Previously in Archie #2
Story: Mark Waid
Art: Fiona Staples
Coloring: Andre Szymanowicz with Jen Vaughn
Lettering: Jack Morelli
After slowly building up her highly anticipated appearance, Miss Veronica Lodge finally makes her grand entrance among her peers and certainly makes a memorable first impression in the third issue of the wildly entertaining Archie series.
What a poor lovestruck fool Archie has become! His heart is set in the right place… kind of. Andrews intends to make Veronica’s first day at Riverdale “the best day of her LIFE” and bends over backwards to do exactly that. Also, there’s that little business about him completely demolishing the Lodge’s house. Though worried about suffering grave consequences if Veronica rats on him, Archie has no qualms about being her “volunteer campus liaison” (aka purse slave) for the rest of his days.
As for Veronica, there is no doubt her addition into the relatively tranquil social circles of Riverdale’s youth is going to shake things up HARD. Life for the new kid on the block is typically an arduous experience. Jumping into an unfamiliar high school for many is the emotional equivalent of cautiously walking through a minefield. Making one wrong move that first day among an anonymous student body can essentially make or break the remainder of one’s miserable, hormonally-addled years among them.
However, this is Veronica Lodge we’re talking about!
A born and bred socialite, Veronica is no slouch and confidently plays on her strengths – fame and influence. Clearly she’s a girl who always gets what she wants and that’s made all the easier with a redheaded ding-dong like “Andy” at her beck and call. This iteration Mark Waid has deftly created is a daunting mirror of sorts, expressing the disconnect between the classes. For this Veronica – not only a trust fund baby, but a former reality show star – everyone is her potential plaything and if she’s upset in even the slightest fashion, her daddy is only a call away.
Thankfully Jughead is around to pull Archie’s freckled fat out of the fire most of the time. Ever the observant friend, Forsythe immediately detests Ms. Lodge. At first it may have been due to her inattentiveness, but with each period Jughead witnesses more of Veronica’s gloating, pretentious behavior. As revealed in issue two, Juggy has an understandable disdain for people like Lodge, who appear to solely value what can be acquired rather than earned. His subtle dismantling of Veronica’s influence over Archie can’t be done alone so Jughead recruits of the services of a reluctant Betty.
By the way, does Jughead ever go to class? He seems to simply roam the halls espousing profound nuggets of truth like a destitute monk.
The reign of Ronnie’s terror culminates in chapter four, “The Parade Float”. Betty finally meets Veronica after avoiding her most of the day and their interaction starts off civil enough. Always the sympathetic soul, Betty attempts to make a friend in Veronica by helping her recover from her unfortunate (and very public) accident. Surprisingly, Betty’s generosity is literally laughed back in her face and once more, Veronica involuntarily thinks less of yet another potential friend who took time to reach out to the new girl.
It wasn’t soon after that Jughead had another person on his side to take down the growing threat that is Veronica Lodge.
Let the war begin! In the meantime, the mysterious “lipstick incident” will finally be revealed next issue. Many of us have been eager to discover what was so ruinous an act to compel Archie and Betty to break up. While the first arc concludes, so too does Fiona Staple’s duties as illustrator. Though her energetic style will be missed, readers will be enriched by the equally impressive talents of Annie Wu (Black Canary, Hawkeye) beginning in issue four coming November 25!
For those who prefer having a hard copy in your hands, be on the lookout for variant covers drawn by Ben Caldwell, Cliff Chiang, Stuart Immonen and Andrew Robinson!