Betty Cooper has been an all ages comic book star for over seven decades. That's a long time to maintain a wholesome image, but that's what's expected from the stars of Archie Comics. After all, the publisher has never put out a comic that wasn't geared toward young readers. That is, they never have until now. Afterlife With Archie #1, a zombie comic set in Riverdale which hits stores in October, is the first time the Archie characters have ventured out of kiddie comic territory, and sources close to the cast are worried that this new, adult attention might be going straight to Betty's head.
"We've seen it with countless child stars in the past," said a co-star who wished to remain anonymous. "Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan, Josie and the Pussycats... They're forced to live under the magnifying glass of fame and adhere to these squeaky clean standards. Then, when they get a little older and experience a little bit of freedom, they just go nuts. It just took about 60 years longer for this to happen to Betty than for most child stars."
"Hey, wanna order a pizza or three?" the anonymous source asked, blowing his cover as he yawned and adjusted his stupid crown hat. "I'm fucking starving."
The sudden concern for cooper comes as a result of a variant cover for Afterlife With Archie #1. On the cover, Betty is seen wearing a sheer nightgown, her bra and panties showing through on the sides. It may seem tame by 2013 standards, but for a character who has been stuck in the 1950s for decades, it's downright salacious.
"This isn't like Betty," said Betty's best friend, Veronica Lodge, though we can't be sure she's motivated by legitimate concern for her friend and not a desire to sabotage Betty's relationship with Archie as part of the trio's long-running love triangle. "I was going through her purse last week, looking for love notes from Archie I could use to create some drama, and I found an empty bottle of Tylenol with codeine."
"I mean, yeah, Betty did have a root canal recently," Veronica added, "But it's not just the drugs. She's been acting strange and distant lately, dating multiple men like Archie and Reggie Mantle, and even following Amanda Bynes on Twitter. I think she's fallen in with a bad crowd and she's letting them influence her."
A bad crowd? Who could Veronica be referring to?
"People need to stay out of Betty's business," said buxom redhead Cheryl Blossom. "She's a 72 year old woman, for gods sake. She doesn't have to conform to your puritan standards and she doesn't need your fatherly approval. Betty just wants to have fun and enjoy herself, by exposing her private parts while being chased by flesh-eating zombies. What's wrong with that?"
In and of itself, nothing. But if Cooper follows in the footsteps of previous good girls gone bad, who knows where she'll wind up. Our guess: half naked in an airplane bathroom, ripping off the face of her makeout partner and jumping off skyscrapers on a drug-fueled bender.
Afterlife With Archie #1, by Roberto Aguirre Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla, will be in stores on October 4. Betty will be in rehab with a shaved head by December at the latest.