Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: DeCarlo and Parent
Inking: Rudy Lapick
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Editor: Victor Gorelick
Editor-in-Chief: Richard Goldwater
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom (Summertime Fun*), No. 1
Cover Date: September, 1995
Length: 21 pages
Although I have the original issue, I’m reviewing this story from the digital edition.
*The various Cheryl Blossom miniseries that preceded her ongoing series were simply named Cheryl Blossom, but they have unofficial names. This first miniseries has been referred to as Cheryl Blossom: Summer Fun, but it’s listed on Amazon as Cheryl Blossom: Summertime Fun.
So here’s something odd. It’s generally thought the success of Love Showdown led to Archie’s Love Showdown Special, which led to the four-issue Cheryl Blossom Special, which led to the three Cheryl Blossom miniseries, which led to her ongoing series. However, it seems that’s not quite the case. The first three issues of Cheryl Blossom Special have cover dates of 1995 (no months), but the fourth one has a cover date of 1996. Based solely on the seasonal references in the various stories, it seems this miniseries occurs between Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 2 (when it’s spring), and Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 3 (when it’s Christmas and New Year’s Eve). In which order they were published, I have no clue. However, that’s where the stories in this miniseries seem to fall from a continuity perspective.
Betty, Veronica, Archie, Jughead, and Reggie arrive at the beach. Through the girls’ exposition, we learn their summer vacation lasts ten weeks. Jughead wants food. Reggie looks at girls, but Archie doesn’t.
Archie declares he’s through with non-stop girl-chasing (he’s “getting too old” for it) and is “just going to appreciate Betty and Veronica”. Then Cheryl trips over Archie, he gets a nice look at her boobs and gets a boner, and that’s the end of that. An angry Ronnie points out that Cheryl usually hangs with her friends over at Langley Beach (which we’ve never heard of before). Cheryl says she has “business” here. Ronnie insults Cheryl’s hair color.
Cheryl insults Ronnie’s swimsuit. Jason arrives and breaks it up. Archie comes over and insults Jason, but Ronnie’s happy that Jason’s here (although she shouldn’t be). Betty’s happy that Jason’s here, too. However, it seems the girls are just giving Archie a dose of his own medicine. Jason treats the girls to “a sno-cone” (just one, I guess). Cheryl cozies up to Archie, which angers Ronnie (yeah, she’s a fucking hypocrite). She asks Jason if Cheryl’s always been this way.
Jason pulls a massive Polaroid out of his wallet, which I guess was in his speedo. It’s Cheryl at the beach, at age 6, already attracting the attention of boys. We then go into a flashback, where Cheryl builds the biggest sand castle (the corporate tower of Cheryl Blossom Inc.) and becomes so renowned that she sells autographed pictures of herself to boys for $1.00 – including to Robby Barton, who’s “nearly eight years old!”. Um, a few notes about this flashback: 1) Dan Parent thought kids still said “groovy” in the 1980s. 2) There’s possibly a misplaced word balloon. 3) One girl seems to call another girl by two different names.
Well, it seems Veronica and Betty each have their own sno-cone. Actually, it looks more like vanilla ice cream. Anyway, they’re upset about Cheryl having Archie. Cheryl has sculpted a village called “Cheryland”. She hopes to someday marry a foreign duke or king and rule a town. Meh, she’s thinking too small. Then she declares to all of the guys that they “will do” in the meantime, and they cheer and thank her. Ronnie and Betty wanna puke. Jason tells them to not worry, saying Cheryl will be busy. Ronnie wants to know what he means.
Cheryl has a summer job. She’ll be working with Seymour Flopsy, who she’s obsessed with. Oh, great, him. Ronnie points out that he’s hella ugly. Jason says he’s the one guy that doesn’t have a raging boner for Cheryl, and Betty realizes that makes Cheryl want him more. Betty and Veronica are happy – until Jason points out that they’re lifeguards.
So Cheryl’s a lifeguard, and suddenly all of the guys need “rescuing” from the water for one reason or another. Cheryl sees through their bullshit and is tired of it but goes to help them out of obligation. Veronica and Betty are lying on a beach towel and angrily comment on the bullshit.
Seymour points out to Cheryl that, even if it’s all bullshit, they’ve still gotta check it out. Um, yeah, she knows. However, Cheryl just wants to stay in the tower with Seymour. He gets up to help the swimmers and tells her to hurry the fuck up, which turns her on. Reggie flirts with Cheryl and then kisses her on the lips. She’s a black belt in some kind of martial art, though, and throws that fucker into the air. Seymour tries to rescue a random dude, who doesn’t want him.
The dude, whose hair changes color by the next page, wants Cheryl to rescue him. Seymour’s like “Tough shit”, so the dude briefly drowns Seymour and then swims away. Cheryl spots what seems to be a real drowner further out and swims toward her, but it’s just Ronnie, who wants “Blossom” to “rescue” her (to waste some of her time). Cheryl agrees.
Cheryl carries Ronnie out of the water, drops her lying ass in Jughead’s picnic basket, and then apologizes. Roscoe, the head lifeguard, comes by and calls the guys out on their bullshit. He also technically compliments Cheryl’s appearance, so Cheryl thanks him. Roscoe lectures the guys, and they feel guilty (even Reggie).
Archie’s glad that he didn’t pull that shit. Then he gets attacked by a bunch of jellyfish and starts drowning. He calls for help, but Cheryl and Seymour don’t believe him. After Archie’s been under for a few minutes, they start to have second thoughts, but Seymour convinces Cheryl that it’s “just another scheme”. Cheryl can’t blame Archie.
Archie finally is able to get out of the water, and he’s pissed at Cheryl. Cheryl apologizes and asks for his forgiveness. Archie says he’ll never forgive her. Cheryl offers to give him “a little mouth-to-mouth” just to make sure he’s okay.
Cheryl kisses Archie, Archie gets a boner, and all is well. Roscoe calls for Cheryl, so Cheryl drops Archie in Jughead’s picnic basket.
Later, Cheryl runs by, crying. Betty asks her what’s wrong. Cheryl’s been fired for being “too much of a distraction”, even though she did absolutely nothing wrong. Side note: Cheryl’s eyes seem to be more grey here instead of blue.
Ronnie is happy, but Betty and Archie are sympathetic. Cheryl leaves in tears to go home. Betty and Ronnie suddenly come to a realization and shamelessly celebrate – complete with Ronnie singing “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang. Archie’s pissed at their behavior and storms off to “comfort” Cheryl. Ronnie says they were “just kidding”, and she and Betty feel bad over losing Archie rather than their glee at Cheryl’s misfortune.
Archie walks up to the front gate of Blossom Manor, realizing he’s never been in Cheryl’s house before or through the front gate. He rings the bell. A booming voice comes on the intercom, scaring Archie. Archie states his name, but he’s “not okayed for clearance”. But then “Miss Blossom” says to let Archie in. The gate opens. Archie marvels at the size of the mansion (compared to Veronica’s) and goes up to the front door. A butler (who may or may not have been the person on the intercom) greets Archie and takes him to Cheryl.
They take the tram to the west wing and then take the elevator a few floors down. Archie enters Cheryl’s bedroom. Cheryl welcomes him. After some banter, Cheryl cuddles with him. Suddenly, her dad appears on a monitor on her wall and demands to know who’s with him.
Cheryl introduces Archie. Her father doesn’t approve of boys in her room and has Cheryl bring him down, so he and her mother can meet him. Archie asks Cheryl if her dad always monitors her room. She confirms it with a funny line. Before we move on, if my assumption of when this issue came out relative to the Specials is correct, this story is the actual first appearance of Cheryl’s parents.
So they go down to a large room/hallway filled with (presumably) family portraits, and Archie meets Cheryl’s parents (who are unnamed). Oddly, Cheryl introduces Archie as her “new friend”, even though they’ve already known each other for quite a while. Penelope assumes Archie goes to Pembrooke, and Clifford is shocked that he goes to Riverdale. He has Archie come with him, and Archie thinks he, a “lowly townie”, is doomed. Cheryl hopes her dad goes easy on Archie. Her mom asks her if she’s serious about him. Cheryl still places Seymour higher but finds Archie “irresistible”. Even Penelope gets a bit of a lady-boner for Archie.
Even Penelope knows how the “town girls”, Betty and Veronica, “squabble” over Archie; that’s what Cheryl finds irresistible.
Clifford takes Archie into his study and shows him a wall filled with family pictures. Cheryl and Jason were crying when they were brought home from the hospital (Clifford had black hair instead of his normal brown). Cheryl pulled on Jason’s hair as a toddler. She and Jason got into food fights as kids. This is probably one of the few places where you can see topless photos of Cheryl.
Cheryl and Jason competed in their walkers, tricycles, and sports cars. Now, they battle in every way for everything, but Clifford loves them dearly. Archie’s convinced he doesn’t measure up, but Clifford surprises him by saying he’s the “dose of reality” and “taste of real life” that Cheryl needs.
Archie explains he’s usually booted out by fathers, especially Mr. Lodge. As they head out, Clifford says Archie’s welcome here, which delights him. Cheryl passes them by. Clifford tells her the good news. She’s happy but heads off to a date (it was a previous engagement). She apologizes. Archie says he’ll see her later. She lets him walk her to her car. After they leave, Clifford expresses his delight in Archie to Penelope. He has an idea to keep Cheryl and Archie together all summer, but Penelope gets shocked when he calls Archie “Mr. Archie Blossom”.
The note at the end says “End”, but it also says it’s continued next month.
This story is pretty fun. Cheryl was unfairly targeted by the girls and her boss, though. She was just doing her job.
After the story is a 2-page fashion feature called, creatively, “Cheryl Blossom’s Fashion Page”. This is not included in the digital edition, which is a shame. Here’s the description from Grand Comics Database: “Fashion ideas sent to Archie Comics are featured. Tight rough sketches by DeCarlo. Cheryl and DeCarlo are featured as animated characters discussing different outfits submitted.”