Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inking: Jon D’Agostino
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom, No. 10
Cover Date: March, 1998
Length: 21 pages
Although I have the original issue, I’m reviewing this story from the digital edition.
Cheryl is bored with strutting around and showing off her new winter wardrobe…for six hours. She decides to go “slumming” in Riverdale.
In Riverdale, Betty thinks it’s a beautiful winter day, but Veronica has a weird feeling. Reggie bumps into her in a daze. The girls spot Cheryl. Reggie compliments Cheryl on her outfit, and Ronnie tells him to fuck off.
Cheryl mentions her new perfume, seemingly claiming it’s the cause of Reggie’s reaction, even though he had specifically complimented her outfit and said nothing about scent. Ronnie and Cheryl insult each other, and Ronnie is about to force-feed Cheryl snow, but Betty advises Ronnie to ignore her, having learned it from Ronnie. Ronnie invites Cheryl out for hot chocolate. Cheryl would love to, but she goes to her “favorite other redhead”.
Betty is furious that Cheryl is going after Archie, who’s ice-skating on the frozen lake, and moves to save him from the “vamp”. Ronnie calls Betty out on her hypocrisy, but Betty declares “All rules are exempt when it comes to Archie!” Ronnie seems to agree but probably actually doesn’t. Archie ignores Betty in favor of complimenting Cheryl’s outfit (including the vest that she’s wearing under her jacket). He falls backward and knocks Betty on her ass.
They go over the edge of a hill, rolled up into a big snowball. This kind of bullshit doesn’t happen in real life. Dan Parent is totally aware of this, because Archie exclaims “I feel like I’m in an old cartoon!” Cheryl has somehow already made it to the bottom of the hill and makes a bowling joke upon impact.
Betty gives Cheryl a faceful of snow, making Ronnie proud. Betty and Ronnie tell Cheryl that she’d be nobody without her looks, fame, and wealth. Cheryl is so forceful in her rebuttal that Ronnie gets a bit scared. Cheryl is determined to prove she can do anything with or without fame and looks.
Ernesto, “the top Hollywood makeup artist”, arrives at Cheryl’s house on an “emergency”: she needs him to make her “plain and normal looking”.
They go to his studio, Ernesto’s Place, and transform Cheryl into…a 1980s girl: loud outfit, blonde wig, pink headband. Cheryl looks more stereotypically 1980s here than she ever did in the actual 1980s. Cheryl decides to test this out on “some ‘unsuspecting’ locals”. Why did Cheryl put unsuspecting in quotes? Is she well aware that Betty and Veronica would be expecting this?
Maybe, because she tries it on Priscilla and Cedric. They somehow don’t suspect her, even though her face is exactly the same. Priscilla insults her. Cedric laughs.
Cheryl claims to be new in town and wants them to hang out together, but Cedric and Priscilla are snobby toward her. Cheryl reveals herself. Priscilla is confused and thinks Cheryl was trying to prove they’re snobs (which they already know). When Cheryl brings up Riverdale, Priscilla gets it: she’s going to play with their “simple minds”. Cheryl tells them to not tell her parents, because they don’t have her “sharp” sense of humor.
Soon, Cheryl has her chauffeur, Jasper, get the limo ready, because they’re going to Riverdale on a “secret mission”. She tells him to keep quiet about this and has him drop her off at Pop Tate’s. Cheryl is delighted when it seems “the whole gang’s” there.
Cheryl goes in and politely orders an ice cream soda. Ronnie wonders who she is. Betty says “She must be new to these parts!” What teen talks like that? Cheryl “accidentally” spills the ice cream on herself. Betty decides she and Ronnie will help the “poor girl”. They get her cleaned up and introduce themselves.
Cheryl introduces herself as “Shirley Merriwether” and says she just moved here. Betty invites Cheryl to sit with them and compliments her “retro” outfit, assuming it’s for a theme party. She seemingly changes her opinion when she learns it isn’t. Ronnie asks “Shirley” about herself. Cheryl makes herself sound like a lonely loser. Ronnie declines to see pictures of her cats, upsetting Betty. Cheryl excuses herself to use the restroom in tears.
Betty says Shirley’s probably going to cry. Ronnie didn’t mean to offend “that poor pathetic creature”. Cheryl has a good laugh in the restroom and composes herself for “Act 2”. Betty invites Cheryl to a dance on Saturday. Cheryl says she doesn’t have a date. Ronnie says she doesn’t need one and can dance with different guys. Cheryl says she can’t dance.
Betty and Ronnie fire up a song on the jukebox and show her how to dance. Cheryl tries it out but “accidentally” bumps into Archie, who’s sitting by himself at a table. This is really odd, considering Betty and Veronica are here; it’s even weirder when you consider this is the first that we’ve seen of him, four pages into the scene. Anyway, Cheryl apologizes to the “cute redheaded stranger”. Ronnie says “Oh, that’s just Archie!” Cheryl asks Betty and Ronnie if he’s one of their boyfriends, but they say it’s a “long” and “very complicated” story.
Cheryl pretends to be sad that he could never notice her. Betty and Ronnie go to Archie and talk him into asking Cheryl for a pity dance. Archie does but then tries to take an easy out, but Cheryl won’t let him. Archie compliments her dancing but silently thinks “this feels strangely familiar”.
Archie feels “strangely attracted to” Cheryl but doesn’t know why. He “can’t place these strangely familiar feelings”. Cheryl is pleased with herself. Jason shows up and greets the “Riverdalians”. Archie is upset. Cheryl freaks out.
Jason came to see Betty, who’s happy to see him. Cheryl remembers Jason has a crush on Betty. Betty introduces Jason to “Shirley”. Jason asks her if they’ve met before. Cheryl says she doesn’t think so (why not “No”?) and quickly leaves. Jason “can’t place where” he met her before and decides to follow her. He observes her making a call on her cell phone.
He also observes the limo picking her up (while failing to realize who owns the limo). In a scene that works only in the movies, Jason quickly finds a taxi and has the driver follow the limo. Um…did Jason walk to Riverdale? I doubt it, so did he just leave his car behind? The “Welcome to Pembrooke” sign has the motto “A Cut Above” on it. As a fun gag, the taxi has a sign on the back that reads “How Am I Driving? Keep it to yourself”. Jason observes the limo going through the gate to their house and guesses “Shirley” is “probably some kind of Blossom groupie or something”. How can he be this fucking stupid?! Cheryl rolls up the window to change out of her costume without giving Jasper an eyeful. She again tells him to keep quiet. Jasper’s uniform is mistakenly colored a light green instead of blue for this one panel.
Jason sees Cheryl getting out of the limo but still doesn’t put it together. He asks Jasper about the “nerd”, and Jasper immediately outs Cheryl (whether intentionally or not). Jason still doesn’t put it together and decides to “shift into spy mode”. Jason observes Cheryl putting her Shirley costume away (while conveniently talking out loud about it) and finally puts it together, believing it to be a “pretty good” disguise.
Jason is about to confront Cheryl about it when he hears her conveniently talking out loud about her “plan”, so he decides to wait and find out what it is. He thinks he can use this “powerful information” to his advantage and make Betty “very appreciative”. A footnote says “the exciting second part” of “Who’s That Girl” is in the next issue. True in a sense, but the story has a different title; otherwise, I would have reviewed it in its entirety in this post.
This story was pretty stupid. Everyone’s a fucking idiot for getting fooled by a wig. There’s no indication that Cheryl even changes her voice. And her conversation with Betty and Veronica earlier should have clued them in. But no, everyone’s a brain-dead moron. And we’re only halfway through.
Between Parts I and 2 are a page of Cheryl fan art (with contributions from Amanda Hill of Houston, Texas; Katie Patch of Bethesda, Maryland; Kristy Percival of Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada; Jessi Dietz of Odessa, Texas; and Amy Williams of Stateville, North Carolina) and a 1-page Cheryl illustration titled “Cheryl’s Hello Riverdale Fashion”.
Between Parts 2 and 3 is a 1-page Cheryl illustration titled “Cheryl’s Time for a Change Hairdos”.
Between Parts 3 and 4 is a 2-page “Dear Cheryl” letters column by Sara Algase.