Comics – Which is Rich

Archie-323.jpg
Writer: Frank Doyle*
Pencils: Dan DeCarlo*
Inks: Jim DeCarlo*
Colors: Barry Grossman*
Letters: Bill Yoshida*
Original Publication: Archie, No. 323
Cover Date: April, 1983
Length: 5 pages

*I don’t have the original issue and am reviewing this story from the digital version of Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 1 (1995). I don’t know if anything was censored or otherwise altered for this reprint. The story might originally be uncredited. The credits come from Grand Comics Database’s entries for reprints in digests and may or may not be accurate.

Before we get to the story, please take note of tiny cowgirl Cheryl on the front cover.

Archie and Veronica are walking along. Cheryl drives by in a gold sports car, comes to a screeching halt, and greets them. Archie is happy to see her, but Veronica isn’t. Archie notes it’s a new car, and Cheryl confirms it. Archie asks why, saying her other one was pretty much new. Cheryl gets out of her car and admits she changed her car to match a new shade of nail polish that she’d decided to try. This pisses Veronica off. Oh, please, like Ronnie wouldn’t do the same thing.

Veronica goes along with Cheryl’s reasoning, though, and it’s only now that Archie realizes what Cheryl did. He really is an idiot. Archie flips his shit, but Cheryl doesn’t care. Veronica then basically challenges Cheryl to a “flimsiest reason that I’ve gotten rid of a car” contest. This lasts one turn each.

Veronica then mentions her father just bought a $60,000 mink coat for his limo and cut it up to cover the floor. Archie feels physically ill. Cheryl accuses Veronica of exaggerating, which she denies.

Cheryl reveals her family is vastly richer than Veronica’s (without stating an amount) and shows off her impressive vocabulary. Veronica is at a loss for words. Betty comes by and asks Archie what’s up. He explains.

Betty thinks it’s silly. Archie agrees. Betty reveals she has $4.96 to her name. Archie is surprised that she has that much. Reasoning Cheryl and Veronica won’t miss them, Betty offers to treat Archie to a hot dog. He accepts. She also gets a drink for herself from somewhere.

So this story is pretty cute. Not a lot to it, but it was enjoyable.

This story was reprinted as a flashback within the “Coming Distractions” story in Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 1, in 1995.

After this story (in the original issue) is a fashion page called “Cheryl Blossom Struts Her Stuff”, where Cheryl models outfits submitted by fans.

Advertisements

Comics – The Fears of a Clown

Archie-and-Friends-98.jpg
Writer: Scott Cunningham
Pencils: Rex Lindsey
Inks: Rich Koslowski
Colors: Barry Grossman
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Archie & Friends, No. 98
Cover Date: April, 2006
Length: 11 pages

Before I get into the story, I need to call out the cover for its desperate attempt to tie this story to the epic Love Showdown storyline.

Archie and Cheryl are walking along a street. Archie says it was nice running into her, and he thanks her for keeping him company while he did errands. Cheryl was glad to do it, because it’s always fun hanging out with him. Archie asks her to have “some more fun” with him on Saturday night. She agrees. Archie is pleased.

He worries when he imagines Veronica and Betty finding out and yelling at him, though. Cheryl picks up on his worry and asks if he’s sure he wants to go out. He says he is and claims he was thinking about where to take her; he wants it to be really special. She asks what he has in mind. He thinks for a moment and then sees a sign for The Bolling Bros. Circus. He suggests that. At that moment, Reggie looks around the corner of the building and sees them.

Cheryl is surprised and uncertain. Archie tries to get her excited, even using “sawdust on the ground” as a selling point. He says they’ll get in touch with their inner child. Cheryl agrees, saying she’s “always had a thing for clowns”. She waves to him as he leaves. He says he’ll see her on Saturday night but makes no plans with her regarding a specific time. Reggie decides to pull a “childish prank”.

On Saturday night, Archie and Cheryl arrive at the circus and go into the tent. Cheryl can’t believe they got seats right up front, saying she feels like a kid. Archie offers to get them some cotton candy. Cheryl is initially disgusted, saying she hasn’t touched that stuff in years – and then readily agrees to it. That’s pretty funny, but I don’t understand Cheryl’s dislike of cotton candy. It’s awesome. Hell, I drink energy drinks that taste like cotton candy.

So Archie goes and gets two things of cotton candy. He’s on his way back to his seat when he passes behind Reggie, Betty, and Veronica, who don’t see him. Reggie’s treating the girls. Veronica suggests turning around and looking for seats up front.

Reggie turns around, suggesting they get some refreshments before they settle down. The girls follow him. In a panic, Archie hands off the cotton candy to two random kids, Zach and Maddie, who are delighted. How do I know their names, you ask? Zach has his name printed on his sweatshirt, and Maddie has her name printed on…her skirt. Okay. She’s also wearing a blossom shirt.

Archie runs out of the tent as he hears Reggie talking about possibly running into someone from school here. Veronica doubts it. Archie hides in a clown’s trailer just as the clown is searching in the closet for his nose. Archie trips and accidentally slams the closet door shut, trapping the clown inside.

Archie finds the red clown nose on the floor. The clown manages to get the closet door unjammed just as the ringmaster barges in, slamming the trailer door against the closet door and re-jamming it shut. Somehow, the ringmaster mistakes Archie for the real clown, Fire Red Fred, and has him get into costume. Archie makes no attempt at correcting him. Okay, no. There’s no way that this would happen in real life. It really shouldn’t even be happening in a comic book. Anyway, an “accident with the cannon” is mentioned as having recently occurred to Fred. Once Archie’s dressed, they leave the trailer and head for the tent. The ringmaster decides to get “Fred” a new fire red wig, because this one (Archie’s actual hair) is looking “ratty”. The crowd is cheering for Fred.

In the ring, the ringmaster makes the introduction. Archie tries to sneak off. The ringmaster tosses juggling sticks at him, and the crowd laughs over the fact that Archie gets hit. The ringmaster sets a juggling stick on fire, since apparently that’s what Fred’s known for juggling.

Archie runs away. The ringmaster gives chase. The crowd yucks it up. Reggie thinks the clown’s voice sounds familiar (*smacks forehead*) and then sees Cheryl alone, seemingly looking for Archie. Archie runs up some steps, thinking they lead out.

He then spots a “tunnel to the top” and climbs in. No, that’s a cannon, you dumbass. Archie is stuck. The ringmaster is eager to fire “Fred” from the cannon. The audience finds this hilarious.

Meanwhile, Fred gets the closet unjammed and rushes to the tent. Hearing laughing, he vows to stop Archie before he’s out of a job. Fred thinks of himself as the “star performer” that will “save the show”, but he’s surprised at the (undeserved) reaction that Archie’s getting from the crowd, which he never got. The ringmaster counts down. Fred cries “Imposter!!” and adjusts the cannon.

Reggie, Veronica, and Betty are enjoying themselves. Reggie is still wondering about the “familiar” voice. Archie is fired directly into the audience and lands in their laps. This causes no injuries.

Cheryl is furious when she sees Archie. Veronica and Betty are pissed that he’s here with Cheryl and tried to hide it. Reggie stupidly spills that he’d overheard Archie’s “inner child” remark (which he’d later used himself on Veronica and Betty). Veronica and Betty put things together. Cheryl tells Veronica and Betty that neither of the guys can be trusted. Veronica and Betty agree. As an angry Archie growls at a scared Reggie, the three girls walk out of the tent. Betty suggests the three of them head to Pop’s. Cheryl agrees, saying they’ve “had enough clowns for one night”.

This is a pretty fun story, but the setup is completely ridiculous.

There’s a page of fan art after this, followed by a Josie and the Pussycats manga story.

Comics – Lord of the Games

Archie-Double-Digest-297.jpgWriter: Francis Bonnet
Pencils: Pat & Tim Kennedy
Inks: Jim Amash
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Archie Comics Double Digest, No. 297
On-Sale Date: March 13, 2019
Length: 5 pages

Veronica is over at Archie’s house, but she’s pissed that he’s playing a Fortnite knockoff with Jughead instead of giving her some loving. Jughead’s being a fucking slob, getting crackers all over the living room floor. Veronica finally screams so hard that Archie falls off the couch.

Veronica yells at Archie about how she’s barely seen him since he got the game. Archie and Jughead say the game’s fucking awesome. Archie’s lost track of time, not realizing it’s been a month since he’s taken Veronica out to dinner. Veronica doesn’t get the appeal of the violent game. Jughead says, as a non-gamer, she couldn’t possibly understand. Veronica decides to try the game and judge for herself. Archie claims he and Jughead are “master-level players” and would kick her ass, but Jughead reveals a ten-year-old kid kicked their asses yesterday. Veronica violently face-palms Archie in the fucking face (Archie’s dog, Vegas, seems to enjoy this) and goes off to show Archie up…somehow. She slams the door shut behind her. Jughead asks Archie if he’s going after her. Archie admits he’s frightened of her.

Veronica goes to a comics comix/gaming store, where a tournament is being held today (why aren’t the guys here?), and intends to buy the game, but she gets confused when the guy behind the counter starts talking about an expansion pack that just released today. Her sole experience with video games was playing a Candy Crush knockoff on her phone. The guy suggests testing the game before buying it and mentions one of the developers is here to help promote it. The developer is an old, white-haired man that looks like he got confused over that newfangled contraption called Pong back in the day. Regardless, Veronica thinks she’s lucky.

She goes over, introduces herself, violates all notions of personal space by randomly pulling on his shirt, and asks him to teach her the game. Taking a wireless controller in his hand, he agrees, which is the opposite of what I would have done. Veronica plays the game and really enjoys it, surprising herself. She wants to hire the developer as her personal coach. She mentions her name and offers a lot of money. The developer makes the connection to Lodge Industries and agrees.

Later, on the same day, Veronica returns to Archie’s house. He asks her if she’s still angry. She’s not and is ready to play. Jughead says they’ll go easy on her. She snatches his controller from him and reverses what he said. A few hours’ worth of practice is enough for Veronica to kick Archie’s ass, which makes Archie sweat. Jughead finds it embarrassing. Archie throws his controller on the floor in frustration (Veronica’s playing with Jughead’s controller, but there’s a hitherto-unseen third controller on the coffee table, so why’d she take Jughead’s?), gives up on the game, and declares his attention is now completely hers. She face-palms his face again, because he’s interrupting her. She says maybe they can talk later. Jughead makes a dumb joke. Archie, pissed, says maybe, in a month, Veronica will pay some attention to him again.

So that’s that. Perfectly mediocre story.

Comics – Double Date

World-of-Archie-Digest-88.jpgWriter: Angelo Decesare
Pencils: Jeff Shultz
Inks: Jim Amash
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: World of Archie Jumbo Comics Digest, No. 88
On-Sale Date: April 24, 2019
Length: 5

During soccer practice, Archie reminds Betty of their date tonight. Betty can’t forget about the opening of a new club and declares they’re gonna have their best date ever.

Soon, at the Andrews’ house, Archie rushes to the front door. Fred, walking by with a ladder, wants some help. Archie apologizes and says he’s gotta get ready for his “big date” with Betty.

At the Coopers’ house, in their (unusually large) shared bathroom, Alice informs Betty that she’s showering. Betty begs her to stop, because she has an “important date” with Archie.

As Archie showers, he hopes Betty appreciates this, because he’s “not really big on showers”. Is Jughead being a bad influence on him?

Betty is splashing water everywhere while taking a long soak in the tub, which will give her skin “that special glow, and maybe Archie will notice!”

Archie shaves, even though he doesn’t actually need it, because Betty likes him clean-shaven.

Betty puts on “make-up that looks like you’re not wearing any”, because Archie thinks she looks good without make-up. *rolls eyes* Just don’t put any on!

Archie punishes himself putting on aftershave lotion, because Betty says she likes it. Maybe it’d help if you didn’t slap it on, genius.

Betty goes with rainbow-colored nails, because Archie has a different favorite color every week.

Archie brushes his teeth while saying something incomprehensible about Betty.

Betty gargles gluggles, glurgles, and glargles while saying something incomprehensible about Archie.

Archie selects a shirt straight out of the ’70s from his closet. Since it was a birthday gift from Betty (which she no doubt got from a thrift store), Archie reasons it’ll make her happy, but then he guesses maybe the club will be dark.

Betty throws a bunch of shirts, including one with a blossom on it (just saying), on her bed and tries to pick an outfit that Archie hasn’t already seen.

Archie goes with that ’70s shirt and adds gold pants and shoes that will make him a little taller than Betty, claiming she’ll never notice. So is Betty supposed to be taller than Archie? Or are they the same height?

Anyway, Betty anticipates this and decides to wear shoes that will make her taller, claiming Archie will never notice.

Archie and Betty check themselves out in the mirror, each hoping the other will appreciate their efforts. Betty has gone for a completely red look: lingerie, shoes, tiny dress, and scrunchie.

As they each drive to the club separately, Archie calls Betty (via a hands-free device, it seems) and lets her know he’s on his way to the club. Archie’s driving a beat-up old red car with a roof. It’s not quite the Ford Mustang that I’m used to from the older comics and Archie’s Weird Mysteries, but I suppose it’s more realistic.

Betty, who may or may not be talking on her cell phone while driving, zooms down the road in her gold, two-door sports car (um, sure, why not?) toward the club. She’s driving so fast that her tires lose contact with the road. Despite this, the speed demon tells Archie that she’ll meet him at the club in twenty minutes. Is this club in another town, or is Riverdale just that big?

Archie and Betty meet outside Club Jiggly (they weren’t going for subtlety, I guess). Archie greets Betty with “S’up, Betts!” (Do teens still say “S’up”?) Betty’s “so excited for this date”.

They go inside. Archie spots Jughead and Reggie and goes over to them. Veronica calls Betty over.

As Archie dances with a random blonde girl, he hopes Betty is enjoying their date as much as he is.

At the other side of the room, Betty, dancing with Veronica (with a black guy that may or may not be Chuck between them), hopes Archie is enjoying their date as much as she is.

So…what a twist! Well, I’m sure the random blonde girl appreciates the effort that Archie put into his look, and ditto Veronica for Betty. Hmmm, the story’s could be seen to have a double meaning: two perspectives of getting ready for a date (Archie and Betty) and the date unexpectedly turning into a double date (Archie/girl and Betty/Veronica).

Comics – Spring

Betty-and-Veronica-4.jpgWriter: Jamie Lee Rotante
Line Art: Sandra Lanz
Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Betty & Veronica, Vol. 4, No. 4
Cover Date: May, 2019
On-Sale Date: April 3, 2019
Length: 20 pages

Before I get into the story, I need to call out one of the variant covers for its bullshit pairing of Betty and Jughead, which is just trying to cater to Bughead shippers (of which I’m not one, for what it’s worth).

Before the story, there’s a recap of the previous issue on the credits page. It’s mentioned “neither of them actually wants to go to Pickens” (that means Veronica as well), something that hasn’t been made clear in the story itself.

After a very brief recap of the end of the previous issue, it jumps to spring, when Betty and Veronica are again walking arm-in-arm down the street. Betty’s acting excited about Pickens.

Oh, there’s an unknown narrator that pops up once in a while. Anyway, Betty expresses her doubts about attending. Veronica shames “Miss All-American Riverdale High” for wanting to skip out on the senior prom. Honestly, I don’t know if Veronica misunderstood Betty’s comment or if the issue had skipped to the middle of a conversation about the prom. Regardless, Betty calls Veronica out on her mood. They see a lit sign advertising seven days until the Riverdale High prom. Veronica says that’s excessive. Betty explains Ethel went all-out with the prom committee, and Cheryl donated money for the sign. Betty says she doesn’t have any money to attend the prom. Veronica knows Betty won’t accept money from her but offers to loan Betty one of her very out-of-season dresses. Then Veronica suddenly gets an idea and takes off, vowing this discussion isn’t over yet. Betty’s apparently used to weird shit like this from Veronica by now.

At Lodge Enterprises, Veronica’s giving a presentation at a meeting as Hiram observes. After the others leave, Veronica tells her dad that she’s “killing it”. This confuses him. They sit down at the conference table. She asks how he’s feeling. He’s getting better every day. He had a heart attack and an emergency triple bypass and jokes about it. She says he’s funny and stares at him.

Hiram can tell something’s on her mind. Veronica wants to do something bigger than what she’s doing; she wants to help people (like with her advice column at Sparkle). Since the company’s kicking ass and raking in the cash, Veronica suggests starting some philanthropic initiatives. Hiram’s proud of her and tells her to “make it happen”. Oh, and there’s a brief discussion of “a few hiccups over the years”, and Veronica swears she “sold that bike”. A Vixens reference?

At the Masons’ house, Betty is tutoring Moose, and he admits he had lied to her about taking his GED: he already took it and passed. Betty is proud of “Moosey”. Moose admits he couldn’t have done it without “Betts”. Then he sighs.

She asks what’s wrong. He really misses Riverdale High and Midge. Betty asks him to the prom, so he can get one last taste of high school life and reconnect with Midge. He accepts.

With three days until the prom, in the evening, a station wagon crashes into the flashing sign that Cheryl had paid for.

The next morning, at Betty’s house, Betty and Polly are sitting on the rug on the living room floor. Polly wants Betty to practice in preparation for an interview at Spellman, “the most prestigious school on the East Coast”. Did they really just take Sabrina’s last name and turn it into a school? Anyway, Betty reminds Polly that she’s already going to Pickens, because it’s what they can afford. Polly’s betting Betty can ace the interview, get another full-ride scholarship, and transfer next year. Betty says kissing ass to have people accept her is bullshit. Alice comes in with a (surprisingly small) newspaper and informs the girls of the “accident” involving the prom sign; she hears it might have been “the Mantle boy”. Betty gets to her feet in surprise. Polly automatically assumes Reggie did it on purpose.

Veronica arrives at Riverdale Hospital with a bouquet of roses for Reggie and asks at the desk for his room number. Reggie walks by at that moment. She asks if he’s okay, but he’s cold with her. She begs “Reginald” to tell her what’s going on.

He sits down and says his grandma’s been sick since New Year’s Eve and has been in and out of the hospital ever since. He was so tired coming home from visiting her last night that he fell asleep at the wheel. Veronica sits next to him and offers her condolences. Crying, Reggie says his grandma is the only person that understands and listens to him. His dad’s a jerk, and his mom buys into his every word. His grandma was the only one that knew about what happened with Betty. Veronica asks him to the prom, so he can have one night for himself, let go of his problems, and just be a teen again.

It turns out that the narration is Veronica typing up her advice column. She’s in her room, typing it up on her laptop one night, and has summoned her parents. She lets them know she got into Pickens but doesn’t want to go there (now I know why the previous-issue recaps have seemed weird: they spoil plot points that we haven’t read yet). She’s still not sure Hitchens is the right fit for her either, but she thinks it might be a good start, but she’s not comfortable attending, knowing how she got in. This is news to Hiram, and Veronica’s surprised that he had nothing to do with it. He congratulates her and says it’s all on her. Her parents leave, and she seems to not know how she feels.

On prom night, in the Riverdale High School gym, Veronica and Reggie stand in some overhead bleachers, observing. Veronica says Ethel did a nice job. Reggie wants to leave, but Veronica wants him to give it a little bit. He agrees to one hour.

As Betty enters the gym, Reggie says she looks beautiful. Veronica says that dress is one of hers but admits it looks better on Betty. Reggie seems to be worried that Betty’s here with Archie.

Archie brings Betty punch and compliments her appearance. Moose arrives. Archie’s glad to see him. The feeling’s mutual. Midge arrives and confronts Moose.

Midge accuses Moose of stalking her. He denies it and says he came here with Betty. Midge is still upset. Betty’s surprised to see Reggie and Veronica, which makes them nervous. She goes to confront them, which angers Midge, because Betty dared to walk away from her.

On the dance floor, Betty and Veronica get into an argument, Reggie says this was a bad idea, Cheryl’s pissed about Reggie nearly plowing down their prom sign, Ethel blames it on the brightness (which she’d already warned Cheryl about) and guesses Reggie was distracted, Midge still believes Moose is stalking her, and Moose tells Betty that her plan backfired. On the stage, Archie tries to get everyone’s attention. Before we move on, kudos for the inclusions of the random interracial couple and m/m couple, but why is there no f/f couple?

Archie gets his left foot tangled in a cord and gets hoisted up, so he’s dangling upside-down (this seems very contrived), earning simultaneously shouts of “Oh my God!” from the crowd.

While continuing their argument, Veronica holds onto Archie while Betty untangles his foot from the cord. They lay him on the stage. Jughead takes a picture for the front page of the school paper. Archie tells the girls that they just saved his life (um, I wouldn’t go that far) and apologizes. Veronica asks about what. Archie says he hates to see two best friends fight over him. After a moment, Betty and Veronica burst out laughing, confusing Archie.

Archie thanks them for the confidence boost, admits he jumped to conclusions, and asks if they’re fighting because Betty doesn’t want to go to Pickens. Then he leaves. Veronica is surprised. Betty admits she should have told Ronnie sooner. Thrilled, Veronica hugs Betty, admitting she doesn’t want to go to Pickens either. They simultaneously ask “Why didn’t you tell me?” Because the writer chose to stretch this stupid plot point out for four issues, that’s why.

Betty and Veronica simultaneously explain “I didn’t want to hurt you.” They realize they should have been talking all along. Veronica promises this won’t ever happen again. Betty suggests a pinky promise. Veronica thinks they’ll need a better system. They hug. Betty’s so happy that they worked everything out. Veronica asks about the people that are still angry.

The next story will involve the graduation.

There’s a (cropped) cover for the next issue with a blurb that teases surprises. That’s followed by a cover gallery for this issue and an ad for the trade paperback of Archie Meets Batman ’66.

This is another good issue. I look forward to the seeing how it all ends. Judging by the blurb, the final issue will focus as much on summer as it does on graduation.

Comics – Taking a Tumble

Betty-and-Veronica-263.jpg
Writer: George Gladir
Pencils: Pat Kennedy
Inks: Ken Selig
Colors: Digikore Studios
Letters: Jon D’Agostino & Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Betty and Veronica, No. 263
Cover Date: February, 2013
On-Sale Date: December 19, 2012
Length: 12 pages

In the Riverdale High School gym, some cheerleaders (female and male) are tossing a cheerleader in the air while a boy takes pictures. Betty and Veronica are nearby. Veronica is wearing a cheerleading uniform. Betty isn’t, but she’s got a purse with blossoms on it (just saying). Betty tells Ronnie that she’s doing an article on the cheerleaders for the school paper. She asks why Ronnie and some of the other cheerleaders aren’t participating in the action.

Veronica explains the ones doing the stunts are going away this weekend to compete in the cheerleading championships; meanwhile, Ronnie and her small group will stay at home to cheer for the basketball team. Veronica is unusually excited over the fact that a win tomorrow would give their boys the division title. Coach Hopkins, the cheerleading coach, arrives and tells them to start doing exercises.

Veronica suggests doing stunts to encourage the fans to cheer the boys on, but Hopkins won’t allow it, because they haven’t been trained in that area. Hopkins is going away to coach the competitive squad, so she places Ms. Rogers in charge of coaching Veronica’s squad. Meanwhile, Betty’s playing on her cell phone doing important shit like taking down notes or whatever.

On Friday night, before the game, Veronica walks over to Archie, who’s on the bench, and asks why he’s not warming up (a more obvious question would be why he’s not in uniform, since Reggie and the others are). Archie injured his wrist in practice, so Coach Clayton wants him to sit out the game to not risk serious injury.

Archie further says sitting out the game will give him a chance to observe the girls in action, and one of the other cheerleaders snickers; she knows exactly what Archie will be “observing”. Archie flatters Veronica and her squad, and she gives him some loving before getting back to her girls, since the game’s about to start.

During the game, Nancy Della takes note of Central’s early 12-3 lead (why does Della have purple pom-poms? doesn’t fit the color scheme at all). Veronica suggests doing something “more” to get this crowd going. Betty, sitting on the bench with Archie and still rocking her blossom purse, tells Archie to keep an eye on Veronica. Archie jokes about the irony of that.

Betty is serious and explains her concern, especially since the gym has a hardwood floor. Archie agrees to act as a spotter to make her happy.

The cheerleaders are on their way back to the gym from somewhere (Della now has gold pom-poms just like the others). Veronica’s holding a sign that reads “Riverdale High Can’t Be Beaten”. Della warns Veronica against doing a flying leap. Veronica is actually smart enough to avoid risking injury and simply wants the girls to lift her high enough, so she can post the sign, which she hopes will get the fans to respond to their cheers. That makes sense, but why have no motivational signs been posted in the gym already? Before we move on, I want to point out that Veronica very clearly has blue eyes in one panel; this is a bit unusual, since Veronica’s eye color usually isn’t specified.

While tying his shoelace, Archie sees the girls lifting Veronica near a wall, while holding a sign, and believes she’s gonna “try something like a double somersault”. No, you dumbass, she’s very clearly posting a sign. But Archie doesn’t see reason and instead sees Veronica falling face-first on the floor. He freaks out and runs to stop her, not bothering to tie his shoelace.

Archie trips and crashes into the cheerleaders. Veronica’s like ‘What the fuck?!” Archie, dazed and lying on top of a pile of girls, explains.

Veronica stands up and angrily explains. Ms. Rogers says Ronnie’s right knee looks badly bruised and suggests she have the nurse look at it. Ronnie agrees.

At the halftime buzzer, Archie runs to the locker room to give the team a pep talk about winning the game for Ronnie and the entire student body. Why are the team members dressed in their regular clothes? And why is Jughead in the locker room?

The team runs into the gym for the second half, now dressed in their uniforms again. The team scores more in this half – but not enough to cut Central’s big lead. Ronnie comes back, limping and with her knee wrapped. Ms. Rogers suggests sitting the game out. Veronica refuses, saying the nurse said she could continue cheering. Ronnie gets her squad pumped.

The girls start cheering. The fact that Ronnie’s cheering with a bruised knee inspires the crowd to cheer for the team, which Reggie and Jughead take note of. Oh. Jughead’s on the basketball team? And so is Dilton? I find that somewhat unbelievable.

Betty, taking notes for her article, and Veronica are excited. The game goes on. Riverdale racks up points. Moose scores the game-winning basket at the final buzzer. Betty notes they also win the division title.

After the game, the team poses for the championship photo. Archie insists on including the cheerleaders, and the others agree. Ms. Rogers is pleasantly surprised and says you can never underestimate the power of a female. Seeing Veronica and Archie in a loving embrace, Betty agrees, somewhat concerned, and ignores the loving look that a short basketball player gives her.

This story was pretty fun. One thing that I noticed was the inconsistent roster of the basketball team from panel to panel. Definitely on it are Archie, Jughead, Reggie, Moose, Dilton, and Chuck (albeit inconsistently). Then there are the random extras that come and go. Oh, well. The cheerleaders aren’t exactly consistent either.

The next story, a 6-page story titled “Cheering Section”, is actually a reprint, which is rare for a floppy title. It was the new lead story in Betty and Veronica Double Digest Magazine, No. 158 (cover-dated April of 2008 and with an announced release date of February 6 (to specialty shops) and 19th (on newsstands)).

After that are 2 pages of Betty and Veronica fashions titled “B&V Cool Looks for Winter” (in which they’re wearing un-winter-like fashions).

After this, the Betty and Veronica title became exclusively devoted to fairy tale parodies for over a year, meaning the real girls went unseen in their own title for all of 2013. They eventually saw the light of day again.

Comics – Reptile Rendezvous!

BV-Friends-Digest-268
Writer: Bill Golliher
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inks: Rich Koslowski
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: B&V Friends Jumbo Comics Digest, No. 268
On-Sale Date: February 27, 2019
Length: 5

Veronica’s walking in the forest (I guess, although there’s a sign, so it might be a park…without paths). Suddenly, a man, leaning against the sign, waves and greets her. She asks if she knows him. He says no. He introduces his friend, Stanley, a ball python that comes out of his jacket. This freaks Ronnie out.

Veronica declines the man’s offer to give Stanley a pet. Betty walks by (seriously, why are these girls just randomly walking, dressed up, seemingly in the middle of nowhere?); she’s been looking for Ronnie. Veronica tries to make the introductions but doesn’t know the man’s name (it’s George). Veronica makes a bit of a joke. Betty recognizes Stanley as a python, which impresses George. He offers to let Betty hold Stanley, and Betty gladly takes him, which makes Veronica shudder.

Stanley curls around Betty’s neck and gives her face a lick. George invites the girls to come and meet the rest of his “menagerie”; he has a gecko, iguana, bearded dragon, and a corn snake named Ty Cobb. Betty says that’s very clever. She gives Stanley back to George. George says he’ll text them his address, so they can drop by and meet everyone. It sounds like fun to Betty, which surprises Veronica.

On another day, Betty and Veronica arrive at the house of the strange man that they met in the woods. Betty rings the doorbell, excited to see the reptiles. Veronica’s hoping George has “normal pets” at well. Veronica is unusually dressed up for this reptile visit, wearing a little black dress. Is she just stopping by on her way to the club? Betty’s wearing a blossom shirt (just saying).

Eventually, George asks the girls what they think. Betty says the reptiles are great. Veronica calls it “interesting”. Veronica notices mice in a cage and finds them cute. George says they’re Stanley’s next meal and goes to get him. Veronica scoops up the “mice-cies” and puts them in her designer handbag. Betty is surprised that Veronica’s stealing “Stanley’s food”. Reasoning Stanley seems “well-nourished”, Veronica justifies her action and hopes George can find something ugly for Stanley to munch on. George comes back with Stanley and is surprised that the girls are leaving instead of sticking around to watch Stanley eat live animals. Veronica and Betty bullshit a bit (especially when George hears squeaks from Veronica’s purse) and get the fuck out just as George realizes the mice are missing.

Later, at Veronica’s, she’s put the three mice in a new activity center on her desk or dresser by her bed. She lies on her bed and watches her new pets happily. Betty asks her what she’s gonna name them. Ronnie says Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

So…you can debate Veronica’s action in this story. Personally, I’d do the same thing. Then again, I wouldn’t go to the house of some strange person that I’d met in the woods. I’m currently reading a novel called The Firebrand (a retelling of the Iliad and the Odyssey from Kassandra’s perspective). Kassandra is a priestess of Apollo and also of Serpent Mother, and she frequently handles snakes. This story kind of reminds me of it.