Comics – The Challenge

World-of-BV-Digest-1Writer: Jamie Rotante
Pencils: Bill Galvan
Inks: Ben Galvan
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: World of Betty and Veronica Jumbo Comics Digest, No. 1
On-Sale Date: January 6, 2021
Length: 10

The new year starts off with a brand-new digest. Cool. It’s not like Archie Comics has much else going on right now, what with Archie being on hiatus or cancelled since July and Sabrina the Teenage Witch: Something Wicked waiting to fart out its last issue. So I’m glad that there’s a new digest. And that it’s a female-led digest. And that it’s kicking off with a brand-new 10-page story. Let’s get into it.

Someone is watching a video of Veronica and Betty dancing on her phone. Someone is incredulous that it has over 10,000 views.

It turns out that Ronnie and Betty are watching it on Ronnie’s phone while sitting in a booth at Pop’s. And Jughead’s the one that’s incredulous. Ronnie asks why. Jughead says it’s just them doing dances. Not just dances, Jug! They also swap clothes during the dance, which is totally not an art error! Anyway, Betty says they also have informative videos on current issues. And memes! Pop loves “those me-me things”. Jughead trash-talks “you kids nowadays” and modern technology but then takes off in excitement when he discovers a hotspot for a Pokemon Go knockoff game (which, yes, I do recall reading about in a previous issue somewhere, so points for continuity) in the parking lot. Ha.

Ronnie’s like “Fuck him” and fishes for compliments from Archie. Archie begrudgingly approves but lets her know they spend so much time on the videos that they never go on dates anymore. Ronnie is excited when she learns a BTS knockoff group is hosting a challenge: whoever has the most creative video on a TikTok knockoff wins a grand prize: the band will play in their hometown. Despite Ronnie whispering this, Ethel, Midge, and Toni are sitting in the booth behind her (despite Archie sitting there just two panels earlier) and overhear. Everyone leaves in a rush to make their videos.

Pop wonders where the fuck they went. Archie doesn’t know that but mentions what he overheard. An excited Ms. Beazley takes off running. Haha, because she’s an old hag that’s somehow interested in a K-Pop boy band. Pop asks more, so Archie explains. Reggie overhears and gets an idea.

Soon, at Riverdale High School, Reggie walks in and interrupts Betty and Veronica’s dance practice in the gym. He tells them to get inventive, or they’ll lose. Ronnie asks why the fuck they should listen to him. Reggie pulls out his phone, brings up his TikTik knockoff account, and reveals he’s…some kind of monster character that’s apparently “one of the most popular…accounts ever!” Yeah, no, but that’s what they’re going with in this story, so let’s continue. Reggie promises the girls that they’ll win this challenge, if they listen to him. He says they’ll need to “film” a few practice videos first.

Reggie records Ronnie, Betty, Midge, Ethel, and Toni exercising on treadmills, two on each; Toni herself doesn’t appear to be on a treadmill; Ethel falls off. Reggie gets Archie and Jughead involved, so he can get a video of their dogs, Vegas and Hot Dog, stacking cans. Reggie sees Betty doing a fairly impressive skateboarding stunt on a ramp and records it. Reggie then has Archie try; Archie crashes spectacularly, which Reggie loves, but he still wants something better and bigger.

Meanwhile on the band’s tour bus, their manager (or whoever) has found the winning video, and it’s…Ronnie and Betty’s dance video from earlier. The band’s impressed. One of them asks where they’re headed to perform. The manager says “Riverdale, USA”. One of them asks where Riverdale is, but the scene cuts away before the manager can answer. Fuck you, story. Numerous clues in the comics (as well as a license plate in Life With Archie: The Married Life) have placed Riverdale in New York. Stop trying to pretend Riverdale “could be anywhere”.

On another day, Reggie has seemingly called all of Riverdale outside somewhere and again promises they’ll win the challenge. Ronnie calls him out on “filming” and posting all of their most embarrassing moments. Betty questions whether he really is the person behind that popular, made-up account. He admits he isn’t and cites his vanity. Reggie wants them to participate in a video and has Dilton explain. A giant cylinder has been filled halfway with “a few” (understatement) gallons of orange soda. Soon, everyone in town will drop in their open packs of a Mentos knockoff candy, and it will create a “stellar surprise”. This seems like a variant on the Diet Coke and Mentos eruption. Betty asks if it’s dangerous. Dilton says no; they’re going for the longest ongoing stream, not the largest by volume; they just have to be careful and not have everyone do it at the same time.

But then Reggie tells everyone to do it at the same time, and there’s a huge explosion of orange soda, covering everyone. The band takes that moment to arrive in town. Oh, look, it seems Classic Archieverse Riverdale has the same basic “Welcome to Riverdale, the Town with Pep!” welcome sign from Riverdale. Everyone’s pissed at Reggie, but then the band arrives. They’re impressed with the “welcome”. They get on the roof of their tour bus and invite Betty and Veronica, who are suddenly completely spotless (not to mention fresh and full of life), up to join them as they perform their songs. Reggie tries to take credit. Jughead records a video of the girls dancing with the band in the hope of getting 10,000 views.

This story was okay. It’s a nice attempt at trying to keep up with current trends.

Author: markmooreauthor

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

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