Previously in Archie #8
Archie #9 | Writer: Mark Waid | Artist: Veronica Fish | Coloring: Andre Syzmanowicz with Jen Vaughn | Letterer: Jack Morelli | Publisher: Archie Comics
It’s been a roller coaster ride from hell for Archie and his parents since he’s gone steady with Veronica Lodge. Thankfully, the Andrews gain a respite after Hiram Lodge finally accepted the cherubic ginger klutz wasn’t going anywhere… not while Ronnie still had an unexplainable interest in him. Things finally take a turn for the whimsical in issue nine of Mark Waid’s Archie. Though the young lovers were given Hiram’s blessing to see one another, Andrews isn’t permitted to visit the Lodge estate due to past blunders. So it’s up to Veronica to make the most of her time with the middle class and man oh man, is it a doozy.
Oh, Veronica Lodge… bless her heart. She’s trying, which is more that could be said about her five issues ago. After the combined efforts of Archie’s friends – and a vindictive Reggie Mantle – to break up Riverdale’s power couple, it’s become apparent to Jughead and Betty that Ronnie’s feelings for Archie are legit. That doesn’t mean she won’t lowering herself to his level anytime soon. From what can be gathered, she enjoys spending time with her boyfriend in his meager dwelling with basic cable. The lack of amenities continues to vex the ostentatious Ms. Lodge who, with Mrs. Andrews’ permission, turns the family’s lives upside down.
In no time flat, Veronica does her best House Crashers impersonation and begins to shape all the rooms as she sees fit (for everyone’s benefit). Of course the boys see nothing wrong with an 160-inch tv, lazer tag course and an in-house gourmet chef. Mary, however, begins to regret giving Ronnie permission to make herself comfortable in their once-happy homestead. Unfortunately her complaints are overheard and puts a mild strain on the kids’ burgeoning relationship.
Naturally, Archie turns to Betty for her discretion and dependable advice. Problem is, this is the first time since her clandestine operation to yank Archie from Veronica’s claws that Cooper is (passively) making moves on her lifelong crush. The entirety of issue nine was a literal and figurative work of art that seamlessly conveys the joys and difficulties of young love; however this particular chapter provides the panels that most readers would find heart-breakingly relatable. Be you or an older fan, all of us have experienced that inner struggle between letting our feelings known or withholding our interest for the sake of the friendship. Indeed, it truly sucks.
Before anything could happen that either teen may regret, Ronnie calls her darling redhead and it results in a very humorous and heartwarming scene that proves there’s a lot more to Lodge than her trust fund.
Mark Waid has always scripted thoroughly entertaining issues but number nine has an extra special touch to it. Perhaps it has to do with Archie having not to prove himself, deflect torment from his rivals or overcome any financial hardships. He’s finally given a moment in the sun and Andrews is basking in it. Additionally, issue nine may be Veronica Fish’s best work yet during her stint on Archie. Again I must bring up the aforementioned chapter three – Veg Oil – as a prime example of Fish’s impeccable talent for encapsulating the wrenching emotion between Archie and Betty.
From the way issue nine concluded, signs point to Ronnie and Archie’s blossoming neighborhood romance merely being the calm before the storm. The fire inside Betty has been stoked yet again, and this time she may be a formidable opponent for Veronica! The tenth issue of Archie is scheduled to be available in print and digital July 27!
This month’s variant covers were drawn by Khary Randolph and Andrew Robinson!