Writer: Frank Doyle*
Pencils: Dan DeCarlo Jr.*
Inks: Jim DeCarlo*
Colors: Barry Grossman*
Letters: Billy Yoshida*
Original Publication: Everything’s Archie, No. 104
Cover Date: December, 1982
Length: 6 pages
*I don’t have the original issue and am reviewing this story from the PEP Digital #45: The Best of Cheryl Blossom e-book. The story might originally be uncredited. The credits come from Grand Comics Database and may or may not be accurate.
Jason is driving his sports car and comes up alongside The Archies van. Jason and Cedric (his passenger) make fun of the band, irritating Archie (who’s driving the van) and Jughead. The van stops, and Archie and Jughead get out and unload their gear. Jughead insults Cedric’s appearance, irritating him.
Jason and Cedric make fun of The Archies’ musical abilities. Betty, unpacking her gear (her precious, stupid tambourine), is irritated and defends their capabilities. Jason and Cedric keep piling on. Betty gets Reggie’s guitar out of the van, raises it, and threatens to kick their asses. They get in Jason’s car and tear off.
Reggie takes issue with Betty threatening an ass-kicking using his guitar instead of Archie’s (never mind that Archie had already taken his guitar), and Betty has a good comeback as she hands it to him. Archie just now gets around to asking Reggie where tonight’s gig is at. Calling it his “big surprise”, Reggie promptly reveals it: Socrate’s Suds. Archie and Betty recognize it as a Pembrooke club. Archie freaks out. Betty’s worried when Reggie reveals he talked Cheryl into getting them this gig. Veronica’s concerned, too, and demands to know what Cheryl’s getting.
Cheryl shows up at that moment. She wants to be a guest performer with the “famous” Archies. Famous? Well, whatever. Sounds fair enough. Archie tries explaining they don’t have guest performers, but she says it’s a condition of them having the gig.
Questions: Where, exactly, are they in this scene, and why are they unloading their gear from the van if not to play the gig?
Later, outside the club, Jason is upset to see a sign advertising “The Archies with Cheryl Blossom”. Cedric says Cheryl can’t carry a tune.
Inside the club, the band’s getting ready to perform. Archie wants to do “Number 25”. Are all of their songs assigned numbers? And why? It seems more work than just calling them by their song titles. Anyway, Archie angrily tells Cheryl, who’s backstage, to listen for her cue. Cheryl comes out on stage, dressed in a skimpy outfit, and sings and dances, getting the audience of horny guys worked up. Apparently, she can’t sing worth shit, but they don’t care.
Oh, I actually know an alteration that was made to this story in reprints, thanks to a scan that I came across back in 2011. Originally, Cheryl’s outfit exposed some cleavage:
This has been covered up with more fabric. While I hate when stories are censored (and it’s not like cleavage isn’t unseen in Archie Comics), I will admit the original artwork was pretty sloppy. Cheryl just seems to be missing her right breast entirely.
Jason comes in and demands Cheryl get off the stage, but she refuses, so he and Cedric pick her up and carry her off, berating her. Okay, that is seriously fucking disgusting. I hate it when females are manhandled. She seriously should have kicked their asses. And why’s the rest of the band not helping her?
The club’s manager arrives, seemingly upset, but he allows them to continue performing and even offers them another week, saying they were sounding great before they ran in “that tone deaf cover girl”. The band performs. The crowd loves them. Well, all except Cedric and Jason, who are still here – with no sign of Cheryl. Cedric is pissed about The Archies performing here. Jason says they should have let Cheryl continue singing, and the manager would have tossed them all out.
This story was okay, but I hate how Cheryl was treated at the end, regardless of her singing ability.