaves. Betty arrives with the security guard. Betty asks Veronica what happened. Veronica has a hard time explaining.
The next day, after school, while dark storm clouds fill the sky, Veronica catches up with Ivan outside the forest outside town. She got worried when Ivan didn’t show up at school today. (We learn Archie used the “grandmother died” excuse three times while skipping school.) He stayed away because of what happened at the zoo, guessing people are pretty freaked out about it. Jared’s saying it proves Ivan’s a vampire, but most people (including her) don’t believe him. Ivan admits he’s a vampire, but he says he takes a “special substance” in place of feeding on human blood.
Veronica is unsure and says Jughead claims he was brought here by aliens. Ivan believes that. Veronica cares what happens to Ivan and says Jared is out to get him. Ivan says it’s because he knows Jared’s “terrible secret”. He says, if he doesn’t stop him, all of Riverdale is in “grave danger”. This surprises Veronica. The note at the end says it’s the end of “Book One”.
This doesn’t actually happen in the story.
Archie runs to confront Veronica and Ivan in the woods and separate them – just as Ivan and Veronica profess their eternal love for each other and Veronica calls Archie a “total loser”. Archie warns Veronica that Ivan’s a vampire and tries to get her away from him. Veronica vamps out, scaring the shit out of Archie.
Veronica wakes up in her skimpy lingerie and realizes she’s had another nightmare. Wait, so she was dreaming from Archie’s perspective? That’s weird. Anyway, she hasn’t had a “normal” dream since she started seeing Ivan. She wishes her subconscious mind would shut up.
She takes her diary out of a drawer in her night stand and says it’s beginning to read like a vampire novel. She silently reads her diary entries, which serve as a recap of Part 1. The artwork doesn’t quite match, though. Veronica is unsure whether Ivan really is a vampire or just doesn’t find her attractive. She finds him being a vampire to be more believable. She realizes she’s hurt Reggie (who’s not speaking to her) and Archie (who’s trying to be understanding).
At that moment, Archie and Jughead are driving through the deserted streets of Riverdale. Oddly, Archie asks Jughead why he should care if Veronica is dating a possible vampire. He debates whether to tell her and admits he might be jealous. Suddenly, something hits Archie’s car, seriously denting its hood. They then hear a loud howl.
Jughead says there’s something moving in front of Mr. Hoppelmyer’s house and compares it to a horror movie, saying they’re gonna be eaten. Archie points out that it’s just Ivan. Ivan looks beat up. Archie gets out of his car, runs over to help him, and asks what happened. Ivan says it was Jared and frantically looks for his phone.
Archie finds it, but it’s been crushed. Ivan says there goes his evidence. Mr. Hoppelmyer comes out and shakes his fist at them, saying he just called the police. He can’t see them, because the headlights from Archie’s car are shining from behind them. Ivan has life-and-death shit to discuss with Archie and begs him to get him out of here. As the police siren is heard, Jughead mistakes it for an ice cream truck (fucking dumbass). Archie corrects him, and the three of them get in his car and speed off.
Ivan explains things. Jared is a werewolf, and Ivan enrolled at Riverdale High to keep track of him. Because of the full moon tonight, Ivan knew Jared would be transforming, so he followed him, hoping to get it on his phone. Jared sensed his presence and attacked him. Then Jared ran off, scared by Archie’s headlights. Ivan wishes Jared would let him help him to get better.
Ivan says Jared can’t accept what he is, so he wants to use video of the transformation and a threat of exposure to make him seek a cure. Archie is dubious, says good luck, and drops him off at home. Ivan begs for Archie’s help, saying Jared is getting stronger and more violent with each transformation. He’s gonna try to record Jared again tomorrow (despite what he says, it’ll technically be a waning gibbous moon). Archie asks what if Jared attacks him (Archie). Ivan says he has a plan.
The following afternoon, at Pop’s, Archie meets with the girls. Betty thinks Ivan’s just getting back at Jared by making up a story of his own. Archie is unsure and notices Veronica seems out of it. Veronica is in tears, because Ivan won’t see her and doesn’t return her calls or answer her texts.
Archie’s sure Ivan’s doing it to protect her. Veronica says Archie should stay out of it, too. Archie says he promised he’d help Ivan. Citing the “pretty weird stuff” that went on last night, Archie somewhat believes Ivan’s story. Ivan wants Archie to meet him at the zoo and record Jared’s transformation while Ivan distracts him. Betty jokes about it. Archie says he’s gotta go home and borrow his dad’s camcorder. He tells the girls to not say anything to Reggie, who’s in the booth behind the girls and overhears (despite the fact that the booth was clearly empty on the previous page).
That evening, “under another full moon”, Archie waits with “his” camcorder on a hill overlooking the Riverdale Zoo. Archie realizes he’s an idiot for helping the guy that took Veronica away from him.
Suddenly, Betty, Veronica, and an unwilling Jughead arrive (they told him that they were going to an all-you-can-eat buffet). Archie says he appreciates their support but doesn’t need it. Betty sees someone. Archie realizes it’s Jared and starts recording him. He wonders where Ivan is. Betty sees someone else. Archie realizes it’s Reggie.
Reggie warns Jared about the “set-up”, although Reggie somehow thinks Archie wants to record Jared and Ivan “fighting” and use it against Jared. Jared says Reggie shouldn’t have come here. Reggie tipped the cops off about “Dracula” regarding last night’s disturbance, and they just picked him up for questioning. Jared is pissed, saying Ivan will tell the cops about him. Reggie exclaimed “Back off, yo! I did you a favor!” I wonder if Reggie listens to phat beats and dope jams in his car. Jared wolfs out and tells Reggie to run. Reggie gets a funny line: “I–I’d love to…b-but I’m kinda frozen with fear here…”
Jared wolfs out, scaring Reggie.
Archie yells at Reggie to get outta there. Veronica expresses concern for Reggie and screams. This interrupts Jared before he can kill Reggie. Archie says they’ve got to get to his car now. Veronica believes Jared will never be able to climb the wall surrounding the zoo’s property. Archie says they can’t take that chance and pushes her. The four of them run up the hill.
Jared jumps over the wall. The gang has almost reached Archie’s car.
Archie’s plan is to drive while someone else calls the police. Jared jumps on the roof of Archie’s car before they can get in.
Ivan comes out of nowhere and tackles Jared to the ground. He asks Archie if he got the transformation on video, which he did. Ivan tells Jared and says it’s over.
Ivan advises the gang to go; he’ll stay with Jared until he transforms back, and then they’ll discuss things. Archie asks where he was. Ivan explains. Archie asks how he got away from the cops. Ivan would “rather not answer that” but thanks Archie for being such a good friend. Veronica asks Ivan about them. He says the only way that she could share his life is if she was a vampire, too, and he can’t ask her to do that. She says black isn’t her most flattering color. As the gang leaves, Veronica says goodbye and tells Ivan that she’ll never forget him.
A few nights later, Archie is driving himself, Veronica, Reggie, Betty, and Jughead to a hitherto-unmentioned dance. Veronica’s staying only long enough to show off her new designer gown, and then she’s leaving. A bat flies in front of Archie’s car, surprising him and Veronica.
Soon, at Riverdale High School, Veronica puts the kabosh on any dances tonight. She just wants to sit here looking “depressed but gorgeous”.
But Ivan has shown up at the Autumn Dance, surprising Veronica. He was hoping to have “one final dance” with her (um, I guess they’d danced together at some point) and do a better job with their goodbye. Veronica’s delighted to see him but asks why he didn’t tell her that he was coming. As they start to dance, Ivan says “I really don’t like to make plans, Veronica. Sometimes it’s best just to wing it!” Ugh. Veronica’s stunned expression says it all.
This story was okay. As a parody of Twilight, I wasn’t expecting much.