Writer: Jamie Lee Rotante
Line Art: Sandra Lanz
Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Betty & Veronica, Vol. 4, No. 4
Cover Date: May, 2019
On-Sale Date: April 3, 2019
Length: 20 pages
Before I get into the story, I need to call out one of the variant covers for its bullshit pairing of Betty and Jughead, which is just trying to cater to Bughead shippers (of which I’m not one, for what it’s worth).
Before the story, there’s a recap of the previous issue on the credits page. It’s mentioned “neither of them actually wants to go to Pickens” (that means Veronica as well), something that hasn’t been made clear in the story itself.
After a very brief recap of the end of the previous issue, it jumps to spring, when Betty and Veronica are again walking arm-in-arm down the street. Betty’s acting excited about Pickens.
Oh, there’s an unknown narrator that pops up once in a while. Anyway, Betty expresses her doubts about attending. Veronica shames “Miss All-American Riverdale High” for wanting to skip out on the senior prom. Honestly, I don’t know if Veronica misunderstood Betty’s comment or if the issue had skipped to the middle of a conversation about the prom. Regardless, Betty calls Veronica out on her mood. They see a lit sign advertising seven days until the Riverdale High prom. Veronica says that’s excessive. Betty explains Ethel went all-out with the prom committee, and Cheryl donated money for the sign. Betty says she doesn’t have any money to attend the prom. Veronica knows Betty won’t accept money from her but offers to loan Betty one of her very out-of-season dresses. Then Veronica suddenly gets an idea and takes off, vowing this discussion isn’t over yet. Betty’s apparently used to weird shit like this from Veronica by now.
At Lodge Enterprises, Veronica’s giving a presentation at a meeting as Hiram observes. After the others leave, Veronica tells her dad that she’s “killing it”. This confuses him. They sit down at the conference table. She asks how he’s feeling. He’s getting better every day. He had a heart attack and an emergency triple bypass and jokes about it. She says he’s funny and stares at him.
Hiram can tell something’s on her mind. Veronica wants to do something bigger than what she’s doing; she wants to help people (like with her advice column at Sparkle). Since the company’s kicking ass and raking in the cash, Veronica suggests starting some philanthropic initiatives. Hiram’s proud of her and tells her to “make it happen”. Oh, and there’s a brief discussion of “a few hiccups over the years”, and Veronica swears she “sold that bike”. A Vixens reference?
At the Masons’ house, Betty is tutoring Moose, and he admits he had lied to her about taking his GED: he already took it and passed. Betty is proud of “Moosey”. Moose admits he couldn’t have done it without “Betts”. Then he sighs.
She asks what’s wrong. He really misses Riverdale High and Midge. Betty asks him to the prom, so he can get one last taste of high school life and reconnect with Midge. He accepts.
With three days until the prom, in the evening, a station wagon crashes into the flashing sign that Cheryl had paid for.
The next morning, at Betty’s house, Betty and Polly are sitting on the rug on the living room floor. Polly wants Betty to practice in preparation for an interview at Spellman, “the most prestigious school on the East Coast”. Did they really just take Sabrina’s last name and turn it into a school? Anyway, Betty reminds Polly that she’s already going to Pickens, because it’s what they can afford. Polly’s betting Betty can ace the interview, get another full-ride scholarship, and transfer next year. Betty says kissing ass to have people accept her is bullshit. Alice comes in with a (surprisingly small) newspaper and informs the girls of the “accident” involving the prom sign; she hears it might have been “the Mantle boy”. Betty gets to her feet in surprise. Polly automatically assumes Reggie did it on purpose.
Veronica arrives at Riverdale Hospital with a bouquet of roses for Reggie and asks at the desk for his room number. Reggie walks by at that moment. She asks if he’s okay, but he’s cold with her. She begs “Reginald” to tell her what’s going on.
He sits down and says his grandma’s been sick since New Year’s Eve and has been in and out of the hospital ever since. He was so tired coming home from visiting her last night that he fell asleep at the wheel. Veronica sits next to him and offers her condolences. Crying, Reggie says his grandma is the only person that understands and listens to him. His dad’s a jerk, and his mom buys into his every word. His grandma was the only one that knew about what happened with Betty. Veronica asks him to the prom, so he can have one night for himself, let go of his problems, and just be a teen again.
It turns out that the narration is Veronica typing up her advice column. She’s in her room, typing it up on her laptop one night, and has summoned her parents. She lets them know she got into Pickens but doesn’t want to go there (now I know why the previous-issue recaps have seemed weird: they spoil plot points that we haven’t read yet). She’s still not sure Hitchens is the right fit for her either, but she thinks it might be a good start, but she’s not comfortable attending, knowing how she got in. This is news to Hiram, and Veronica’s surprised that he had nothing to do with it. He congratulates her and says it’s all on her. Her parents leave, and she seems to not know how she feels.
On prom night, in the Riverdale High School gym, Veronica and Reggie stand in some overhead bleachers, observing. Veronica says Ethel did a nice job. Reggie wants to leave, but Veronica wants him to give it a little bit. He agrees to one hour.
As Betty enters the gym, Reggie says she looks beautiful. Veronica says that dress is one of hers but admits it looks better on Betty. Reggie seems to be worried that Betty’s here with Archie.
Archie brings Betty punch and compliments her appearance. Moose arrives. Archie’s glad to see him. The feeling’s mutual. Midge arrives and confronts Moose.
Midge accuses Moose of stalking her. He denies it and says he came here with Betty. Midge is still upset. Betty’s surprised to see Reggie and Veronica, which makes them nervous. She goes to confront them, which angers Midge, because Betty dared to walk away from her.
On the dance floor, Betty and Veronica get into an argument, Reggie says this was a bad idea, Cheryl’s pissed about Reggie nearly plowing down their prom sign, Ethel blames it on the brightness (which she’d already warned Cheryl about) and guesses Reggie was distracted, Midge still believes Moose is stalking her, and Moose tells Betty that her plan backfired. On the stage, Archie tries to get everyone’s attention. Before we move on, kudos for the inclusions of the random interracial couple and m/m couple, but why is there no f/f couple?
Archie gets his left foot tangled in a cord and gets hoisted up, so he’s dangling upside-down (this seems very contrived), earning simultaneously shouts of “Oh my God!” from the crowd.
While continuing their argument, Veronica holds onto Archie while Betty untangles his foot from the cord. They lay him on the stage. Jughead takes a picture for the front page of the school paper. Archie tells the girls that they just saved his life (um, I wouldn’t go that far) and apologizes. Veronica asks about what. Archie says he hates to see two best friends fight over him. After a moment, Betty and Veronica burst out laughing, confusing Archie.
Archie thanks them for the confidence boost, admits he jumped to conclusions, and asks if they’re fighting because Betty doesn’t want to go to Pickens. Then he leaves. Veronica is surprised. Betty admits she should have told Ronnie sooner. Thrilled, Veronica hugs Betty, admitting she doesn’t want to go to Pickens either. They simultaneously ask “Why didn’t you tell me?” Because the writer chose to stretch this stupid plot point out for four issues, that’s why.
Betty and Veronica simultaneously explain “I didn’t want to hurt you.” They realize they should have been talking all along. Veronica promises this won’t ever happen again. Betty suggests a pinky promise. Veronica thinks they’ll need a better system. They hug. Betty’s so happy that they worked everything out. Veronica asks about the people that are still angry.
The next story will involve the graduation.
There’s a (cropped) cover for the next issue with a blurb that teases surprises. That’s followed by a cover gallery for this issue and an ad for the trade paperback of Archie Meets Batman ’66.
This is another good issue. I look forward to the seeing how it all ends. Judging by the blurb, the final issue will focus as much on summer as it does on graduation.