Comics – Taking a Tumble

Writer: George Gladir
Pencils: Pat Kennedy
Inks: Ken Selig
Colors: Digikore Studios
Letters: Jon D’Agostino & Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Betty and Veronica, No. 263
Cover Date: February, 2013
On-Sale Date: December 19, 2012
Length: 12 pages

In the Riverdale High School gym, some cheerleaders (female and male) are tossing a cheerleader in the air while a boy takes pictures. Betty and Veronica are nearby. Veronica is wearing a cheerleading uniform. Betty isn’t, but she’s got a purse with blossoms on it (just saying). Betty tells Ronnie that she’s doing an article on the cheerleaders for the school paper. She asks why Ronnie and some of the other cheerleaders aren’t participating in the action.

Veronica explains the ones doing the stunts are going away this weekend to compete in the cheerleading championships; meanwhile, Ronnie and her small group will stay at home to cheer for the basketball team. Veronica is unusually excited over the fact that a win tomorrow would give their boys the division title. Coach Hopkins, the cheerleading coach, arrives and tells them to start doing exercises.

Veronica suggests doing stunts to encourage the fans to cheer the boys on, but Hopkins won’t allow it, because they haven’t been trained in that area. Hopkins is going away to coach the competitive squad, so she places Ms. Rogers in charge of coaching Veronica’s squad. Meanwhile, Betty’s playing on her cell phone doing important shit like taking down notes or whatever.

On Friday night, before the game, Veronica walks over to Archie, who’s on the bench, and asks why he’s not warming up (a more obvious question would be why he’s not in uniform, since Reggie and the others are). Archie injured his wrist in practice, so Coach Clayton wants him to sit out the game to not risk serious injury.

Archie further says sitting out the game will give him a chance to observe the girls in action, and one of the other cheerleaders snickers; she knows exactly what Archie will be “observing”. Archie flatters Veronica and her squad, and she gives him some loving before getting back to her girls, since the game’s about to start.

During the game, Nancy Della takes note of Central’s early 12-3 lead (why does Della have purple pom-poms? doesn’t fit the color scheme at all). Veronica suggests doing something “more” to get this crowd going. Betty, sitting on the bench with Archie and still rocking her blossom purse, tells Archie to keep an eye on Veronica. Archie jokes about the irony of that.

Betty is serious and explains her concern, especially since the gym has a hardwood floor. Archie agrees to act as a spotter to make her happy.

The cheerleaders are on their way back to the gym from somewhere (Della now has gold pom-poms just like the others). Veronica’s holding a sign that reads “Riverdale High Can’t Be Beaten”. Della warns Veronica against doing a flying leap. Veronica is actually smart enough to avoid risking injury and simply wants the girls to lift her high enough, so she can post the sign, which she hopes will get the fans to respond to their cheers. That makes sense, but why have no motivational signs been posted in the gym already? Before we move on, I want to point out that Veronica very clearly has blue eyes in one panel; this is a bit unusual, since Veronica’s eye color usually isn’t specified.

While tying his shoelace, Archie sees the girls lifting Veronica near a wall, while holding a sign, and believes she’s gonna “try something like a double somersault”. No, you dumbass, she’s very clearly posting a sign. But Archie doesn’t see reason and instead sees Veronica falling face-first on the floor. He freaks out and runs to stop her, not bothering to tie his shoelace.

Archie trips and crashes into the cheerleaders. Veronica’s like ‘What the fuck?!” Archie, dazed and lying on top of a pile of girls, explains.

Veronica stands up and angrily explains. Ms. Rogers says Ronnie’s right knee looks badly bruised and suggests she have the nurse look at it. Ronnie agrees.

At the halftime buzzer, Archie runs to the locker room to give the team a pep talk about winning the game for Ronnie and the entire student body. Why are the team members dressed in their regular clothes? And why is Jughead in the locker room?

The team runs into the gym for the second half, now dressed in their uniforms again. The team scores more in this half – but not enough to cut Central’s big lead. Ronnie comes back, limping and with her knee wrapped. Ms. Rogers suggests sitting the game out. Veronica refuses, saying the nurse said she could continue cheering. Ronnie gets her squad pumped.

The girls start cheering. The fact that Ronnie’s cheering with a bruised knee inspires the crowd to cheer for the team, which Reggie and Jughead take note of. Oh. Jughead’s on the basketball team? And so is Dilton? I find that somewhat unbelievable.

Betty, taking notes for her article, and Veronica are excited. The game goes on. Riverdale racks up points. Moose scores the game-winning basket at the final buzzer. Betty notes they also win the division title.

After the game, the team poses for the championship photo. Archie insists on including the cheerleaders, and the others agree. Ms. Rogers is pleasantly surprised and says you can never underestimate the power of a female. Seeing Veronica and Archie in a loving embrace, Betty agrees, somewhat concerned, and ignores the loving look that a short basketball player gives her.

This story was pretty fun. One thing that I noticed was the inconsistent roster of the basketball team from panel to panel. Definitely on it are Archie, Jughead, Reggie, Moose, Dilton, and Chuck (albeit inconsistently). Then there are the random extras that come and go. Oh, well. The cheerleaders aren’t exactly consistent either.

The next story, a 6-page story titled “Cheering Section”, is actually a reprint, which is rare for a floppy title. It was the new lead story in Betty and Veronica Double Digest Magazine, No. 158 (cover-dated April of 2008 and with an announced release date of February 6 (to specialty shops) and 19th (on newsstands)).

After that are 2 pages of Betty and Veronica fashions titled “B&V Cool Looks for Winter” (in which they’re wearing un-winter-like fashions).

After this, the Betty and Veronica title became exclusively devoted to fairy tale parodies for over a year, meaning the real girls went unseen in their own title for all of 2013. They eventually saw the light of day again.

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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