The improbable love triangle between Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge is a core part of the classic version of America's Favourite Teenager. But last year's reboot changed all of that. Last week, Veronica moved in with Archie. Things got weird. Written by Mark Waid, with art by Veronica Fish, Andre Szymanowicz, Jen Vaughn and Jack Morelli, Archie #9 has the main character's rich girlfriend move into the Andrews home. After Veronica's dad declares Archie persona non grata at the Lodge mansion, the couple starts hanging at his lower-income-bracket household. At first, it's a cascade of gags that show Veronica coming to grips with how common people live.
After Mrs Andrews invites Veronica to make herself feel more comfortable, the level of chaos gets ramped up to an extravagant degree. But it's all a little much for Archie's just-plain-folks parents.
The siren song of Archie's sad guitar playing reels in ex-girlfriend Betty, who lets the redhead talk through his feelings with her. All that emotion seems like it could lead to a rekindling of their romance…
...until a dramatic interruption occurs.
Waid's scripting on Archie continues to expertly walk the melodramatic tightrope between tragedy and comedy. Just when it seems like they're going to conform to easily parsable types, the characters reveal new facets that make them more sympathetic and three-dimensional.
Archie #9 makes it clear that the love triangle still exists, only in a newly updated and more heartbreaking form.