Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Archie Marries Veronica: "The Wedding" (Part 2 of 6)

Welcome to Part 2 of the Archie Wedding Saga as we witness the main event, the moment generations have been waiting 68 years for: Archie actually binds himself lawfully, spiritually, and financially to one of his "gals" making his choice OFFICIAL. And least until Part 4. I warn you, Part 1 was much more plot driven. They weren't fucking around when they titled this chapter "The Wedding" because the actual ceremony, with all of its pre game (tux fittings) and post game (the honeymoon) events, takes up 19 of the 24 pages.

It opens with a handy dandy recap page which I don't need to summarize if you read my review of Part1. Then, Archie is preparing for his upcoming nuptials with his groomsmen, Reggie (the jerk), Moose (the big, dumb, lovable jock), Dilton (the nerd), and best man, Jughead. Meanwhile, Veronica is treating her bridesmaids Midge (Moose's girl), Ethel (the ugly girl), and Nancy (the black girl), to a day at the spa. Veronica is sad that Betty is not there. However, she shows up at that moment and her position as Veronica’s maid of honor is cemented. Betty brings along a “friend” of hers named Henry who works with her. Ethel states that he reminds her of Archie as Betty rushes him out the door. On the eve of the wedding, Archie and Veronica discuss their future.

So, who the fuck is Henry you ask? Believe it or not, Betty has dated several guys other than Archie. Her rogue's gallery includes Reggie, Jughead, Jason Blossom (firecrotch Cheryl's twin brother), and nice guy Adam Chisholm, a character introduced in Betty #87 who is basically the "Betty" to Archie's "Veronica"...if you know what I mean. After all, a girl can't spend all her nights working on recipes and writing Archie's book reports. And how in the hell can you go to the wedding of your high school quasi-boyfriend like the lonely pathetic single girl everyone expects you to be? No, even Betty has some pride. That's why she finds Archie 2.o at work (ugh, a guy in fashion) and proves to everyone she has every intention of moving on instead of being Riverdale's resident cat lady.

The big day comes and everything seems to be going as planned. All of Riverdale is attending the wedding. Before the ceremony, Archie asks Betty to take a walk with him. He tells her that she was his first friend and how he always enjoyed dating her, but then Veronica moved to town. Archie tells Betty that he loves her like a sister and asks her to promise to always be his friend. Betty obliges after they tell each other they love one another.

Oh. My. God. This pep talk demeans us all, Archie. It's great that you reiterated everything the poor girl has assumed for 68 years. And the sister line. Really? Really? I've always hated the sister line because it means you're viewed as an utterly non-sexual being. It means any sexual thought about said "sister" is incestuous. At least envisioning sex with a "friend" won't turn your stomach. Did you love her like a sister when you were making out with her in the backseat of your Jalopy? Nah...I didn't think so. And "I love you"? Archie, I know you're trying to lessen your poster child status as fickle jerkoff, but you can take your cold comfort speech and shove it up your newly married gold digging ass.

Ahem...excuse me.

The wedding goes by smoothly. Mr. and Mrs. Lodge walk Veron
ica down the aisle as all of Riverdale watches. Archie and Veronica finally become husband and wife as Betty tearfully, but "happily" looks on. At the reception, Archie and Veronica share their first dance to "Sugar, Sugar", speeches are made, the cake is cut, and the bouquet is tossed. Betty catches it and walks away trying to hide her tears. Veronica catches up to her to make sure she’s okay. Archie and Veronica then depart on their honeymoon to remote island owned by the Lodges.

In case you were looking for My Best Friend's Wedding-esque schemes to STOP THE WEDDING, none occur. (Damn it!) Doormat Betty does her part as maid of honor (in a hideous orange gown) in Veronica's line of set dressing bridesmaids. She's a good sport about it too, even though she gives an extremely uninspired speech wishing the happy couple to "live as long as you want and never want as long as you live." ...Yeah. BLECCH.

They even have you fooled for awhile, making you think that maybe Betty really will be okay. I mean, she has Henry, right? Oh wait...he doesn't make another appeara
nce. EVER. Veronica is no better at comforting Betty than Archie is. "You mean so much to me," Veronica says. Yeah, she means enough to drag through your hedonistic circus wedding while you marry the man of her dreams. Betty insists she will be happy for them...eventually. I'm guessing it'll be the day when The Archies score another number one single.

And now a positive note: From my blog on Archie Return to Riverdale, you know how ecstatic I am about sex actually existing in the Archie Comics universe. So you must be able to imagine my excitement brought on by the "KLIK" panel. Yay! Sex! The geniuses in the writing room must have discovered they couldn't hold off the inevitable deflowerization of Riverdale's all American guy and town tease. And there was no way to fool the sheltered minded Archie reader by having a stork drop the twins on the doorstep of Lodge Manor. Archie and Veronica must bone! And bone they do.

A year later Archie is a big executive at Lodge Enterprises. Reggie shows up and asks for a job after he’s been laid off. (Way to work in the recession!) Archie gives him a job in sales. It’s obvious that he’s running himself ragged with work. When he comes home exhausted, Veronica reminds him of a dinner date they have with Ethel and her fiancĂ©e, Fred. Archie is simply too tired and refuses to move…until Veronica announces that she’s pregnant. Then Archie promptly faints.

So, I'm guessing that history degree is really coming in handy, hmmm, Archie? Although he's the powerful Vice President of Lodge Industries, with enough money to live in the penthouse of "Lodge Tower," I have to believe that he's really dissatisfied with his line of work. It's not his passion. (Not that Archie ever showed a particular passion or aptitude for anything). Still, seeing Reggie struggling reminds him of how lucky he is for the financial stability in his life.

When Archie returns home from work, he seems happy enough with Veronica. Although her favoring social engagements over Archie's well being really rubs me the wrong way. His constant exhaustion has to take a toll on their marriage. But not enough of a toll to keep him from knocking her up, and therefore, giving us the third and final chapter in the Veronica side of the Archie Wedding I hope sentences Archie to suburban Hell. (Muwah-ha-ha-ha!)

On a side note, good for Ethel! She finally got over Jughead. And she's the next to get married. (I guess that rule of catching the bouquet is bullshit). Maybe she got a makeover and became an international model, as per the movie. Whatever. I think it's odd, to say the least. Was it just for that tacky "Fred and Ethel" joke? I wouldn't put it past the writers. Yuk, yuk!

There you have it. Part 2, The Wedding. I wasn't really shocked by anything in this issue. Archie and Veronica take Betty for granted, once again. Veronica has a materialistic wedding. Archie has a job he hates. And since first comes love, then comes marriage, a baby (Spoiler! Babies) in the baby carriage must follow. Will these children add to the happiness of the Andrews clan? How can selfish Veronica be a mother? How can irresponsible Archie be a father? Will these children be the burden further pushing Archie away from his dream?

Stay tuned.

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