Just another ordinary day in Riverdale. Little did they know Betty's chance mishap would spark the introduction of one of the mightiest, most unstoppable forces ever to strike at the heart of America's Typical Teen-ager and his Pals & Gals!!
Suddenly like a bolt of freckled lightning there she was, destroying all in her path! Her name: CRICKET O'DELL.
A bizarre cross between Uncle Scrooge, Richie Rich, and several Dick Tracy villians, Cricket O'Dell is without a doubt one of the most singular characters to inhabit the Archie Comics universe.
It's one thing to see Jughead lust after hamburgers, but there's something inherently disturbing about this hair-hopping monomaniac and her insatiable hunger for the green stuff. You expect to see this kind of gold-digging on the streets of Vegas or Reno, not Riverdale.
Reggie, the notorious Lothario, unhinged by the attentions of a female? What gives?
Nice to see Arch pull one over on Reggie for once, even if it does involve taking advantage of what are frankly unhealthy compulsions.
I love this sequence. The clink of small change, a catch on the first bounce and the drag of heels across sidewalk as Cricket manhandles another helpless victim. What desperate measures will Reggie take to get out of her clutches?
Giving money to Jughead, that's pretty desperate. But don't knock it - it works!
React to the sight of a girl by squealing and leaping into the arms of your best friend? Perfectly normal. I don't know why anybody would ever think Jughead was anything other than 100% hetero, nossir.
The rapacious, clawing hands of the predatory female are after only one thing... money! Yup, this story is from 1962 all right. But Jughead's no stupe, he knows exactly how to solve this situation!
We all know what's going to happen involves waving some cash around, but it's more fun when you get all whispery and mysterious about it.
I would love to see the anticipatory gleam in the eyes of the "boys at the club" when Mr. Lodge starts to tell them he's met a teenage girl who just happens to have some kind of amazing talent. Does Mrs. Lodge know about this club? This some kind of EYES WIDE SHUT sort of deal, isn't it?
"Next time we'll practice the blindfold test."
Nope, there isn't a circumstance in which that sentence DOESN'T sound ultra-creepy.
And the punchline: Mr. Lodge is sad that his daughter doesn't share the bizarre proclivities of lustful teenage strangers. Thanks Archie Comics, thanks a lot. The cutesy money-lust of Cricket O'Dell would lend its uneasy comedy to several more exceptionally nutty Archie stories through the years - stay tuned!
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