Writer: Michael Grassi
Art: Joe Eisma
Colors: Andre Szymanowicz
Letters: John Workman
Original Publication: Riverdale, No. 1
Cover Date: May, 2017
On-Sale Date: April 5, 2017
Length: 10 pages
One evening (or overcast day), Cheryl leaves flowers for Jason on the bank of Sweetwater River. She’s sad but also angry. Art note: Cheryl’s eye color has been inconsistent over the decades. In the classic comics, it’s usually green but sometimes blue. The front cover of Riverdale One-Shot (a.k.a. Riverdale #0) has them as brown. Her eyes are blue in this story.
Anyway, Jason was her first greatest love. Her second is being captain of the River Vixens. During practice, Betty and Veronica have to hold Cheryl up (and are none-too-pleased about it) as she proudly cheers “Be aggressive! Be-be aggressive!” Interesting cheer. Cheryl thinks of herself as their “Red Queen”. I’ll refrain from making a Resident Evil joke.
As Cheryl walks with her besties, Ginger and Tina, down a hallway, the latter two insult Betty. There’s a cute background gag of someone (Chuck?) checking out the girls and then walking into an open locker door.
Cheryl assures her “little lip-tinted creatures” that she’ll torture Betty and get her to quit the team by having a “hell week” just like the football team. Polly used to be a River Vixen, and Cheryl ain’t having another Cooper on her squad.
As they approach Betty and Veronica, Betty tries to make pleasant small talk with Cheryl, but Cheryl gives Betty her first task: wear a special Vixen uniform, provided by Cheryl, for an entire school day.
After school, Betty has Veronica over at her house. After receiving the very skimpy outfit, Betty writes in her diary that Cheryl is demonic. Veronica, lying on Betty’s bed and reading a magazine, calls it “some basic bitch psychological warfare”, except “bitch” is censored. Let me make this clear: a tie-in coic for the show censors a word that is often uttered on said show. This is a motherfucking Teen-rated title; why is “bitch” not allowed?
Anyway, Veronica says she used to do the same to the girls at Spence and tells Betty to fuck it. Betty says Polly loved being a River Vixen and would be captain instead of Cheryl. She refuses to let Cheryl win and needs to do this for Polly. She takes off her clothes and puts on the uniform, surprising Veronica.
The next day, at school, Betty proudly struts down on a hallway in the skimpy outfit (which somehow doesn’t get her sent home). Veronica, by her side, announces “hotness” coming through. Archie and Jughead are amazed. Cheryl’s besties are amazed that Betty actually did it. Tina says Betty looks “amazing”, but Cheryl tells her “minion” to shut up and declares Betty dead.
At practice, Cheryl congratulates Betty on surviving round one. She then explains the backstory for round two: last year, Baxter High creamed them at spirit regionals, because Betty’s” meth-head sister Polly” flubbed the routine and lost them the Golden Whistle. Betty declares they’ll win it back at this year’s competition. Cheryl loves Betty’s “can-do Cooper attitude” but wants her to break into Baxter High and steal it back. If it’s not sitting around Cheryl’s “elegant and slender neck” by morning practice, Betty’s off the squad.
Betty goes through with it and rags on Veronica for wearing heels to a break-in. Veronica tells Betty to lay off the “choos”, claiming they’re good luck.
Betty opens a window into the boys’ bathroom, climbs in, and helps Veronica in. Veronica asks why and how she’s so good at this. Betty claims she’s “mechanically inclined” and learned to pick locks at an early age, because her mom’s a chronic door-locker. Veronica is amazed.
They find the trophy case. Betty is in awe of the stupid-ass Golden Whistle. She can’t get the case open. Veronica warns “Nancy Drew” before smashing the glass with a fire extinguisher.
As Betty recounts in her diary, someone called in an anonymous tip to the Sheriff’s office, so Sheriff Keller comes in, busts them, and hauls their asses to the station. Betty guesses it was Cheryl’s doing. The moms are called. Hermione is understanding toward “mija”, but Alice drags Betty away, assuming Veronica put her up to this. Betty says she didn’t. Alice lectures Betty for hours and grounds her for a month (this has no bearing on the show). But it doesn’t matter, because Betty has the Golden Whistle (which she stupidly openly displays while her angry mom is driving her home).
The next day, after Betty presents the Golden Whistle to Cheryl, Cheryl’s narration informs us that she hates everyone. She rags on Sheriff Keller for once again proving to be useless. As she silently plans to “hit Betty where it hurts”, Cheryl is outwardly impressed. As Cheryl starts talking about Betty’s final task, Betty’s diary entry goes into a sixth-grade class trip to Riot Park. She, Cheryl, Polly, and Jason were all there. Remembering Betty was too scared to ride the Behemoth, and in order to make sure Betty can sit astride the top of the pyramid, Cheryl forces Betty to prove she’s not still scared of heights by standing on the ledge of the school roof for five minutes after school.
After school, Cheryl, Archie, Jughead, Chuck, and a bunch of other students gather outside. Cheryl predicts, if Betty shows up, she won’t last thirty seconds. Betty does show up. She’s scared shitless but calms herself. She admits Cheryl’s right: she’s terrified of heights. However, Cheryl forgot one thing: Betty conquered her fear that day in sixth grade; she rode the Behemoth, clutching hands with Polly, who didn’t let go of her hand for the entire ride.
Betty admits she couldn’t do this alone, and she doesn’t have her big sister to save her this time, but she has the next best thing: a new BFF. Lucky for her, Cheryl never said she had to do it alone, so Veronica joins Betty on the roof’s ledge, and they join hands. Betty barely survived hell week, but it was worth it, if only to see the look on Cheryl’s face. Betty’s proud and believes Polly would be proud also. Cheryl, however, while admitting Betty survived hell week, swears on Jason’s ghost that she won’t stop until Betty and Veronica feel the same pain that she does.
This was a nice story! Apparently, it will be continued (unlike the previous story, which is stated to be the end), but this story seems complete in itself. It’s interesting to look back and see Cheryl so antagonistic to the girls (and Betty in particular), knowing the three of them eventually become close friends on the show.
After the story is a lightweight, five-page “special look” at the show, a one-page cover gallery, and the cover for the next issue.
Tune in next Wednesday!
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