Last issue was a somber story where the residents of Riverdale show up for this tear-filled going away ceremony. The girls boarded the airplane and flew -- into a multi-part flashback about which girl gets to go away on this international educational trip.
I have been pretty excited about this storyline for months. I want to see the girls' adventures in India, Japan, France, England, and Korea. I want to see the promised story where the two realize that they appear virtually identical to each other and swap identities while overseas. I want to see the new girls in Riverdale who fill the void left by their absence.
And yet, two chapters into this story and they still haven't reached the ocean!!
But I'm getting ahead of myself... Issue #273 starts off in Riverdale. Betty and Veronica are both bored with the predictability of their lives in Riverdale. They're tired of the people. They're tired of the same old conversations. They are sick of the school and their regular haunts. And they're tired of Archie and Reggie always clamoring for their attentions.
So Ms. Grundy and Mr. Weatherbee pull them aside and invite them to apply for the "Fair Exchange" year-long, multi-continent student exchange program. The catch? Only one student from Riverdale can go! Betty and Veronica both want to go on this trip and are forced to compete for the plane-seat.
Applicants are judged and scored on five different criteria: travel experience (because judging well-traveled students over students who normally cannot afford to travel makes seems to make sense), student support (because judging popular students over unpopular students seems fair), teacher recommendations (which I can get behind), a personal essay (that too), and community service (ditto).
Trust me, the competition gets a little heated...
Add into this the introduction of what it means to be a "Veronica" versus a "Betty" and we have a theme!
One of the girl gets picked by the Riverdale School Board on the final page of this issue and the other stands in tears. It's hard to get too worked up, because... Well, because this is a flashback and both girls just boarded their flight last issue!!
The ramp-up to this journey is really taking a long time. I'm pretty sure this is a five-part storyline. I'm hoping that the competition to travel turns out to be a completely separate story. Otherwise, we're not really getting to see much of their journey!
"Betty Or Veronica?" is written by Michael Uslan, penciled by Dan
Parent, inked by Bob Smith, lettered by Jack Morelli, and colored by Glenn Whitmore.