Monday, June 22, 2009 by AmberLily
When BigD had first told me that my first comic book love Archie Andrews was proposing to Veronica Lodge in the 600th issue of Archie, and that it was all over the news, I wasn't the least bit surprised. Not even a smidgen. (Well, okay, I was surprised it was all over the news since "Archie" hasn't been a mega-trendy comic in awhile now.) If Archie was ever going to be forced to choose between Betty & Veronica, my vote was for Veronica as she made the most logical sense. I know, I know. That's not the answer you'd expect from me, is it?
I read Archie Comics for a few years mostly during the span of junior high (or middle school as it's called in Southern California) and have quite the collection gathering dust in storage down there at BigD's mom's house. I used to draw fashions for both Betty & Veronica and even had one of my designs chosen for Veronica in an early issue of her self-named title. I also used to write little articles or reports that the kids send in to Archie Comics that they in turn publish within a few of their titles and award small monetary prizes to. Winning those 1st & 2nd prizes with checks for $10/$12 (the exact amounts escapes me) not only were my first publication credits but totally fed my comic collection -- the funds literally went back to Archie in the form of subscriptions to all of my favorite titles. "Betty's Diary" was at the top of my list. Entire issues all from Betty's perspective. I loved Betty. Betty Cooper is the epitome of the "girl next door." Always sweet. Always doing the right thing. Always so conscious of what others feel and think. Always. And she never changed, at least not much over the years I followed her inner most thoughts. Too often, an almost complete doormat to Archie; he walked all over her in favor of Veronica without even a second thought most of the time. It was heartbreaking. The times that Betty actually did win Archie's attention were bittersweet.
The argument should not be Betty versus Veronica for the role of wife to Archie, but rather -- why would Betty want to be with someone who never truly appreciated her natural beauty, talents or intellect anyway? Archie's choice was clear to me years ago. The epitome "boy next door" wants what he wants, and he wants the stunning brunette heiress who has *actually* had some character growth in recent years. True, I haven't picked up an issue since I moved out of Memphis and left my favorite comic book shop behind, but at last glance -- Veronica wasn't a spoiled brat princess *all* of the time. Okay, so she'd still be flippant with her friends feelings, but she *learned* from her mistakes and made more efforts to be more like Betty while still being herself in the stories I remember. Veronica isn't heartless or brainless, and is more than just Gossip Girl precursor. Don't believe me? Go on, pick up a few of her issues, and you'll see she's more complicated than that. To say that Archie's making a mistake, isn't giving the characters, or the folks who've shaped them, enough credit. A marriage between Archie and Veronica is more challenging for those characters. There's more passion between them. Archie has never said that he sees Veronica more "like his sister" than his girlfriend. Once you hear words like that come out of Archie-kin's mouth, how can anyone think that his ultimate choice would be Betty Cooper?
Naturally, I'm not sure that I believe that this wedding will take place, that the legendary love-triangle will truly end. But it looks like I need to find my way to a comic book store, ya know, just to be sure.