Veronica Lodge

Archie Comics

Veronica Lodge (first appearance ‘Pep Comics’ #26 in 1942) is a fictional character in the ‘Archie Comics’ books series. She is called both by her name Veronica and her nickname Ronnie. Bob Montana, creator of the original Archie characters, knew the Lodges, because he had once painted a mural for them. Montana combined that name with actress Veronica Lake to create the character of Veronica Lodge. Her character was added just months after Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, and Jughead Jones debuted, and just a few months before Reggie Mantle.

Veronica is the only child of Hiram Lodge, the richest man in Riverdale, and his wife Hermione Lodge. She is tall, slender and attractive with long black hair. Veronica favors expensive, up-to-the-minute fashion. In some comics, Mr. Lodge claimed that he moved his family to Riverdale in order to avoid Veronica becoming spoiled, like many of the children he knew and grew up with.

His plan did not succeed as well as he had hoped. Veronica is often seen going on spending sprees and pretty much shopping until she drops and burning major credit cards in the process. (Once she bought out an entire shoe store to prevent any other girl from buying a pair of shoes that she herself wanted!) At times, Veronica’s vain and conceited attitude infuriates her father to the point that he has to somehow ‘teach her a lesson’ and Veronica is forced to get a job of some kind or loses access to Archie.

In the earliest ‘Archie Comics,’ there were a few different ‘Veronica origin’ stories. In her debut story, Veronica was referred to as a ‘sub-debutante,’ daughter of ‘Money Bags’ Lodge of Beacon Hill, who had just come to live in Riverdale. In another story, Veronica was revealed to have lived in Boston before coming to Riverdale. Her father Burton K. Lodge was introduced as a ‘big shot Boston politician.’ In ‘Archie Comics’ #1 (1942), we are shown another version of the history of Veronica’s coming to live in Riverdale. In this story, Veronica was referred to as ‘the elusive sub-deb’ and ‘that girl from New York.’ Archie had never met this ‘society dame,’ but kept daydreaming about her, and wrote letters to her he never sent. Archie wrote to her asking her to a dance in Riverdale, and the letter got sent accidentally; he really wanted to ask Betty Cooper, and was only daydreaming. Even after he realized he had sent the letter, he did not think she would really come. Veronica accepted the invitation, thinking that a dance would be fun. At the time she apparently lived in New York with her mother, and she begged Mrs Lodge to let her go to the Riverdale dance. Archie struggled trying to keep his dates with both girls, thus beginning their love triangle.

Veronica enjoys a very posh lifestyle, as her family is among the richest people in the world. She nevertheless chooses to hang out with her less affluent friends, in part to try to win the love of Archie Andrews, whom she nicknames ‘Archiekins.’ Her level of interest in him varies, however. Mr. Lodge often has nightmares that Veronica and Archie will marry. In 2009, Archie Comics published a storyline that followed this possible future. Veronica’s best friend (and sometimes arch-rival) is Betty Cooper, and the two enjoy countless activities and interests. However, they are also at constant competition for Archie’s affections. Veronica is famously jealous of Betty, and will go to any length to steal anything that is important or a triumph for Betty, even if she (Veronica) did not want it in the first place. If Betty has a date with a new boy, Veronica will let her have Archie for a brief time, so that she can steal the date. If Betty is praised for some achievement, Veronica will do anything to ruin it for her. In one story, she gave Betty fruit juice containing strawberry (which Betty is allergic to), so that Veronica can steal her modelling job. Veronica’s schemes to beat Betty usually tend to backfire on herself.

Her other friends include Ethel Muggs, Midge Klump and Nancy Woods, and they all enjoy having slumber parties and shopping at the mall together. Aside from Archie, Veronica frequently dates Reggie Mantle, who has the wealth and possessions her father appreciates, as well as a narcissism that rivals hers. Periodically, she can be extremely snobbish, and she will look down on those less fortunate than herself, or sees herself as the rules of common society don’t apply to her, which causes her friends to be upset with her. During those times, she derisively refers to the public at large as ‘the common horde.’

Though a girl as popular as Veronica can have her choice of dates, she will drop any boy, including Reggie, if she sees Betty with Archie. Veronica is often seen scheming to get Archie from Betty whenever she spots the two dating. Usually she is victorious, but occasionally Betty manages to successfully take revenge on her. Also, Archie occasionally has stood up to Veronica and stuck with Betty. Her relationship with Jughead Jones is less friendly. They constantly argue and are critical of each other’s lifestyles. She cannot stand his laid-back attitude and witticisms, and he considers her an uncaring snob and enjoys arousing her temper. Jughead, unlike the other boys, refuses to give Veronica any special treatment for her beauty and social position, and enjoys flouting her demands and supporting Betty in her rivalry with Veronica. However, Jughead and Veronica usually manage to stand being around each other for Archie’s sake.

Her foibles are commonly featured in stories. When upset, she has a furious temper, which it is unwise to arouse. She is an impulsive shopper who cannot go long without buying clothes, and is often addicted to gossip, which sometimes angers Betty. Though commonly a cheerleader, her sports abilities vary from superior to nonexistent, and she lacks domestic talents and many other skills that Betty has mastered. In fact, her cooking skills are so notoriously poor that the other characters literally fear for their lives when she tries to prepare a meal. Veronica is a scuba diver, wearing a red shorty wetsuit, breathing with a scuba tank she carries on her back, and wears red fins on her feet, but swims underwater. Several stories also portray Veronica as an expert at billiards, the reason being that her family owns a pool table, and she’s been playing since she was a child.

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