This is the third chapter of Michael Uslan and Dan Parent’s Farewell, Betty & Veronica graphic novel. The second chapter ended with the surprise that Veronica won the competition to be selected as a foreign exchange student. She manipulated people to get the edge in this victory, and her father Hiram Lodge, acknowledging to himself that Betty was the one that had earned the prize, realized that Veronica was just doing as her father would do to secure an achievement. The third chapter begins with Hiram deciding to match the funds for the foreign exchange program so that Betty can go as well.
Realizing that now they’re losing both of these girls to the overseas trip, the heartbroken Archie gang does their best to sabotage it. Archie and Reggie send fake texts purportedly from the airline to delay the young womens’ departure. It is all for naught, and after a weepy send-off, cue the Peter, Paul, and Mary as Betty and Veronica leave on a jet plane for Europe.
The first stop is London, where the girls meet their new host families, and after settling in live their lives just as they would in Riverdale. Betty studies hard and stays in with her host family while Ronnie flirts with boys, gets reprimanded by her teachers, and goes out. Far from being happy with this return to the status quo, dissatisfaction sets in. The ennui hits both girls really hard, as they had both expected something different from this trip—a life change, not just a change of scenery. Veronica hatches a massive scheme that borrows from that classic humorist Mark Twain, and persuades Betty that they need to do something drastic to break their molds—they should switch identities in India. As hinted by the cover, which depicts a Composite Betty and Veronica image not dissimilar to the classic comic book image of Composite Superman, Veronica will become Betty and Betty will become Veronica. The Prince and the Pauper role reversal make-over scene as drawn by Dan Parent is sizzling and sweet.
This unexpected identity swap is the true farewell in “Farewell, Betty & Veronica.” The exchange student program was only the hook. Say farewell to Betty and Veronica as we knew them–at least for the duration of this epic graphic novel.
After reading the first five pages of Betty & Veronica 274 below, you can find the issue at comic shops and quality booksellers like Barnes and Noble. You can also buy this comic digitally on the Archie website and app or on comiXology.