Previously in Archie #14
Archie #15 | Writer: Mark Waid with Lori Matsumoto | Artist: Joe Eisma | Coloring: Andre Szymanowicz | Letterer: Jack Morelli | Publisher: Archie Comics
Since Archie Comic’s flagship series rejuvenated itself with its contemporary tune-up, it hasn’t shied away from magnifying the qualities that have made Archie a cultural mainstay for 75 years. Fourteen issues into Mark Waid’s humorous run, readers have had more of their share of blunders, goofs, love triangles, tender moments and most especially, rivalries. While Archie and Reggie’s beef was teased early on, and Betty and Veronica (barely) had a chance to unsheathe their claws, neither feud compares to the tremendous ongoing contest between Ronnie Lodge and Cheryl Blossom.
Life in Switzerland hasn’t been shopping sprees and frappucinos: practically all of the Lycee has braced themselves constantly since the once-powerful Cheryl initiated a preemptive strike against Veronica. Never one to back down from a fight, Lodge doubled down, simultaneously making a fool of her trust fund nemesis while stealing the hearts of the student body with her benevolence. Blossom’s cunning was hastily trashed for rage and it only dug her in a deeper hole. Veronica actually felt regret for her malicious rival but the war was nearly won. Thanks to Hiram’s ridiculous fortune, the Lodges acquired the Blossom family’s languishing media corporation. Well that’s one way to end a fight.
Turns out it was only the end of a campaign and not the war itself. Things appeared to be coming up Veronica when her father said she could return to Riverdale. Even in her excitement of seeing her redheaded beloved soon, Ronnie was still concerned about the irreparable damage she and Hiram had done to Cheryl and her family. Embarrassed and conquered by an enemy of her own design, Cheryl still has an ace up her sleeve: Thanks to Hiram’s acquisition of Blossom-Comm, Cheryl has no other option but to move back to the States. Her father must now supervise Lodge’s engineering division that’s now located in, you guessed it, Riverdale!
So much for smiting one’s enemies into ruin…
Meanwhile, Archie’s existential crisis – due to Ronnie’s absence – has been as odd as it is confounding. We’ve all coped with heartache in our lives and usually attempt to compensate for our loss with some questionable habits. Still, Andrews’ choice to suddenly adopt Jughead’s Obviously Archie doesn’t know much about his best pal at all: Forsythe Jones III may have a laissez-faire attitude about life in general yet he still cares about things like lasting friendships …and showering. Thankfully Archie didn’t wade in the deep end long and realized he is who he is: a bumbling hopeless romantic that cares too much about the people who make up his world.
Fortunate for him, those very people who appreciate Archie’s sincerity and indomitable friendship made up for his slack in regards to his parents’ anniversary. With Kevin Keller at the helm, Jughead, Betty and the others arranged everything Archie couldn’t, freeing the freckled goof to make amends with his mom and dad. Once more all is well in Riverdale save for Archie’s heart. It’s clear even to Cooper that Veronica continues to pull on Andrew’s heartstrings. No one in town could know that Ronnie will be returning once the semester’s complete, however the perfect storm of jealousy and wrath that is Cheryl Blossom will be following suit.
That poor boy won’t know what hit him!
Like last month’s issue, Archie #15 featured a preview of the upcoming Reggie and Me by Tom DeFalco and Sandy Jarrell (DC Bombshells, Batman ‘66). Told from the point of view of Mantle’s best friend/dachshund Vader, Reggie and Me creates another avenue for creators to add more depth in the ever expanding world that is Riverdale. In this case, Reginald’s loyal pooch has an extremely skewed perspective about his master. Mantle may not be the dashing hero type Vader believes him to be, but given how Reggie’s friends and acquaintances easily dismiss his presence, this series has all the potential to explore the genuine hardships Mantle faces. Sure, Reggie can be a louse and doesn’t hide his enmity for others… but Mantle’s reputation as a bully isn’t entirely his own design.