Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inking: Rudy Lapick
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Editor: Scott Fulop
Managing Editor: Victor Gorelick
Editor-in-Chief: Richard Goldwater
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 3
Cover Date: 1995
Length: 22 pages (including 11 pages of reprints)
Although I have the original issue, I’m reviewing this story from the digital edition.
There’s a credits page before the story. It features Cheryl lying between a roaring fire and the Christmas tree (I guess on a couch, which doubles as a credits sign). The disembodied heads of Archie, Reggie, and six generic guys float in the air. Cheryl is appreciative.
Cheryl has finished handwriting a massive Christmas list in the den. I call bullshit. Cheryl wouldn’t exert that much manual effort over something like that; she’s type it up and print it out. Anyway, her parents are shocked. Oh, yeah, her parents make their first appearance (as far as I can tell). Her dad has brown hair and a brown goatee. Her mom has short, curly, red hair. They’re unnamed as yet, but I’m just gonna go ahead and call them Clifford and Penelope. Anyway, Cheryl allows her parents to “cross one or two things off” the list.
Cheryl doesn’t get the meaning of the holiday season. She knows it’s about giving, but she thinks she’s awesome for “allowing” her parents to give her a bunch of shit. Penelope imposes a rule: Cheryl must give of herself before getting any gifts. In shock, Cheryl jumps into her father’s arms and objects. Penelope has Clifford stand firm (and also names him). Penelope tells Cheryl to help her cousin Elaine (and points to a convenient photo on a table). Elaine is a blonde girl with glasses and, according to Cheryl, a “boring drip from the sticks”. Penelope explains Elaine is coming to stay with them for the holidays, since her parents are away on business. This upsets Cheryl.
Elaine is very quiet and insecure, so Penelope suggests Cheryl can give her some confidence. Jason runs by to hurl an insult at Cheryl. Cheryl starts to give chase, but Penelope asks her if she’s going to cooperate. Cheryl drops to her knees, cries, and agrees, because she needs the things on her list. Penelope says Elaine arrives tomorrow.
The next day, Penelope warmly welcomes Elaine, but a bored Cheryl gets her name wrong – and doesn’t care when Elaine corrects her, which pisses Penelope off. Cheryl takes Elaine upstairs to talk about herself.
In Cheryl’s room, Elaine wishes she was more like Cheryl. Cheryl offers to give her some glamour and fitness tips.
Over the next however-long period of time, Cheryl helps Elaine get into shape and takes her out for a makeover (including contact lenses and a haircut). Elaine has a craving for chocolate, but Cheryl keeps it away from her, limiting the two of them to fat-free stuff. One day, Elaine thanks Cheryl for her help, and Cheryl makes sure her passing mom hears it.
One day, Elaine wants to go work out, but Cheryl sends her off on her own, preferring to stay at home and watch TV – on a really small rabbit-ears TV. What the fuck? Anyway, Elaine continues to work out, get made up, and shop for clothes.
One day, Penelope suggests Cheryl invite Elaine to the upcoming Christmas ball. Cheryl gets her mom to lift her gift ban and then invites Elaine, who’s returning from a shopping trip. Elaine is delighted.
Elaine asks for Cheryl’s help, but Cheryl gives her contact info for her beauty consultant and runs out to add more things to her gift list. Why does she need to run out to do that?
At the Christmas ball, Archie and Reggie start beating the shit out of each other over Elaine, who’s gorgeous (much to Cheryl’s shock, although I don’t know why). Cheryl wonders what she’s created.
Betty asks Cheryl why her and Veronica’s dates are falling all over her cousin. Ronnie insists it’s another Blossom scheme. Cheryl, in tears, explains what happened (though leaving out various details to make her seem the victim). She wants Betty and Veronica to help her out of this. Betty asks why, saying they’ll be duped. She reminds Cheryl of an incident.
The next 11 pages are a reprint of the 1980s story, “The Virtuous Villain“, presented as a flashback from Betty’s perspective, despite the fact that she was present for only 2/3rds of one page. Even though Cheryl could have filled in most of it, there are still portions that neither she nor her brother were present for.
Cheryl pleads with Veronica and Betty for help. Betty and Veronica try to get Archie and Reggie away from Elaine. When a hint doesn’t work, they use “physical force”. Betty even lifts Archie up and carries him over her shoulder! Cheryl pulls Elaine over to the other side of the room. Elaine insults Archie and Reggie. Jason’s video-taping everything. Cheryl chases after him, vowing to murder him.
Suddenly, though, Cheryl gets an “evil idea” (we know, because the comic says so, complete with a skull, crossbones, and hellfire). She tells Jason to tape everything that he can. Jason’s confused. Archie approaches Elaine, who’s getting food at a table. Reggie follows and gets his watch caught on Archie’s “stupid suspenders”. Reggie warns Archie, but Archie pays him no mind and marches over to Elaine. Somehow, this leads to the two of them flying into her and making a mess of the table. Ronnie’s pissed. Reggie explains he’s stuck on Archie’s suspenders. Ronnie pulls…
… and then falls back against Betty, knocking them both into a bowl of purple punch. Elaine laughs at them, but then Ronnie drowns Elaine in the punch, much to Betty’s delight. As Betty, Veronica, and Elaine beat the shit out of each other, Jason video-tapes everything, and Elaine vows “All you mortals will pay!” Cheryl decides to do “a little creative editing”.
On another day, Cheryl walks into her dad’s den and asks her dad for her uncle and aunt’s address in Europe, so she can send them a video of Elaine, so “they can see how lovely she’s become”. Clifford agrees, but Penelope (who’s also here) is suspicious. Also, Cheryl is holding the tape. She’s lucky that her parents didn’t ask to see it.
In Europe, Elaine’s parents watch the tape (which I guess Cheryl had converted to PAL format). They’re shocked that Elaine’s become a “wild girl”. The dad gets a suitcase and says they’ve gotta get back to the States, even though he didn’t finish his business merger. I don’t get why Cheryl needed to do any “creative editing” (inserting some of Elaine’s lines over other footage of her); the raw footage speaks for itself. Also, there are some continuity errors between the final footage on the tape and the actual scenes from earlier.
Anyway, the next day, Elaine’s parents show up at Blossom Manor and take her away. Her mom holds another outfit on top of her (presumably revealing) outfit. Elaine protests she likes the new her. Her dad is pissed at the Blossoms while talking about “deprogramming” his daughter. Elaine, run away! Run the fuck away from those conservative nutjobs! A happy Cheryl pretends to be innocent, but Penelope tells Clifford: “That daughter of ours is dangerous!”
This story is pretty fun. Not much else to say.
After the story is an uncredited 1-page story called “Gift Rift” in which Cheryl talks about holiday gift buying, the spirit of giving, and generosity while buying a bunch of stuff. By the time that she gets home, though, it’s clear that it’s all for herself. However, she does say she “may buy gifts for other people, too!” Cute.
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