Archie Andrews and Betty Cooper aren’t going out anymore. And Veronica Lodge isn’t really feeling comics’ most famous ginger teen like that. But there they are, getting all entwined in each others’ lives. There’s no romance at all yet, and that’s pretty great.

Three issues into Archie Comics’ reboot of its flagship title and none of its main characters have gone on anything resembling a date. (Ok, yes, there was that one sequence in issue #2 where a guy tried making moves on Betty, but all she wanted to do was play video games. But that doesn’t count.) The idea that the redhead, blonde and brunette are supposed to be together hangs in the air of the new version of Riverdale High but the newly re-imagined characters are going their own ways. Archie and Betty have a relationship in their past and Archie and Veronica don’t seem to have any reason for them to be together.

When Veronica comes to Riverdale High for her first day school, Archie falls over himself trying to get close to her right away. She quickly establishes that she knows something about him that could make his life terrible...

and Archie winds up being drawn along in a mix of dread and fascination. His best friend is not a fan of Ms. Lodge.

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Jughead tries to rally Archie Andrews’ ex-girlfriend to do something. Betty doesn’t care; it seems like she’s still healing.

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Mark Waid, Fiona Staples and the book’s other creators deliver moments where Veronica is classic snooty-rich-girl mode, setting her up as a character for readers to hate. But the best part of this issue is a quiet moment after Veronica suffers a major lunchroom embarrassment. The aloof veneer falls away and it’s apparent that all of Veronica’s money can’t protect her from the sheer terror of high school.


High school sucks for everyone.


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