Comics – Coming Distractions

Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inking: Mike Esposito
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Editor: Scott Fulop
Managing Editor: Victor Gorelick
Editor-in-Chief: Richard Goldwater
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 1
Cover Date: 1995
Length: 24 pages (including 11 pages of reprints)

Although I have the original issue, I’m reviewing this story from the digital edition.

There’s a 1-page introduction to Cheryl before the story. While she gets most of the space (in a glamour shot), Archie, Reggie, and Moose smile at her, Jughead and Veronica frown in disapproval, and Betty looks…mildly concerned.

Cheryl is walking along outside with a girl with short brown hair and glasses. The girl asks about Cheryl going to see a baseball movie with Archie. Cheryl says she’s decided to give him another chance. She references his previous fuck-up. She also refers to Betty and Veronica as a “diabolical duo”. Ronnie, standing behind some low bushes but somehow not noticed by either of them, is surprised and enraged.

Ronnie, somehow now in a clearing in the woods instead of the suburbs, makes a fist and punches in anger, accidentally punching Betty (who just shows up) and knocking her on her ass. Ronnie apologizes and says she’s really glad to see her. She helps Betty, who’s dazed but okay enough to joke about it, up. Ronnie informs Betty of Cheryl and wants to devise a plan. Betty comes up with keeping Archie busy “at all times”. That was quick – and also ineffective, considering Archie and Cheryl already have a date to see a movie.

Ronnie mails a letter and photo of herself to Archie, inviting him to the movies tonight and telling him to be at her house at 8:00 PM. Did Ronnie have that letter express delivered or something?

Betty makes Archie orgasm over her new perfume. She has him pick her up at 8:15 PM tonight for the movies.

On “D-Day” (meaning the same fucking day), Jughead finds Archie walking along. Archie explains his typical two-dates mistake, and even Jughead doesn’t think much of it at this point. Cheryl runs up to Archie and reminds him to meet her tonight at the movies. She gives him a big kiss to hold him over and leaves. Okay, wait. How did Veronica and Betty know when Archie’s date with Cheryl was? It wasn’t mentioned. Or is this just a coincidence? Anyway, Jughead asks Archie what he’s gonna do when the three girls bump into each other during the date. Somehow, this leads to a flashback to a story that the current situation really shouldn’t remind Archie of.

The next five pages are a reprint of the 1980s story, “Which is Rich“, presented as a flashback from Archie’s perspective.

Anyway, Jughead’s like “Fuck girls!”, and Archie’s like “I am!”

That night, Archie arrives at Ronnie’s at 8:00 PM, but Ronnie’s not ready, because make-up. He uses the phone to call Betty and let her know he’s running late. He wants to meet her by the snack bar. She agrees but silently wonders why he’s whispering.

At almost 8:30 PM, Ronnie’s finally ready to leave. Archie manhandles her and pulls her out the door. She’s barely able to grab her jacket. He takes off down the road like a speed demon.

In the theater lobby, Cheryl’s pissed that Archie hasn’t shown up and wonders why she’s giving him another chance. She brightens when she notices Choco-Pongs for sale at the snack bar and buys two of them to keep herself happy for a minute or two. Betty bumps into Cheryl, knocking her to the floor. Betty says “Excuse me, Miss”, not even apologizing, nor helping her up, nor looking in Cheryl’s direction, nor realizing who she hit. That’s pretty fucking rude. Cheryl, reaching for her dropped change, says it’s all right. Betty complains about Archie’s usual lateness and goes into the restroom to freshen up her make-up.

Archie arrives with Veronica and freaks out when he sees Cheryl. Ronnie somehow doesn’t see Cheryl (perhaps because she’s walking with her eyes closed). Archie takes off his jacket and puts it on their heads in the name of keeping them “cozy” in the “chilly” lobby. Ronnie says he’s insane. I would have thrown off the jacket and walked out on him. Archie orders the tickets. Cheryl, who’s nearby, somehow doesn’t recognize either of their voices. Archie parks Ronnie in a theater seat and goes to, supposedly, get nachos. He runs out and meets Cheryl. Cheryl angrily tells him that she was just about to leave. Archie puts a hand on her shoulder, apologizes to “sweets”, and hopes she’ll forgive him. She claims she never holds a grudge against a redhead.

Archie parks Cheryl in a theater seat and goes to, supposedly, get her some more Choco-Pongs. This makes Cheryl, who still hasn’t eaten her first two, happy. Archie meets up with Betty as she exits the ladies’ room, parks her in a theater seat, and goes to, supposedly, get her some candy, which makes her happy. Archie gets a shit-ton of snacks at the snack bar. Veronica, Cheryl, and Betty, each unaware of each other, are excited for the movie(s) (it’s unclear if they’re seeing different movies or the same one, but even Archie shouldn’t be that stupid).

So that baseball movie that Cheryl and Archie are seeing apparently stars an Arnold Schwarzenegger stand-in (or else they decided on a different movie). Cheryl has a lady-boner for him. Archie wants to get more candy. Cheryl protests, but Archie says he has to fatten her up. Ass. For some reason, Cheryl finds this line “smooth”. On his way out, he knocks a woman’s drink over and gets it all over her. He totally doesn’t apologize. Ass.

Archie gets nachos with cheese sauce from the snack bar and runs through the lobby, knocking a woman over. You guessed it: he doesn’t apologize. Ronnie’s pissed that he’s been gone for so long. He bullshits an explanation and gets cheese on a woman’s dog (named Pookie). He doesn’t apologize. The “romantic” movie that they’re seeing stars Warren Beatty and Shannen Doherty as the lead couple (their actual name are used), who Archie calls “a natural pair”. Veronica says Beatty is 83. He was around 57 or 58 at the time of this story and is now 82. Archie goes to, supposedly, get frozen yogurt, angering Ronnie. A character on the screen reminds Ronnie of Jason Blossom, which makes her remember something as she falls asleep.

The next six pages are a reprint of the 1980s story, “Over the Edge“, presented as a flashback from Veronica’s perspective, despite the fact that Ronnie isn’t present for the first scene between Cheryl and Archie.

Ronnie wakes up. Archie’s not back yet.

Archie arrives back in Betty’s theater. He trips over an usher and complains about it, spilling shit everywhere. Archie sits down and tells Betty to fill him in on the movie. Betty starts to (and it seems she’s seeing the same baseball movie that Archie was taking Cheryl to), but then an older woman behind her tells her to shut the fuck up. Archie claims to be thirsty and gets up to get them some soda. He starts to wonder what to bring Cheryl, but then he settles on Gummy Monks (fun fact: there was an episode of Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears where Tummi Gummi became a monk). Then the dumbass trips and bangs his head.

Archie arrives back in Cheryl’s theater. She’s angry. He calls her a nut, gives her the candy, and asks her what he missed.

Cheryl asks what happened to the Choco-Pongs. Archie face-palms. Cheryl says it’s all right and tells him to just sit. He insists on getting them for her. On his way out, he touches a child, making it cry for its mom.

In the lobby, he passes a poster for a movie called Pookie the Cat. He runs, getting dizzy, and flings frozen yogurt in a guy’s face. He tells him to enjoy it. He also knocks a flashlight out of an usher’s hand.

He gets another yogurt, enters a theater, and sweet-talks a totally-not-gay guy (who’s watching a movie about a trucker named Steve) before realizing he’s not Veronica. He runs out in a panic, leaving the yogurt, which the guy thanks him for.

Cheryl, Betty, and Ronnie simultaneously decide to visit the ladies’ room. Betty arrives first and complains about Archie. Then Veronica arrives and is surprised that she chose tonight for her date with Archie, but Betty reminds her that tonight was supposed to be her night (although we didn’t see any discussion of that earlier). Cheryl arrives and has overheard. She informs them that she’s on a date with “Knucklehead”, too. She’s pissed at Archie for daring to insult them like this. Betty clenches her fists and declares they’re gonna “show him”.

Archie can’t find Betty in her theater or Cheryl in hers (there’s an error in which a guy that was previously in Betty’s theater is now in Cheryl’s). He finds Ronnie in her theater. Veronica mentions their “good friends Betty and Cheryl” have dropped in. Betty’s sitting right next to Ronnie, and Cheryl’s sitting right next to Betty. Archie tries to leave in a panic, but Cheryl pulls him back, and the crowd encourages the girls to kick his ass. The entire theater (even the projector guys) get into it as Betty, Veronica, and Cheryl (okay, mostly Cheryl) beat the shit out of Archie on the stage in front of the screen (which is showing two actors that look nothing like Shannen Doherty and Warren Beatty).

This story is pretty fun. Typical plot, and Archie is completely insufferable, but that ass-kicking at the end is so satisfying.

According to Grand Comics Database, a decoding puzzle featuring Cheryl titled “That’s Romance!” appears between parts 1 and 2 of this story, but it’s not in the digital edition, perhaps because it’s meant to be written on. Still would have been nice to include it for archival purposes, though.

Author: markmooreauthor

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

One thought on “Comics – Coming Distractions”

  1. Maybe Veronica had the letter delivered by private messenger service, since she’s rich and can afford that type of expensive delivery, and maybe the girls weren’t sure when Archie’s date with Cheryl was, so they figured they’d better make dates with him for that very night (forestalling the possibility that Archie’s date with Cheryl WAS on that night– or if not, they hoped to be able to weasel the information out of him while on the date). So what if Warren Beatty WAS 57 at the time the story was published, and not 83? It’s no big difference to a 16 year-old teenage girl. Old is OLD, and I’m sure that’s exactly the point Dan Parent was trying to make.

    Liked by 1 person

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