Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Jeff Shultz
Inks: Bob Smith
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: B&V Friends Jumbo Comics Digest, No. 276
On-Sale Date: December 4, 2019
We begin a new year of reviews as we begin all things: with Cheryl Blossom.
This is a bit unusual: it’s a Sam Hill story. Who in Sam Hill is Sam Hill, you ask? He’s a rather obscure private detective character that debuted in 1950 and had a short-lived comic series. He’s so obscure that Wikipedia doesn’t even list him in its list of Archie characters. I had to look elsewhere for info. Apparently, he had a bit of a revival in 2015, and they now wanna give him his own TV series. Okay.
So I don’t know how frequently (if ever) Sam interacted with the Riverdale gang before this story, but here it goes.
So the story starts off with Sam doing the stereotypical hard-boiled narration. He’s come to Riverdale, because Mr. Lodge, the “richest man in Riverdale”, wants to hire him. Sam doesn’t seem to think much of Mr. Lodge’s intellect. Anyway, Sam shows up in Mr. Lodge’s office. Hiram needs him to investigate Veronica. Sam looks at a photo of Ronnie and makes a creepy joke, which angers Hiram. Hiram grounded Ronnie for seeing Archie but suspects she’s sneaking off to see him. He wants evidence.
Sam tails Ronnie as she zooms off from Lodge Manor, her tires losing contact with the road. I guess she’s been taking driving lessons from Betty. But it seems she gets stuck in traffic, because this is Riverdale.
Sam follows Ronnie to Pop’s and discovers she’s actually meeting with her “lady-in-waiting”, Betty. Ronnie’s not happy with Betty, accusing her of stealing Archie from her for today. Betty says the same thing about her. That’s why she asked Ronnie to come down here in person: it proves neither of them are with him. Betty suggests confronting him at the same time. Ronnie has an oddly-worded response: “Oh. Oh, yes. I will drive.” Sam’s hanging out at the counter and might or might not have ordered anything, but Pop doesn’t seem to mind.
Ronnie and Betty confront Archie at a table outside a bistro. He’s nervous. Betty reveals they compared notes. Ronnie adds they saw him tagged online with “her”. We then see who Archie’s sitting with: Cheryl Motherfucking Blossom. Apparently, Cheryl had told Archie that the cover stories were foolproof. Cheryl doesn’t give a shit and just leaves, stiffing Archie with the check.
Sam gets a pic of Archie and Cheryl with his phone and then leaves the “crime scene” before it gets “grizzlier”.
Back at Lodge Manor, Sam presents Mr. Lodge with the evidence and also takes it upon himself to say Ronnie definitely isn’t seeing Archie (despite Ronnie’s earlier dialogue at Pop’s indicating she was). Ecstatic, Mr. Lodge exclaims “Christmas came early!” and has Smithers write Sam a check for double his fee.
So…was the whole point of this story “Cheryl gets Archie beaten up”?