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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

Favorite Fictional Characters, #187: Betty Cooper

Blondes have less fun when they're poor.

Yeah, I was an Archie comics guy. For all their insipid shallowness, they were a fun, quick read at a certain time in my life. Yes, they gave pre-teens a twisted and archaic preview of high school life (I'm still waiting for my sweater with the big E on the front). Yes, there was an inordinate amount of focus on the romantic life of a dithering redhead. But I enjoyed Jughead's sardonic put-downs, Reggie's relentless assholery, and the weary endurance of Mr. Weatherbee and his indefatigable staff. Not everything in life has to be Shakespeare.

And when came to Archie comics, you were either a Betty Cooper guy, or a Veronica Lodge guy. It was sort of a variant on the Ginger-Mary Ann debate from Gilligan's Island: rich, glamorous, and aloof or grounded, cute, and eager. For my part, I was always a Betty guy. Veronica was all spoiled entitlement and took far too much pleasure in manipulating the guys' emotions. Betty wouldn't do that. Betty was sincere, hardworking, and authentic. Look, I get the appeal of the Lodge fortune, but as the old saying goes, he who marries for money earns it.

With Veronica you'd be a servant, whereas with Betty, a partner. Give me Betty and the resulting lack of drama, thanks.

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