For generations, people have gobbled up Archie Comics, much like Jughead and his hamburgers. Who didn't love to curl up with a comic book and vicariously live through Archie and the gang on their wholesome, peppy adventures? The milkshakes, the dances, the poodle skirts. Yes, please!
The main source of conflict, obviously, is the love triangle between Archie, Betty, and Veronica. Who does the poor lad choose? Betty's the cute girl next door; Veronica's the sophisticated rich girl. Debates on this hot topic issue are still being had today, in playgrounds and at water coolers across the world.
Then there's the Riverdale of it all. The hit show is a darker imagining of the town with pep. But it's not all doom and gloom and murder. On Riverdale, the characters are much more rounded than they are in the comic books. Jughead is an introspective writer; Moose questions his sexuality. And of course, there is Betty and Veronica. In the comic books, they are defined as frenemies who exist only in relation to Archie; in the show, B&V are sassy, independent, strong-willed individuals. Yes, they still like milkshakes and cute boys, but they are so much more than that. Here are 10 Ways Riverdale's Betty & Veronica Outshine Their Comic Book Counterparts.
10 Veronica Is A Mega-Talented Singer
Besides Archie, there's nothing comic book Veronica loves more than shopping and looking fabulous. While Riverdale Veronica certainly enjoys her retail therapy, she hardly lets it define her. She doesn't just enjoy the attention she receives for her looks; Veronica loves to enchant a crowd with the power of song.
While Veronica loves to turn some heads, she's also just as happy to share the spotlight. She jumped at the opportunity to join Josie & the Pussycats and only became the lead singer after Josie departed. Though Veronica has a lot on her plate, she still finds opportunities to sing whether it's in the school play or at her speakeasy, La Bonne Nuit.
9 Betty Is In A Biker Gang
Who would have thought this sweet, ponytailed, staight-A student would be queen of the Southside Serpents? Like in the comic books, Riverdale Betty prides herself on doing the right thing. She drinks her milk, completes her homework, and lives out her bubbly existence in the comfort of her NoDale home... but she also happens to be in a biker gang.
After falling hard for Jughead, the boy on the wrong side of the tracks, Betty realized that the Serpents are in Jughead's blood. He can only compartmentalize high school Jughead from Serpent Jughead for so long. This wasn't a tough decision for Betty. She joined the Serpents by performing the "Serpent Dance" - admittedly, it was the most awkward, cringeworthy striptease ever. Ignoring that momentary assault on good taste, Betty has learned that the Serpents are a loyal crew who have come to the rescue of her friends and family more than once.
8 Betty And Veronica Stand Up To Their Parents
Riverdale Hiram Lodge is a cold-blooded gangster. Living under the same roof as him must be scary. But Veronica isn't one to cower under her bed. She regularly stands up to him and defies him. When Hiram tried to extort money from La Bonne Nuit, Veronica turned around and hired the Serpents for protection instead. Veronica also refuses to let her mother off the hook for being a willing accomplice to Hiram's underhanded business endeavors. This is a beautiful contrast to comic book Veronica, who sees her "daddykins" as nothing more than a human ATM.
Betty doesn't have it much easier. On Riverdale, her mother Alice proves her lack of parenting skills time and again, whether it's being cruelly overprotective or donating Betty's college fund to a cult. And if that's not bad enough, Betty's father turned out to be a serial killer. Hal and Alice Cooper are big, intimidating personalities, but Betty will always stand her ground. This makes her a much stronger character than her comic book counterpart.
7 Dark Betty
We knew Riverdale Betty had a dark side even before it was revealed that she's the daughter of a serial killer. A black wig here, some eye-liner there and before your very eyes, Betty becomes someone who is truly scary. She almost killed Chuck in a revenge incident, and her dark thoughts can be so overwhelming, she leaves scratch marks on her hands.
The Dark Betty storyline hasn't been as deeply explored as it could be. Actress Lili Reinhart has said that she doesn't want to play Dark Betty anymore, and we can see why. This was meant to be an intriguing facet of Betty's psyche, but it just came across as a cheap opportunity to show Betty in lingerie. Still, Riverdale gets major points for trying to give Betty way more depth than the comic books ever did.
6 Betty And Veronica Are Partners In Crime. Literally.
In the comic books, B&V only join forces against Cheryl Blossom. In Riverdale, these besties are always looking for reasons to team up, even if that means breaking the law. When Archie was locked up in juvie and forced to take part in a lethal fight club, Veronica rounded up the gang for a full-on prison break. The true-blue Betty was only too willing to follow her friend's lead in saving Archie, and she did it on a motorcycle. Comic book B&V are frenemies; Riverdale B&V are a modern-day Thelma and Louise.
5 Betty Is A Sleuth
On Riverdale, Betty prides herself on being a millennial Nancy Drew and we love her for it. Betty's detective storylines are always the juiciest part of the show. While Betty still hangs out at Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe, she's not there hoping to get a glimpse of Archie. Instead, she's poring over autopsy reports she obtained by bribing the coroner.
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Betty was instrumental both in cracking the case of who killed Jason Blossom and discovering the Black Hood's true identity. We bet that comic book Betty has never been able to add "detective" to her resume.
4 Veronica Is An Entrepreneur
Veronica may enjoy her lavish lifestyle every bit as much as she does in the comics, but on Riverdale, she values her independence more. Not content to skate through life sponsored by her dad's blood money, she bought the Serpents' bar Whyte Wyrm and traded it to Hiram for Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe. She didn't stop there, though. Veronica went on to open La Bonne Nuit.
Being a business owner isn't just for show. It's not all stylish glasses and business buzz terms. We see Veronica really struggle to keep her business afloat. She's not getting mani-pedis with Cheryl; she's up at the crack of dawn waiting tables at Pop's, and up until midnight balancing the books at La Bonne Nuit. Riverdale Veronica takes care of business.
Maybe it seems a little antiquated to cite a boy on this list, but Jughead is a cut above the rest. An entire article could be devoted to all his superior differences on Riverdale. Really, why we love Bughead is because Jughead adores Betty. He's into her every bit as much as she's into him. Watching their relationship thrive is so much more enthralling than watching Betty make moon-eyes at Archie. Jughead loves Betty for all the reasons we do: her determination, independence, and optimism. She never gives up and she always cracks her case.
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How would a Bughead story look in the comic books anyway? I'm guessing it would involve a love triangle between Betty, Jughead, and a plate of hamburgers. We'll stick with Riverdale.
2 Veronica Hates Bullies
If Riverdale's pilot episode made one thing clear, it's that Veronica is nothing like her mean girl comic book counterpart. When Cheryl Blossom doesn't want to let Betty on the cheerleading squad, Veronica is there in a flash, standing up for her soon-to-be bestie.
Veronica also has no time for misogynistic bros. She got her revenge on the aforementioned Chuck after he spread rumors that the two were sexually involved. Veronica also rescued Cheryl after she was drugged by Nick St. Clair, Veronica's creepy ex. Riverdale Veronica stands tall in her Louboutin heels as a valiant defender of the underdog.
1 Betty And Veronica Put Their Friendship First
In the comic books, Archie is always #1 and the gals' friendship is a distant second. It's true, in early Riverdale days there was some major love triangle action happening, but eventually, the girls set aside their differences in the name of pursuing their friendship. Veronica would go on to date Archie, while Betty fell for Jughead.
The love triangle tension did rear its head for a brief period, when both couples were split up. Betty and Archie found themselves sharing a passionate kiss which was later revealed to the gang, causing friction among both couples. However, Betty and Veronica are mature young women who rose above their differences. They support each other and take pride in passing the Bechdel test. Comic book B&V probably wouldn't even know what that is.