Previously, in Betty & Veronica #2
After a very long hiatus (about 7 months), Adam Hughes’ Betty & Veronica is back with its third and final issue. I don’t know if it was always meant to be a 3-issue run, but the end is unfortunate all the same. What initially drew me to the series was the premise that Betty and Veronica were friend whose disagreement had nothing to do with Archie (or any other boy for that matter). While the second issue was a bit frustrating because it failed to shed light on why Veronica so quickly became so vicious towards her best friend, this issue, “The Battle of Riverdale,” clears things up in its conclusion.
To refresh: Veronica asked her father to buy Kweekwegs Koffee and the chain’s first order of business was to run Pop’s out of town. Unwillingly to see Riverdale’s iconic eatery go without a fight, Betty tried to rally the town to raise the funds necessary to save it. As hard as Betty pushed, Veronica pushed back harder.
In this issue, things come to ahead at the Harvest Festival and dance at Riverdale High, with Betty under a midnight deadline to raise the final $60K needed. Certain of victory, Veronica chose to have Kweekwegs Koffee’s grand opening on the same evening. With minutes to spare, and only short $7K, Betty explodes when Veronica taunts her with the cash needed to save Pop’s. Not even Archie and Jughead can stop the determined blonde from chasing her former friend through Riverdale’s streets and straight to the coffee shop’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.
In a scene very much like Carrie at prom, the end game is revealed: the entire feud was orchestrated by Betty and Veronica in order to stop Hiram Lodge from driving Pop’s out of business. Veronica knew the only way to stop him was to let him think it was going to happen only to have him suffer a public, major, and embarrassing setback. In this case, pyrotechnics gone wrong and the entire town covered in blood-red punch.
The panels with the two friends explaining their plan to the gang perfectly illustrate why I’ll miss this series and all of its potential. Betty and Veronica have always had more chemistry together than either of them with Archie. The two of them working their respective talents to accomplish the impossible would have been fun to explore in other arcs. Also, as I mentioned in my review of the first issue, Hughes’ art and Villarrubia’s coloring made the digital issues feel like an old-school printed comic book. It was refreshing and it will all be missed.