Last issue ended with Archie falling hard for Veronica Lodge -- and inadvertently destroying her new house in the process. Literally. It was dark, so Archie is betting that nobody knows that it was him.
ARCHIE #3 brings Veronica to Riverdale High. We don't really know much about her except that her family is on the top end of the One Percent. She's well-traveled. She apparently had a reality TV show at some point. And now she's going to public high school in a small city. I'm sure that there's a story there someplace.
Veronica's first day at Riverdale High turns out to be eventful. Everybody is watching her. Half of the school wants to become her best friend. The other half -- led by Jughead -- hates her. And don't get me started on lunchtime!
Here are some of the highlights:
1. Archie Meets Veronica!: Archie is the first person to greet Veronica at Riverdale High. Immediately, he begins carrying her books and showing her the sights! He's obviously smitten with this new girl and she knows it. Turns out that she knows about the house also! This could turn out very badly for Archie if she got mad to narced on him to her father!
2. Jughead Hates on Veronica!: Jughead is completely unhappy with Veronica's sudden arrival. He had been subtly nudging Archie and Betty back together as a couple ever since their break-up. Not enough that either realized it, but with enough string-pulling that it was eventually going to happen. And now Veronica has Archie following her around on a leash. This is not good. Jughead is determined to take Veronica down -- not that Betty will help!
3. Miss Beazley's Cooking Hasn't Improved: The running gag for decades is that Miss Beazley's cooking is horrible. It would appear that nothing has changed within the "Archie Relaunch!"
4. Don't Mess With Sheila Wu!: These panel speak volumes. Seriously, Sheila Wu is becoming one of my top five characters in the "Archie Relaunch!"
5. Did I Mention Beazley's Bad Cooking??: Veronica's first contact with Riverdale High's is explosively embarassing. But she handles it well -- before having a private meltdown!
6. Seeds Planted for the Betty & Veronica Friendship: Betty stumbles across Veronica in the middle of her breakdown -- and she handles it perfectly. This is textbook Betty Cooper: Assess and Act. She didn't gawk. She didn't tease. She didn't obsess. She just began problem-solving in a compassionate way. It certainly impressed Veronica!
7. Seeds Planted for the Betty & Veronica Frenemy Relationship: Of course, their friendship has always been strained. Veronica manages to negate Betty's good will within 30 seconds!
8: It's On!: The next storyline promises to feature a battle of will between Veronica and Jughead & Betty. I'm envisioning a twisty version of "Mean Girls."
By the way, don't believe any of Betty's rationalizations in the preceding panels!
ARCHIE #3 was written by Mark Waid, with art by Fiona Staples, colors by
Andre Szymanowicz & Jen Vaughn, and letters by Jack Morelli.