Bad Boy Trouble: The Prequel

Archie kicked off their “realistic”/New Look promotion (which has been running through various titles for the past two years) with a Betty & Veronica story called “Bad Boy Trouble“. In it, Veronica takes up with a new boy in town, a biker who treats everyone badly. It takes four installments for her to realize that sneaking around, lying about what she’s doing, and dating this guy are all bad ideas.

They did things different in the old days. In “Dumb Dates”, reprinted in this month’s Betty & Veronica Digest #186, Veronica learns the same lesson in six pages. And two of the pages looked like they wandered in from some other story altogether! Here’s the intro, in which Archie has been invited to a Lodge yacht party:

Dumb Dates p1

Check out that 70s lingerie-top jumpsuit Veronica’s wearing! Goes great with her shag haircut, doesn’t it? I have no idea when this story first appeared, unfortunately.

Veronica and Dad go home, Dad swearing all the while about what a bad boyfriend Archie is. (I’d think he’d be more concerned that she’s dressing like a slutty Love Boat extra.) She’s upset that Dad wants to tell her who she should date. He makes the mistake of saying, “No one can be a worse baboon [than Archie],” while she’s phoning said baboon about their date that night, a date he doesn’t remember making. Archie comes to pick up Veronica anyway.

Dumb Dates p3

Turns out she’s using him to get to her real boyfriend, who’s even more unacceptable. And why does Veronica dress like she’s a young matron for a date with a biker?

The next day, Veronica tells Archie she needs him to beard for her again, and he says, oh, ok, but just once more. In short: Archie is an idiot.

Dumb Dates p5

Archie’s willing to face down a biker gang but doesn’t have the cahones to tell Veronica that he’s not her decoy? Meanwhile, she turns on a dime for no real good reason except that the story is almost over. Look at poor, stricken Rusty in that last panel.

On the last page, as Archie takes Veronica home, the two make up. She says she’s sorry, he says he was jealous but knew she’d come back to him eventually. The final punchline? Dad still doesn’t like Archie. It’s a goofy, pointless story that bears no resemblance to real-world motivations or behavior… but in that way, it’s not really any different from its more current counterpart.

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5 Responses to “Bad Boy Trouble: The Prequel”

  1. Chris Gumprich Says:

    I have the original buried somewhere in my collection (what?) so while I don’t know the exact issue number, this story was in a B&V from the mid- to late-1980s. 1987 maybe?

    So yeah, Veronica’s outfit is kinda out of date. But check out the fat biker in a yellow shirt and black derby! He’s got it goin’ ON!

  2. Charles RB Says:

    Was I _meant_ to feel sorry for Rusty? Cos that last panel of him made me feel sorry for him. Poor guy.

  3. Johanna Says:

    Well, he did have to put up with a spoiled rich girl using him to tick off daddy and then dumping him… but I suspect he kind of deserved it.

  4. Charles RB Says:

    I dunno, the first panel showing he’s a wrong’un is basically “let’s leave town together!” and the second could be him just having his masculinity challenged (imagine the low esteem he needs to be challenged by Archie!).

    This is me doing a post-modern reading, of course – it’s too easy to see that gang as harmless poseurs pretending to be tough (look at what they dress like!). Look at Rusty, he’s about to cry!

  5. Good Comics for Kids » Linkfest: New titles and lots of opinions Says:

    [...] Draper Carlson reads Archie comics with a critical eye, and her dissection of an old Veronica-meets-the-bikers story at Comics Worth Reading focuses on an example of the [...]

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