Comics – The Minds of Betty & Veronica!

Betty-and-Veronica-270.jpg
Writer: Angelo Decesare
Pencils: Jeff Shultz
Inking: Bob Smith
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Betty and Veronica, No. 270
Cover Date: April, 2014
Length: 6 pages

As of now, the blog no longer has a fixed day of the week to update. Instead, you can look forward to an update sometime each week.

This story is introduced by an omniscient narrator, who’s promptly dropped after the first panel. Anyway, the premise of this story is finding out what BFFs Betty and Veronica think about.

It doesn’t get off to a good start, since they’re each hoping the other doesn’t show up at school today, so she can have Archie all to herself.

They’re disappointed to run into each other on the sidewalk but pretend to be thrilled to see each other. Each of them asks if the other has seen Archie today and then thinks the other is lying for denying it. Archie shows up, and the girls act bored to see him but are secretly thrilled.

At Riverdale High School, in Chemistry class, Professor Flutesnoot warns the students to be careful handling the chemicals. Betty asks Archie for help, and he agrees. Veronica seems less than thrilled until she imagines Archie causing an accident that destroys Betty’s appearance and then deciding to ask Veronica to tonight’s dance.

Later, at lunch, Betty can’t find Veronica, who was supposed to meet her here. She’s upset when she sees Veronica sitting with Archie at a table for two. Veronica apologizes and says it was the only table that was available. Betty pretends it’s all good but then imagines dumping her food on Veronica – and Archie inviting Betty to go out later and celebrate her “awesomeness”.

At dismissal, the girls race through the halls to find Archie before the other does. As they both find him, they think unkindly of each other.

Betty needs help with soccer practice for a big game tomorrow. Veronica needs research help with a big project due tomorrow. Archie tells them to shut the fuck up, because he can’t understand what the fuck they’re saying when they’re “blabbering” in his face at the same time. They take offense to this, ditch a confused Archie, and help each other. As the BFFs walk away arm-in-arm, they reaffirm their friendship but secretly hope the other doesn’t show up tomorrow.

So that was…a story. Basically, the takeaway is these supposed BFFs maintain a facade, fight over Archie, get pissed at Archie, help each other, and then look forward to fighting over Archie again tomorrow, and this supposedly goes on, day after day. Who behaves like this?

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Comics – Fashion Fantabulous!

Betty-and-Veronica-271.jpg
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Fernando Ruiz
Inking: Bob Smith
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Betty and Veronica, No. 271
Cover Date: August, 2014
On-Sale Date: July 2, 2014
Length: 20 pages

Before I get into the story, I have to comment on the cover. Yes, that’s Toni Topaz in the lower-left corner, and, no, she doesn’t appear in the actual story. Archie Comics was doing this a lot during this time, giving her undeserved cover appearances.

At Lodge Manor, Hermione reacts in shock to a letter that she receives, surprising Veronica and Betty. Hiram, playing with doing important business shit on his tablet, just asks if something’s troubling her.

The girls continue to be concerned, but Hiram, no doubt used to his wife’s freak-outs, takes it in stride. It turns out that Hermione’s old friend, Beatrice Witterstone (the “famous designer” married to movie star Kurt Jawbone), is in town and invited her to her latest fashion show. Hermione feels “so plain and insignificant” compared to Beatrice, surprising the girls.

We get some flashbacks as Hermione fills the girls in. Back in the day, “Batty” and Hermione(ca) were best friends but competed against each other…*snores* Oh, sorry, dozed for a second. Anyway, Hermione ran for senior class president and won the state beauty pageant, but Beatrice got a part in a Broadway show, where she met Kurt Jawbone. She became interested in costume design, and that led to her career in fashion. We learn from the flashbacks that Hermione was rich even in high school.

Betty, without a hint of irony, asks Hermione why they, being best friends, would compete with each other. Obvious answer is obvious. Betty suggests making peace, and Veronica expresses interest in attending the fashion show. Hiram passes along his “warmest regards” to Beatrice, pissing off Hermione. Well, we know who the guy was. If history repeats itself, Veronica is gonna “win” Archie.

At the Spring Fashion Spectacular! fashion show, Veronica is in awe. She points out Katy Keene, Gloria Granderbuilt, and someone named Mischa Muncha on the runway. Gloria Granderbuilt has long brown hair (if that’s her), and the other girl (Mischa?) is black. She seems to be a reimagining of Katy’s longtime friend/rival, Gloria Granbilt (later called Gloria Gold), who’s blonde. Anyway, Betty worriedly points out that Josie and the Pussycats is supplying the music. This pisses off Veronica. She and Valerie are cold to each other. This is in reference to the Archie/Valerie romance that had been going on for a few years at this point (they first got together around mid-2010).

Betty has to fill Hermione in. Apparently, Valerie and Archie haven’t seen each other in some time (even though they could totally text or whatever), and she and Veronica get into an argument. Josie breaks it up and suggests Betty keep Veronica in line while she and Melody do the same to Valerie. Betty agrees.

Meanwhile, Alexandra Cabot, the sister of the Pussycats’ manager, overhears and suggests to her familiar, Sebastian, that they can use Veronica and Valerie. Sebastian agrees. Suddenly, Beatrice excitedly calls out for “Hermy”. They coldly exchange pleasantries.

Betty is concerned about two “suspicious” workers in the shadows that are doing a piss-poor job.

After a model breaks a heel, Beatrice expresses concern that the show is “jinxed”. She cites a “series of strange mishaps”. Katy comes by and informs her that Mischa sprained her ankle (so Mischa is actually the brown-haired model, making Gloria the black model), and the other models quit out of fear.

Betty wants to question the two workers about all of this. In Betty’s mind, questioning begins with tackling the suspect to the floor. Betty then recognizes her as Ginger Snapp. The other worker is Ginger’s friend, Suzie. They sneaked in to watch the show, and Suzie’s hoping to be discovered as a super-model. Ginger and Suzie are female Archie clones from back in the day, created to try to duplicate Archie’s success. They were from separate series and, as far as I know, had never crossed over before.

Veronica wonders who caused all of the trouble. It was Alexandra, of course. Sabrina bamfs in behind her with Salem and calls her out on using magic. Apparently, they have a history, though I don’t know if they’d ever crossed over before. Hell, Alexandra isn’t even usually a witch; this is an old element that was brought back for this story. It’s hilarious (and stupid) that Alexandra addresses Sabrina as “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”, and it takes the shape of a logo (complete with registered trademark symbol). Who would do that? Anyway, Alexandra was just trying to jinx the Pussycats as punishment for not letting her join the band. Sabrina decides to fix the mess with something a lot more powerful than magic: friendship.

Beatrice is freaking out, because apparently there are absolutely no models available in town. Hermione tasks Betty and Veronica (odd that even Veronica’s mother refers to them in that order) with getting their friends to model. The girls agree to do it, even though I would have been pissed if this was suddenly placed on my shoulders. They run off.

Outside Riverdale High School, Betty recruits Sheila, Sherry, Shrill, and Chloe (are they attending summer school?). I think these are new students that had been introduced in the “New Kids Off the Wall” storyline in late 2010. At Pop’s, Veronica recruits Midge Klump, Ginger Lopez, Cricket O’Dell, Nancy Woods, Trula Twyst, Maria Rodriguez, and Tomoko Yoshida. Oddly, Veronica addresses all of them (except Midge) by first and last name. Who does that? Then Betty finds Laurie Lake, Linda Moore, and Samantha Smythe hanging around outside and recruits them. Okay, this gets confusing. Laurie and Linda are the Betty and Veronica equivalents from Archie Comics’ Wilbur series. Wilbur Wilkin debuted three months before Archie but is often mistakenly called an Archie clone. Wilbur is basically a blond hybrid of Archie and Reggie. Samantha is the girlfriend of Bingo Wilkin (seemingly no relation to Wilbur), a character who was retroactively turned into Jughead’s cousin. Wilbur and Bingo are also in the panel. Anyway, finally, Veronica recruits Cheryl, who’s glad to help, since Veronica now owes her a “big one”.

Betty and Veronica bring all of the girls to the fashion show. Beatrice wonders if they can model. Katy says she and Gloria will teach them everything that they need to know, much to Gloria’s surprise. Wait a minute. Now, Gloria is definitely the brown-haired girl. But a brown-haired girl was earlier identified as Mischa. So who was the black girl on the runway when Veronica listed off the models? Anyway, Gloria wants to know why they’d train their competition. Katy says because friends help friends.

Betty checks a list and realizes they’re still a few models short, so Veronica recruits Josie and the Pussycats (“especially” Valerie). Alexandra’s upset, but Josie says Alexandra, despite not doing anything useful, is still part of the band, making her cry.

Beatrice confesses she’s always been jealous of Hermione, having been hurt when Hiram chose her. They make up. Veronica is shocked to learn they were competing for her dad. She just now figured this out?! She’s not very bright, is she? Betty knew all along.

In the dressing room, Veronica and Valerie compliment each other’s looks and affirm their friendship. Sabrina re-affirms to Salem that friendship is more powerful than magic, despite the fact that she first said it to Alexandra. By the way, she says this within earshot of everyone, so she’s out of the broom closet, I guess. Beatrice comes in and tells them that the curtain’s about to rise.

So the show’s a big success. The girls (and Sebastian) are great. Smoke fills the stage. Sabrina doesn’t participate, but she watches from the audience and creates some magic sparks with her index finger, so maybe she created the smoke. I dunno. Reggie and Jughead are in attendance, and so are Mr. Weatherbee and Chuck (I think), albeit in shadow.

The audience loves it. Hermione and Beatrice are overjoyed. It seems the entire main Riverdale High faculty, Archie’s parents, and Pop Tate are here. Are all of these people last-minute invitees? Veronica vows to Valerie that no boy will ever come between them again. Valerie agrees. Veronica asks if anyone’s seen Betty. Melody says she’s in the front row – and then screams out “with Archie!!” Um, I guess she did it for dramatic effect. Veronica is shocked. Valerie is…slightly concerned. Betty seems to be wearing the same outfit as before the show, so, unlike Veronica, it seems she didn’t participate in it in order to snuggle with Archie. *sigh*

This story’s pretty nice. Not a whole lot more to say about it. On the final page is an ad for the issue that we just read (an odd thing that appeared in issues around that time). The blurb mentions the fashion show occurred in New York City, which isn’t evident from the story itself. Indeed, I wonder how the girls managed to get back to Riverdale, round up all of those girls, and get back to NYC in time for the show.

Tune in next Wednesday!

Comics – The Breakfast Club

Riverdale-2.jpgWriters: Greg Murray (pages 1-12), Daniel King (pages 13-20*)
Art: Joe Eisma (pages 1-12, 18-20*), Thomas Pitilli (pages 13-17)
Colors: Andre Szymanowicz
Letters: John Workman
Original Publication: Riverdale, No. 2
Cover Date: June, 2017
On-Sale Date: May 3, 2017
Length: 19 pages*

*Think about that. Also, I’d never come across a single comic story that required two writers and two artists. What in the actual fuck?

Before the story, there’s a recap of the previous issue on the credits page.

Wow, they’re not being at all subtle, are they?

Okay, so the title basically gives away the plot, but here it is, anyway. Archie, Josie, Jughead, Veronica, and Betty report to Riverdale High School on Saturday morning at 7:15 AM for detention in the library. Okay, I’d never heard of Saturday detention outside The Breakfast Club. Is that an actual thing? Hell, I never even heard of detention when I was in high school. It was either in-school suspension or out-of-school suspension. I got in-school suspension twice in middle school. Basically, we’d sit in a room and silently work on transcribing magazines of subjects roughly corresponding to our actual classes throughout the day. So, for example, during the time that I’d have P.E., I’d have to transcribe an article from a fitness magazine or whatever. Ah, good old room 118, its very mention striking fear into the heart of whoever was summoned there over the intercom.

Anyway, the gist is there was a food fight in the cafeteria yesterday (a.k.a. “Foodgate”), and Mr. Weatherbee has “reason to believe” they all played a role. Archie insists he didn’t do anything wrong. If Weatherbee can get the person(s) responsible to fess up, he’ll send “everyone” home right now. Um, including whoever’s responsible? We learn Mr. Weatherbee has an 8:00 AM spin class with someone named Racquel.

Anyway, no one says anything. Mr. Weatherbee has them turn over their cell phones, and he lays down the rules. Veronica demands to speak to her attorney. Josie’s missing rehearsal. Weatherbee specifically seems to suspect Betty. She says she doesn’t know anything.

At 7:21 AM, Weatherbee leaves, saying they’ve got 7 hours and 39 minutes left to go. So no one’s gonna watch them? And how are they gonna get their phones back? And why’d they bring their phones in the first place?

Archie suspects Josie, claiming she’s “threatened” by him. Josie dismisses “Ginger-vitus”. Archie decides to write down exactly how everything went down.

Archie’s account: Archie has decided to get over his “crippling” fear of performing in public by playing his guitar in the cafeteria. Melody heard him practice in the music room and says he’s good. Valerie adds he’s cute. He performs a song called “Spaceman”. He doesn’t get very far before he’s hit with food, and the “food fight to end all food fights” begins.

Archie wants everyone to sign his “accurate account” and take it to Weatherbee as a “united front”. Josie tells “Norma Rae” that no one actually saw who threw the food at him. She then pairs everyone to their Breakfast Club counterparts: Betty is the brain, Archie is the athlete, Jughead is the basket case, Josie is the princess, and Veronica is the criminal. Veronica wants Archie to add the following to his account:

Veronica’s account: Veronica and Kevin are sitting at a table in the cafeteria to get sign-ups for the gay/straight alliance, but it’s really just her way of getting him a date. They’re having no luck. Reggie comes by and wants to start up a “straight/straight alliance” with Veronica. Veronica declines. Reggie offers to give Kevin a gay football player’s number in exchange for Veronica’s number. Knowing Reggie’s talking about a “sweet” overweight dude named “Billy the Fridge”, Kevin declines, referencing Of Mice and Men. Reggie loudly calls them teases and defends “the Fridge”. He then gets hit by food.

While Veronica is upset about herself and her “best gay” being called teases, she admits to nothing except participating. Veronica accuses Betty of starting the food fight. Archie disagrees, but Betty tells him to write this down:

Betty’s account: With the River Vixens, writing and editing stories for The Blue and Gold, and acting as Mr. Weatherbee’s personal assistant (for some fucking reason; I guess it’s something that her mom thought would look good on her college application), she doesn’t have much free time, so she uses her 30-minute lunch (what kind of school gives only a half-hour for lunch?) to read. She reads The Story of O behind her Chemistry book. Jughead catches her. She explains it was banned this year. Cheryl comes by and makes fun of the Bughead pairing, and I love her all the more for it.

So Cheryl’s here with her besties, Ginger and Tina. Cheryl references Ghost World. Jughead calls Cheryl the Bride of Chucky. Betty reminds Cheryl that she’s not doing her Chem homework for her. Um, both of them are supposed to be in Biology. Anyway, Cheryl’s fine with that. There’s some banter between the three of them, and Cheryl wonders why “vestal virgin” Betty is reading this book, asking if the Fifty Shades trilogy isn’t enough for her “repressed brain”. Jughead makes fun of her, but Betty decides to actually take the time to explain to Cheryl about book banning and how she’s writing an expose for The Blue and Gold about it.

Cheryl finds a note in the book, indicating it’s a gift that Jason had given to Polly. She’s surprised. She goes off about “freaky-deaky”, “sexually perverted” Polly, despite the fact that Jason was the one that gave her the book. She goes off on Betty, referencing The 120 Days of Sodom. Betty digs her fingernails into her palms but manages to restrain herself. Cheryl tosses Betty’s book to her and warns her to be careful lest she get sent away as well. That’s when Betty throws potato salad at the back of Cheryl’s head (Jughead tries to cover for her, taking the blame, but I immediately saw through it). Moose yells “Food fight!” It begins. Cheryl vows to hang Betty and Jughead “like a banner from the gym rafters!!!” Weatherbee shuts it all down before she can get to them, though.

So Jughead takes the credit, and everyone signs Archie’s written account. They present it to Weatherbee. Archie says he had zero role in the food fight, but Weatherbee points out that an impromptu concert is still against the rules. I’m not quite sure that’s worth a Saturday detention, but whatever.

After they leave Weatherbee’s office, all of them except Josie decide to go to Pop’s for burgers and shakes. Josie can still make rehearsal (just how long is it?). Archie takes this as proof that she’s threatened by him. Betty quietly asks Jughead why he covered for her. He has a soft spot for people that oppose book banning, and he insults her throwing capability. She challenges him to an arm-wrestling contest, and he takes it back.

At Pop’s, it looks like twilight or whatever, despite the fact that it’s supposed to be shortly after 3:00 PM. Anyway, they all order breakfast items (Veronica’s is extra fancy). Is this supposed to be the same day? Or did they all just decide to reunite at Pop’s again on Sunday morning? Whatever. Betty declares they really are the Breakfast Club. There’s some more banter.

Cheryl and her besties are sitting in a nearby booth. Tina asks her what she’s thinking. Ginger mentions an incident where Cheryl had made them steal pigs from Farmer Henty’s Farm. Sipping her drink, Cheryl says “I’m thinking I see happiness…I want to destroy it.”

The final caption promises: “Next: Destruction!”

This was a nice, fun story. Cheryl’s blow-up is ironic, knowing what she goes through in season 2.

After the story is a six-page Character Guide (comparing the comic and TV versions of the characters), a one-page cover gallery, an ad for the Road to Riverdale trade paperbacks, an ad for the The Archies one-shot comic, and the cover for the next issue.

Tune in next Wednesday!

Comics – Supply and Demand!

World-of-Archie-Digest-81.jpgWriter: Dan Parent
Pencils: Bill Golliher
Inking: Bob Smith
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: World of Archie Jumbo Comics Digest, No. 81
On-Sale Date: August 22, 2018
Length: 5 pages

I’m sorry that this is so late. I’d been busy with another Archie-related post that I’d been working on for well over a year. If you have a hell of a lot of time on your hands, you can read it here. The post in question is actually the few most recent posts (dated August 31, 2018) at the end of the thread.

Betty, Archie, and Jughead are in a store. Betty proclaims her love for back-to-school season and looks to Archie for agreement. Archie wishes it came later in the summer. Jughead runs over and tells them to run for their lives, because Mr. Weatherbee and Ms. Grundy are in the store. Archie guesses they’re buying school supplies. Jughead’s worried about getting detention, because he’s a fucking idiot. Betty is sad to see they’ve run out of money. Archie and Betty talk about faculty having to buy school supplies and teachers not getting paid much. Certain it gets expensive, Betty wants to help them out.

A few days later, Veronica storms into Pop’s, screaming for Archie. This startles Reggie, causing him to drop his drink. Even Dilton’s startled.

It turns out that Archie forgot about their date. He was supposed to pick her up an hour ago. She’s not pleased with finding him here with Betty. Paraphrasing Jughead’s response from the opening skit of the old radio show, Betty tells her that this isn’t “some torrid affair”. She certainly needed to make that clear, what with Betty and Archie having their laptops with them. They might have been about to have face-to-face cybersex! Wait, that doesn’t make any sense. Anyway, moving on…

Betty explains they’re planning a bake sale, a walk-a-thon, and a charity car wash and tells her why. Archie apologizes to Veronica for forgetting their date and decides to just leave Betty. Betty tries to guilt-trip him (during which we learn they’re also planning a pot luck dinner). He stays, pissing off Veronica.

Veronica leaves Pop’s, pissed at “that manipulative little she-snake” (who talks like that?). She believes Betty’s doing this just for alone time with Archie and decides to “show her”.

A few weeks later, Betty, Archie, Jughead, Kevin, Dilton, and…someone (not quite Nancy, not quite Ginger) deliver the supplies to Riverdale High School. Mr. Weatherbee, Ms. Grundy, and Professor Flutesnoot are pleased. Mr. Weatherbee praises the students. Archie calls Jughead out on eating “half the bake sale”. Betty adds Jughead took a nap after one block of the walk-a-thon.

Just then, Veronica arrives with a Lodge Industries truck (but not actually driving it) full of school supplies. Everyone’s intimidated by the “ton” of supplies. Mr. Weatherbee asks how she amassed them, but Veronica’s vague about it.

The truth is soon revealed. Veronica worked out numerous corporate sponsorship deals (with her father’s company and others), and they put their logos over all of the supplies. Betty’s like “What the fuck?” Veronica explains. Veronica wants to take Archie on the date that he missed. However, Mr. Weatherbee wants her to talk to the school superintendent and threatens teases her with the possibility of speaking to the other schools in the district, a different one on each night. Realizing she’ll have Archie to herself, Betty vows they’ll be “busy”.

This story’s pretty good. It’s nice that they’re doing something that’s timely and relevant to the current school climate.

Tune in next Wednesday!

Comics – Betty & Veronica: Vixens, No. 9

Betty-and-Veronica-Vixens-9.jpgWriter: Jamie Lee Rotante
Art: Eva Cabrera
Colors: Elaina Unger (pages 1-14), Matt Herms (pages 15-20*)
Letters: Rachel Deering
Original Publication: Betty & Veronica: Vixens, No. 9
Cover Date: October, 2018
On-Sale Date: August 22, 2018
Length: 19 pages*

*Think about that.

Before the story, there’s a recap of the previous issue on the credits page. It seems to settle Cheryl’s status as an official Vixen.

The original artist, Eva Cabrera, has returned to the series. I’m not sure what happened. Sanya Anwar was credited as the artist in the solicitation. Her name even appeared in the credits at the top of the cover. However, the cover ended up being her only contribution to this issue. The credits on the cover of the released issue have been updated to remove Anwar and credit Cabrera and Herms.

I recently noticed an offhand comment in Archie Comics’ announcement of the upcoming Archie and Betty & Veronica titles that referred to Vixens as an “alternate universe” series. I take issue with this, because there’s really nothing AU about this title. They’re still in high school; they’re just in a biker gang on the side. It’s really just another case of the New Riverdale titles having no inter-title continuity.

Anyway, let’s get into the current issue:

As the Vixens ride, Betty declares “It’s now or never.” She asks Penny and Bubbles if they’re ready. Penny says she is and guesses Doc isn’t keeping the women in his usual base of operations, because it’s too obvious. They try to think like him. Penny has an idea and tells the others to follow her. Betty is unable to get a hold of Veronica.

Veronica flops down on her bed and watches a news report about Cheryl’s disappearance, which also covers her father. As Hermione silently looks in on her, Veronica wonders how it came to this. A couple notes about this scene: Riverdale seemingly has its own local newscast, which indicates it’s large enough to warrant it. Even my entire county doesn’t have its own local newscast. Also, there’s a “13:01” notice on the news ticker, seemingly indicating the time, but why is it in military time? Also, that’s 1:01 PM, but it’s definitely currently nighttime.

Veronica has a series of flashbacks to an unspecified time in the past. Her hair is shoulder-length. There’s a bake sale to raise money to preserve the old General Pickens statue. There are cameos from Moose and Jughead. Jughead’s eating pies, cutting into the potential revenue. Veronica, insisting Lodges innovate and delegate instead of make or sell, places a call to Francois (a chef, I guess), who brings by a truck of free snacks. She then writes Betty a check to cover the cost of preserving the statue.

Some time later, Betty is involved in a protest to save Fox Forest from being torn down by “some mogul” looking to build high-rise apartments. Betty has a nostalgia for the swimming hole, old memories, and their childhoods. Veronica sees a sign and realizes her dad is behind it, so she calls him and suggests he build where the old Pickens statue is instead (wow…). He agrees. When Betty notices the development sign being removed and asks what’s going on, Veronica says she “just pulled some strings”, delighting Betty. Something tells me that she won’t stay delighted for long, but we don’t get to see that.

We then get two panels of flashbacks to issue #7 and one to issue #8, but they don’t exactly match up.

Back in the present, as Veronica listens to her dad talk on the news about teaming up with Cliff Blossom and offering pay a lot of money for info on Cheryl’s whereabouts, she picks up her cell phone (which was confiscated by her father in the previous issue but already back in her room in this issue) off her night stand and throws it at the TV screen, shattering the latter.

A rock is thrown into the Serpents’ RV (wherever it is). Eve moves to kicks Fangs’ ass. Another Serpent promises no more trouble. Penny wants their help in taking Doc down.

It sounds good to the Serpents. With the aid of a kinda shitty map, Fangs gives them info on Doc’s operations. Betty sends Toni, Evelyn, and Bubbles to “what’s left of” the abandoned warehouse in Midvale (“Yeah, um, pay no attention to any charred corpses that may or may not be there”) and Penny, Sassy, and Midge to Greendale to talk to the locals. She wants Ethel and Pepper to stick with her. Doc and Ang are sitting in Doc’s car, parked outside the RV (how does no one notice this?!). Doc has Ang write everything down.

At Blossom Manor, Mr. Williams is writing down notes about Cheryl, including “an unknown 5K purchase” (her bike, no doubt). He tries to assure Penelope and Clifford. He then calls Mr. Lodge with his findings. Veronica passes by his den and overhears. She confronts her father, believing it’s bullshit that Cheryl is of more importance than Abbey, Sue, and any other potential victims. Mr. Lodge tells her to watch her mouth. By the way, Veronica’s utterance of “bullshit” is cut off by Mr. Lodge, but that’s no surprise at this point.

In Midvale, Toni, Bubbles, and Evelyn rough up Doc’s weapons dealers, who give up the delivery location: an abandoned cabin near Crystal Lake. Toni phones in the info. One of the guys calls, presumably, Doc to let him know, but Eve kicks him, knocking the cell phone from his hand.

In Greendale, Penny and Midge get info out of a guy outside Bananas’ Bar, and Sassy breaks into his van and frees Sue and Abbey.

Back at Lodge Manor, as if no time has passed, Veronica and her dad continue arguing. Veronica wants to find all of the missing girls. Mr. Lodge says it’s not her job. She agrees but insists it’s her duty as a decent person to help the forgotten. Hermione interrupts and returns Veronica’s cell phone to her (it looks like the screen is cracked). Hiram starts to ask why she returned it to Veronica, but Veronica begs her father to let her help her girls, saying she owes all of them. He allows her to do what she wants but also kicks her out of the house.

At the cabin, Doc and Ang watch the Vixens arrive “right on target” at “almost midnight”. The girls prepare to storm the place. There’s a wonderful split-screen, full-page panel of Veronica and Betty, each saying “…I won’t.” (Veronica won’t come back, and Betty won’t back down or hesitate.)

Penny, Midge, Sassy, and Sue arrive. They’d dropped off Abbey at a local woman’s shelter. Betty congratulates the Sassy Thrashers and wants the Vixens to take it from here, but the Thrashers want to stay. Betty has the Thrashers stand guard while the Vixens storm the cabin. Betty asks where Evelyn is. Pepper says they’ll keep an eye out. The Vixens enter the cabin. The door slams shut.

It’s Doc and Ang. Ang has a knife. Doc speechifies. Toni asks Ang why she’s doing this. Doc speechifies about the futility of it all. Doc has a remote detonator to blow up the cabin. It’s set on a one-minute timer. He says there’s only one exit, and only he knows where it is. He’s about to activate the timer.

Suddenly, Cheryl jumps down from the ceiling, kicks Doc to the floor, and plunges a knife (tied to her boot) into the back of his neck! Betty tells Cheryl of the detonator. Ang warns the girls. Veronica crashes her bike through a wall. Betty’s delighted to see her. Ang speechifies at Doc. Doc is about to call her “a worthless piece of shit”, but Ang pulls Cheryl’s knife from his neck and viciously stabs him in the back. He cries out in pain.

The girls escape the cabin, and it blows up. As the cops arrive, Cheryl says she thought she was doing the right thing by getting herself kidnapped (so that was deliberate? it sure didn’t look like it), but she admits she was wrong. Eve, sitting behind the wheel, decides they’ll take ownership of Doc’s car to get away from the cops. So…did she seriously just sit in the car this whole time?

Eve, Sue, Toni, and Ang take Doc’s car, and the others ride bikes. They stop by a cliff and look over it. Midge says they did it. Veronica says they didn’t do enough. Betty asks what happened with her dad. Veronica is sorrowful but resolute. Toni asks if they should go back. Veronica is against it, saying they’ll go forward and adding they can’t go back to Riverdale.

This was another good issue! I’m looking forward to the next one. The caption teases more adventures awaiting the Vixens on the open road…in the final damn issue of the series.

After the story is a one-page cover gallery for this issue and another Riverdale Gazette article (dated August of 2018); this one features two roller derby teams, Steel City Roller Derby of Pittsburgh and Savannah Derby Devils of Savanna. Jamie Lee Rotante says more teams will appear next time. She’s sad to say goodbye but promises the final issue “will be loaded with lots of fun, adventure and even some special cameos”. There’s an ad for the Vixens Volume One trade paperback. Finally, there’s the cover of Betty & Veronica: Vixens #10, which has Betty, Veronica, Midge, Ethel, Cheryl, and Toni lying on the grass and relaxing. Amusingly, Betty has a bandage on her face but is cheerful enough to give a V-for-victory sign and drink an iced coffee.

Tune in next Wednesday!

Comics – It Was a Dark and Stormy Night…

Riverdale-One-Shot
Writer: Will Ewing
Pencils: Alitha Martinez
Inks: Bob Smith
Colors: Andre Szymanowicz with Thomas Chu
Letters: Janice Chiang
Original Publication: Riverdale One-Shot
Cover Date: April, 2017
On-Sale Date: March 1, 2017
Length: 10 pages

I’m sorry that this is so late.

This is the final story in this issue, which serves as a sort of prequel to the first episode.

This story is narrated by Jughead, who narrates the episodes anyway. One night, at Pop’s, Jughead’s sitting in a booth and staring at his laptop. Pop asks if he can get him anything. Jughead orders another cheeseburger. Pop asks him what he’s doing. Jughead’s writing, well, waiting for inspiration to strike. He changes his order to a double cheeseburger.

Jughead actually wrote “It was a dark and stormy night.” He’s stuck after that. He then starts typing “ALL WORK AND NO PLAY” like in The Shining. Pop gets to have a bit of fun with that by coming up behind Jughead and exclaiming “Heeeere’s…Poppy!” Jughead isn’t amused. Pop observes Jughead really loves burgers. Privately, Jughead admits he loves eating them but not so much serving them.

Betty’s in LA. Reggie’s playing golf at a country club (um, okay; I don’t really picture Reggie as a golf guy; he’s probably doing it for connections). Jughead spends his days at Pop’s and his nights working at the Starlight Drive-In. He has to check that nobody sneaks in for free. That’s what he used to do, growing up, so he usually lets it slide. He hates working the concession stand. His favorite part is running the projector. Jughead gets to pick the movies. His schedule is: Mondays: noir, Tuesdays: horror, Wednesdays: westerns, Thursdays: screwball comedies, Fridays: double features, Saturdays: romance (because date night). Amusingly, a lot of the film characters shown look like Jughead or his friends. Anyway, on Sundays, Jughead cleans up. He has to put up with the Southside Serpents ragging on him.

He starts thinking about writing his own movie, heavily based on his friendship with Archie. We learn Archie dated Midge at one point in freshman year, and he went over to her house when she informed him that her parents were working late. Yeah, they totally fucked.

Back in the present, Archie visits Jughead at Pop’s while picking up food and mentions his summer job and wanting to write poetry. After Jughead nearly makes fun of him, Archie asks what he’s doing on the fourth. Jughead has the day off and suggests the road trip, and you can tell this is supposed to be the same scene from Archie’s story, except the conversation and the guys’ clothes don’t exactly match. Archie picks up his order and then tells Jughead to come by his house at four.

On July 4, Fred answers the door and is confused by Jughead’s appearance, saying Archie left this morning for the road trip. Jughead covers for Archie. After texting Archie every so often for hours (I’d like to point out that Jughead arrived around 46 minutes late) and going to the gazebo and Pop’s, Archie calls off the trip, saying something came up.

Jughead goes to the drive-in and watches Stand By Me that night. A Serpent comes by and offers to let Jughead ride with them up into the hills, but Jughead declines. We get a bit of dialogue from the movie, and I’d like to point out that “shit” is completely uncensored, so what’s the big deal in all of the other cases? Anyway, Jughead falls asleep and wakes up the next morning. He has his usual breakfast at Pop’s: coffee and a cheeseburger. Sheriff Keller comes in for coffee. Pop senses something’s going on (um, okay). Keller informs him that Jason Blossom drowned last night, and he’s on his way down to Sweetwater River. This shocks Jughead.

Then Jughead lets us know the same stuff from the beginning of the first episode. We learn Sweetwater River is connected to the Hudson. Also, Jughead seems suspicious of Archie’s absence from the crime scene in the aftermath.

Jughead’s typing away on his laptop when Fred and Archie come into Pop’s. Fred still thinks they were in Centerville on July 4. Archie thanks Jughead for covering for him. Jughead wants to know where Archie was, but Archie’s vague about it, and Jughead’s had enough of that shit. Archie brushes it off and thinks they’re still buddies. Jughead avoids him and spends the rest of the summer writing about Jason.

This was a pretty good story. I’m not a Jughead fan; he’s my least-favorite character. Still, this was okay. I just wish all of the stories in this one-shot didn’t contradict each other and/or the first episode in small details.

The next page advertises the ongoing series. The page after that is the cover gallery.

Tune in on Wednesday for more biker action!

The New Archies, Segment 23 – Jughead’s Millions

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Writer: Gary Greenfield
Director: Jim Simon
Original Air Date: Saturday, November 28, 1987 (assumed)
Length: 11:21

I’m sorry that this is a bit late.

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The segment opens with Veronica relating a rich, privileged white girl anecdote in class.

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Betty calls her out on it.

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Reggie and Veronica are shocked by this challenge to their worldview.

Archie talks about what being a middle-class kid is like.

Jughead talks about having to prepare his own “after-breakfast before-lunch snack”.

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Ms. Grundy brings up a “special class project”. They’re going to pretend to be adults.

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She marries Archie and Betty for a day.

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Reggie and Veronica laugh at that. Notably, Veronica’s not the least bit jealous.

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Ms. Grundy then assigns the “two gigglers” as their children. Veronica protests. Grundy then corrects Veronica’s grammar (complete with finger wag), because she’s petty. Thankfully, Reggie has a snappy comeback (whether intentional or not) that Riverdale fans can appreciate.

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Jughead’s all for the assignment, because he doesn’t have to do shit, but Ms. Grundy gives him $5.00 to invest in the stock market, despite the fact that he’s legally unable to. He wants to invest it in a dozen cheeseburgers, but she won’t let him.

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Amani wants to know what the c-list characters are gonna do.

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They’re gonna take care of a baby goat, of course! Ms. Grundy had the poor creature stashed in the storage closet. Did Mr. Weatherbee approve this shit?

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Also, Ms. Grundy doesn’t care that the goat is eating her students’ papers.

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The goat immediately gets on Jughead’s bad side, eating his sandwich.

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Ms. Grundy wants the rest of them to write a composition entitled “What It Means to Be an Adult”. The class hates it, and I distinctly hear Veronica protesting, even though she should be exempt from having to write it, because she’s roleplaying for this assignment.

Everyone gets up to leave, even though a bell hasn’t rung, and the class hasn’t been dismissed.

Jughead asks Archie to help him invest the money. Archie gets a bit sassy.

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Betty decides Archie’s “wife and kids” are gonna follow him everywhere.

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“Um, suuure, honey.” *mutters* “Creepy fucking bitch.”

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Reggie’s already had enough of this shit, and Veronica vows to drive Archie and Betty crazy.

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So Jughead goes downtown and invests the $5 in some sketchy cheeseburger company. I’m still not sure how he’s able to legally do this. Also, the broker never gives him a stock certificate.

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Reggie tries to fuck things up by putting gum in the computer’s keyboard.

Archie’s pissed and orders his “kids” to stand in the corner.

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Betty explains her “kids” are cranky when they’ve missed their nap, which is kind of funny. She offers the broker a tissue for the gum, which doesn’t help. Archie also tries getting the gum off.

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Reggie and Veronica continue fucking shit up.

Suddenly, the computer informs them that the company that Jughead wanted to invest in (although we never actually see that investment take place) is now the “hottest company in the country”. Jughead’s investment is now worth $50,000, and the value is going up every minute. What the fuck?

Anyway, Reggie and Veronica are excited, but Archie tells them to take it easy, because Jughead is a “responsible adult”.

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Nope. He gets his hair and nails done. I find this very unrealistic. Jughead would be spending all of his money on cheeseburgers. Period.

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Anyway, Betty suggests Jughead’s overdoing it. Archie seconds what “the little woman” said, and Betty doesn’t react. At all. If I was her, I would have punched that sexist pig right in the fucking face.

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Anyway, Jughead literally throws his money away, causing a riot, and promises more. Veronica (the billionaire heiress) and Reggie (the son of the owner of the town’s newspaper) ask “Uncle Juggiekins” (ugh) for some spending money. Well, Veronica does; Reggie just laughs obnoxiously. Jughead’s happy to give the “kids” money to buy themselves “some more trinkets”. They’re unjustifiably happy. Remember, Veronica is basically Riverdale’s version of Paris Hilton. Why the fuck is she excited over getting a few hundred dollars?

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Veronica goes out shopping and takes interest in a 49-carat diamond, which she apparently has to put her sunglasses on in order to examine. Why the fuck is she even still wearing those stupid sunglasses at all at this point?

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Meanwhile, Reggie’s bought ponies…and brought them into the department store.

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Veronica decides they’re gonna race to the ticket booth. What in the actual fuck?

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Veronica wants to buy tickets to the Rolling Pebbles concert. The ticket booth attendant, trying to go for a young, hip California surfer accent, disappoints the “rad chick” by revealing he just sold the last two tickets to “this righteous old babe”. Veronica’s bummed.

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LOL!

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Archie and Betty arrive and have a laugh at it.

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Reggie and Veronica leave their ponies unattended. Betty informs them that Jughead has a “surprise” for all of them.

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Yeah, Jughead bought a fucking wrestling arena.

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“Why the fuck did you blow a ton of money on this, you fucking idiot?!”

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“I can do rich-people shit now, ’cause I’m one of them. Check this out.”

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Yeah, Jughead also bought a fucking all-girl wrestling team known as the Fabulous Bone Crushers.

Reggie isn’t impressed, because he’s a sexist pig, so…

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The fuck?

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Archie informs his “son” that they’re off to Jughead’s new house. When did Jughead inform him of this? They just now learned about his new arena.

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Yeah, Jughead also bought a fucking mansion. Betty tells her “children” to behave themselves and informs them that dinner’s almost ready. Veronica tells “Mommy” that they will.

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Yeah, right. Oh, and Jughead doesn’t even give a shit, in case you’re wondering.

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Jughead’s butler serves him some “before-dinner burgers”. The doorbell rings. Jughead sends him to see who it is.

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It’s the fucking goat. Wow, I’d completely forgotten about that.

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Oh, and Moose, Amani, and Eugene barge in as well, chasing after it.

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Jughead can’t catch a break.

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Um, no.

The video that I have goes black for six frames, so I guess that was a commercial break.

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Anyway, Betty sucks at cooking steaks, but she manages to joke about it.

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Betty’s rice spills onto the floor, and Archie walks onto the slippery floor like a dumbass, slips, and falls.

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Betty fucked up the toast as well and jokes about it.

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Ha.

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Reggie and Veronica start chanting “We want food!”, because they’re spoiled pieces of shit, and their “parents” happily serve them. Of course, the “kids” refuse to eat “this slop”.

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There is no fucking way that that goat can drag Moose Mason.

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Okay, that’s pretty funny.

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Veronica starts a food fight.

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Jughead comes by and tries to gently tell the “kids” to knock it off.

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But then he promptly forgets about it when there’s food in his mouth.

Anyway, he tells them that he’s gonna be on The Lifestyles of the Filthy Rich. Archie makes a joke.

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Holy shit, that’s a lot of shit that Jughead ordered.

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Anyway, Jughead is interviewed poolside by a Robin Leach knockoff that doesn’t look anything like him.

The butler comes by and accidentally knocks the host into the swimming pool. He hands Jughead an “urgent telegram”. Jughead guesses it’s from his broker with news of more money.

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Nope. “All of [his] investments took a nosedive” (despite the fact that Jughead only ever showed interest in investing in one company), leaving him “flat broke”.

The butler passes out at the thought of having to stand in the unemployment line, and then he falls into the swimming pool.

Jughead doesn’t care, since he still has all of his possessions.

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Faster than you can say “What the shit?”, a bunch of guys show up and take away all of the shit that Jughead had ordered but hadn’t opened yet, despite the fact that he used cash, check, or credit to purchase them. These companies would have no idea that Jughead’s suddenly broke.

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Some random guy even comes by and confiscates Reggie and Veronica’s ponies.

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So, naturally, they throw temper tantrums about wanting their ponies.

Jughead gets out a burger “to think”, saying at least no one can take that away from him.

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Ha.

So everyone falls into the swimming pool.

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The host does the sign-off for his show, despite the facts that 1) his microphone probably is no longer working, and 2) his camera operator has probably long since taken off.

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Later, at Riverdale Junior High School, Ms. Grundy asks Jughead what he’s learned about the stock market. He says it’s risky business, and he prefers the supermarket. Don’t ever go into stand-up, Jug.

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Ms. Grundy asks Archie and Betty what they discovered about raising children. Betty says it’s not easy, and Archie has a new appreciation for parents. Ms. Grundy hopes everybody gained from their assignment.

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Veronica says Archie and Betty are “creepy parents”. Um, did they force you to watch them fuck, Ronnie? If not, then shut the fuck up. Reggie blames them for the loss of their ponies, because…reasons.

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Veronica proposes letting the two of them be the parents for a day, saying they’ll do better. Ms. Grundy asks if they’re sure, saying sometimes kids get “special treatment”. They’re sure.

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Ms. Grundy gives Betty and Archie the last two tickets to tonight’s Rolling Pebbles concert.

Veronica protests, demanding the tickets. Ms. Grundy says just the “kids” get to go. Lest you think Ms. Grundy set all of this up ahead of time, she actually admitted she was lucky enough to get the tickets, so this is merely an impromptu, last-minute lesson for Veronica and Reggie.

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Reggie blatantly snatches the tickets out of Archie’s hand. Archie demands them back.

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Just then, the goat, running unsupervised throughout the school, busts open the door, heads directly for Reggie, and eats the tickets, because no one except him is allowed to be happy.

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Oh, yeah, we learn from Archie, who makes a joke, that the goat’s name is Munchie. Whatever. The class yucks it up.

This segment was pretty stupid. It was impossible straight from the start, because Jughead would never be allowed to make an investment in the stock market on his own.

Tune in next Wednesday!