Story: Jamie L. Rotante
Art: Sandra Lanz
Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letterer: Jack Morelli
What They Say:
“SPRING,” pt. 4: The most important event in any high schooler’s life is here—the Senior Prom. And B&V are still keeping an important secret from one another. Will the big dance lead to a blowout that has the two girls finally confront each other or will they stay quiet until graduation?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
I had missed out on the third issue of this series but I had enjoyed the first two and knew that with a little recap in the book that I’d be just fine going into this one. Jamie L. Rotante has a lot going on in each issue but the major themes and threads are working smoothly so that it’s all quite accessible and works well. It also helps that Sandra Lanz delivers some solidly appropriate artwork for this series once again as we get something that’s akin to “classic” Archie works but with enough differences to not feel like it was just reprinted from there. I like this almost innocent feeling to all of it as it’s a welcome contrast to what I get with the Riverdale TV series that is such a huge guilty pleasure for me.
As the spring portion of the run gets underway, there are a lot of things going on now that Betty and Veronica are back to being pretty good friends and trying to be clearer with each other. Which, of course, means that they’re still not telling each other everything as you’d expect. Ronnie is doing her best to get Betty to go to the prom while also trying to deal with all the changes since helping out at Lodge Industries after her father’s heart attack. She’s busy all while Betty is dealing with a potential scholarship or butt-kissing to be done in order to get into a better school that she’s actually interested in. But the two have made such good plans to go to Pickens together that neither wants to disappoint the other. It’s something that does thankfully get resolved along the way but it’s the kind of understandable situation in how it unfolds, especially since they have gotten closer over their senior year.
Of course, the young women also make things complicated in other ways. Betty’s glad to see Moose doing so well and he’s passed his test thanks to all her help. And she wants to help him get some of his high school experience in before they graduate so she brings him to prom, which of course sets Midge off. Veronica does something similar in inviting Reggie after discovering what family issues he’s been dealing with that have been hidden, but there are some real issues there with Betty and the usual problem is that nobody is actually talking to each other about anything. So it sets things into a bad place come prom itself with tensions high, which naturally lets Archie take all of the spotlight in his classic buffoonish ways that delight. It doesn’t help the problem but it does thankfully ease some of the tension.
This series continues to be a fun-filled romp through some dramatic moments in the lives of our cast. It’s a little over the top in that simple kind of way but it has a lot of enjoyable moments just in seeing the characters being like we’ve always known them but growing up just a little bit – but not becoming “realistic” or anything. You feel for both Betty and Veronica and want to see them move toward their futures while understanding the desire to still be close together as friends, all while knowing that the paths will take them elsewhere. Rotante keeps a lot of things in motion here and Lanz delivers a good looking book in the classic style updated enough in some pretty good and cute ways. I’m definitely looking forward to the finale.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Archie Comics
Release Date: April 3rd, 2019