How Was Archie's 'Love Showdown' Resolved?

This is "Never Gonna Be the Same Again," a feature where I look at how bold, seemingly "permanent" changes were ultimately reversed. This is not a criticism, mind you, as obviously things are always going to eventually return to "normal." That's just how superhero comic books work. It's just fun to see how some of these rather major changes are reversed. This is differentiated from "Abandoned Love," which is when a new writer comes in and drops the plot of the previous writer. Here, we're talking about the writer who came up with the idea being the same one who resolved the change. This is also differentiated from "Death is Not the End," which is about how "dead" characters came back to life, since this is about stuff other than death.

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Today, we look at how Archie Comics resolved the shocking conclusion of Archie's Love Showdown storyline!

The other day, I spotlighted Archie's 1994 storyline, "Love Showdown," where Betty and Veronica decide that they are going to resolve their love triangle with Archie once and for all!

It came to a head in Veronica #39, by Bill Golliher, Stan Goldberg and Henry Scarpelli, where Reggie convinces Veronica that she can't compete with Betty by acting like Betty. She has to go back to her edgy self...

That's some rather insightful stuff from Reggie there, huh? It's not necessarily healthy, but hey, you have to give him credit for knowing Veronica fairly well.

Okay, so Veronica then messed with Betty and it gets to the point where they come up with the idea of doing a duel. They will each get themselves highly made up and wear their fanciest outfits and then they will attack each other with super-soakers. The story has gone off the rails here a bit, but whatever, it's all in good fun. However, right when the attack is about to start, they are interrupted by Archie and...CHERYL BLOSSOM?!

Yes, Cheryl has moved back to town and she wrote a letter to Archie letting him know and Archie has chosen CHERYL over Betty and Veronica!

That was the end of the storyline, but obviously fans wanted to see what happened next and so Archie did a follow-up special, Love Showdown Special #1 by Dan Parent and Mike Esposito, which mixed in reprints of older Cheryl Blossom stories to let fans know what her deal was, while Betty and Veronica try to break Archie and Cheryl up...

It comes to a head when the teens (along with Cheryl's twin brother, Jason) go on a ski trip and it ends up with Betty and Veronica both becoming interested in Jason instead of Archie and Cheryl dumping Archie for Reggie, since he realized that the only reason that she was interested in Archie was because both Betty and Veronica were...

Archie then has a dream where he realizes that Betty is his true love (she and Jason have ended when he turned out to be the obvious jerk he was, you know, obviously) but when he goes to tell her this, a new girl shows up and he forgets what he was going to say to Betty...

So it took a month, but they got everything back to the status quo, only now with Cheryl Blossom fully into the mix! Cheryl proved so popular that she got two miniseries and then an ongoing series that lasted a few years.

Okay, folks, there are tons of examples of major changes being made to characters, seemingly "forever," that were then reversed, so feel to write in with suggestions for future editions of this column to brianc@cbr.com!

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