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In Issue 600 of “Archie,” the iconic comics teen gets down on bended knee to propose to rich Veronica Lodge — and breaks long-suffering girl-next-door Betty’s heart.
By
TODAY contributor
updated 5/30/2009 12:08:30 PM ET 2009-05-30T16:08:30

After 68 years of waffling, Archie Andrews has made his choice. It’s the raven-haired heiress over the girl next door, Veronica Lodge over Betty Cooper.

Just eight days after Archie Comics announced that Archie would finally choose between his two high-school hotties, the word is out: Archie gets down on bended knee to present Veronica with his proposal and a ring while poor Betty looks on and wipes away a tear. Veronica replies to the proposal with a resounding “Yes!”

The red-haired all-American boy’s choice is likely to upset many Archie fans. Ever since news that Archie would get married broke, they have been filling the message boards at ArchieComics.com with their opinions on which girl should get the ring.

It’s not even close. A strong majority feel wholesome Betty should get the nod over snooty Veronica.

Not the people’s choice
“I hope it's Betty! I've read these comics for over 30 years and waited for the day he woke up and chose Betty,” wrote fan Rachel.

“I think he should ask Betty,” agreed reader Rob. “Veronica is too sophisticated and too richy rich for him. Betty is very laid back, sort of like the All American Girl she has always been. Betty has a big heart, she would make a great wife to Arch, and I would be disappointed if Archie chose Veronica! Good luck to Archie.”

Among the minority who felt Veronica was the obvious choice was “archielover,” who wrote: “OMG! Pick Veronica! He doesn't deserve Betty, he always makes her do all his chores and fix his car and help with his homework, while he treats Veronica like a little princess! I can't wait to see what happens :)”

The issue also generated lively discussion on community news Web site Newsvine, which had tallied nearly 15,000 votes on the issue by midday Friday, more than 80 percent of which were for “He should have picked Betty.”

“Veronica is the gal you marry the first time,” explained one of Betty’s many supporters. “Later, when you want a real relationship, you marry a Betty.” Another agreed: “Sexy doesn’t last; wholesome does.”

The dark-haired heiress to the Lodge zillions did have her partisans, however: “It's about time the brunette wins over the blonde!” exulted one. But even among them, many suspected Archie of having picked Mammon over Cupid. “Choose money over real love,” urged one cynic. “Maybe he took the recession into consideration,” opined another.

Still, most readers sided with romance over riches. “Veronica is a spoiled, manipulative brat, with a mean streak,” charged one Betty fan. Another issued Archie a warning tinged with poignant regret: “I have lost my own Betty. I know what a mistake it is to overlook the sweet girl.”

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Adult Arch
Mind you, “Archie” No. 600 will deal only with the engagement. Whether Archie and Veronica actually get hitched as the story plays out over several issues remains to be seen. Given Archie’s history of indecision, would it be unreasonable to assume that there are more plot twists ahead?

Video: Archie outrages comic book world The news that Archie would get married leaked out on May 20 on the Internet and then in the official source of all things relating to celebrity gossip: the New York Post, which ran the shocking story under the headline: “BETTY OR VERONICA? ASK ARCH”

Archie Comics’ official blog confirmed the epochal news, digging into its cache of exclamation marks to declare: “ARCHIE ANDREWS IS GETTING MARRIED!”

The blog continued: “The eternal love triangle is the cornerstone of Archie Comics for over 65 years — and the bane of Archie Andrews' existence! In fact, over the years it has not only defined the Betty/Archie/Veronica relationship, but has even threatened to dismantle it a time or 20.”

Slideshow: New York Comic Con

According to the blog, the six-part story of Archie’s long-delayed passage into adulthood will begin in Issue 600 of his eponymous comic book “Archie.” It will ship on Aug. 12 and be available in comics shops on Sept. 8.

Writing the story for Archie Comics is comic book aficionado and movie producer Michael Uslan, who resurrected the Batman movie franchise in 1989. Longtime Archie Comics artist Stan Goldberg will illustrate the tale.

In the story, Archie has finally graduated from Riverdale High School; in fact, he’s five years older and a college graduate. He may even have — gasp! — an actual job when he gets engaged.

But who’s going to be best man? It can’t possibly be that wiseacre Reggie, can it? Our money is on Jughead, who still can’t lose that goofy hat he’s been wearing since Bob Montana first drew it on his tousled head way back in 1941.

And who will be Veronica's maid of honor? The newly affianced heiress herself blogged on the topic on the Archie Comics site: “I am so excited, I am getting married to Archie,” she enthused. “There is so much to do, so many plans to make. I wonder if Betty wants to be my Maid of Honor? I bet she is so happy for me!”

Obviously Veronica posted that without bothering to read Betty’s blog, in which the heartbroken blonde writes: “I am so sad, I don't know what to say.”

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