Monday, September 21, 2009

Now That's Heavy, Man: Betty Cooper is "The Wall Flower Child"

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! It's time to get serious, again, and this time with a story starring Archie Andrews and Betty Cooper, if you can believe it. You can tell as soon as you look at the cover that accompanies the following story from Life With Archie #114 (July 1971) that this is not your run-of-the mill Archie yarn. While DC and Marvel's "socially relevant" comics phase is well documented, true, long-time Archie fans remember that Archie and the gang dealt with "relevant" issues during the early 1970s as well. Stories dealing with muggings, death, pollution, racism, politics, religion, and (as in the case of today's post) sexual assault could be found comics like Life With Archie, Betty and Me, and Archie at Riverdale High during the Groovy Age's "Relevant Phase". Sometimes these extra-long, extra-special stories worked, sometimes they didn't, but the folks at Archie Comics definitely had their hearts in the right place when they took the time to warn kids about things like how dangerous it could be for even someone as sweet as Betty Cooper to get into a car with a stranger. Learn and live, baby!

Oh, one other thought. Okay, two other thoughts. For all of you Groove-ophiles bummed out by Archie's proposal to Veronica in the recent issues of Archie, let Ol' Groove lay some heavy truths on ya. First up, even "ancient" stories like "The Wall Flower Child" show Archie's feelings toward Betty aren't the kind that lead to matrimony. I love ol' Arch, but ya have to admit, he's a total dingbat when it comes to the ladies. To him, Betty is a "pal" and "sister-type", and in all honestly, someone to be used to make Veronica jealous or to kill time with when Ronnie is away. While I have always thought (and still do think) Betty is the most far-out chick in the Archie-verse (mayhap in the whole comicbook multiverse), she really needs to get her head on straight and forget about Ol' Carrot Top. Second, if you read Archie #600 very carefully, you'll see that the story is an "imaginary" or "what if...?" tale that might--or might not--happen in the future of our favorite forever-teens. So sit back and enjoy the ride!


  1. Betty's great but i can understand Arch's preference for rich brunettes. still, i wouldn't marry Veronica, sorry...

  2. Very cool, man!!



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