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|First appearance||Pep Comics #26, April 1942|
|Created by||Bob Montana|
|Portrayed by||Karen Kopins (Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again)
Camila Mendes (Riverdale)
|Voiced by||Gloria Mann (radio)
Jane Webb (The Archie Show, The U.S. of Archie)
Alyson Court (The New Archies)
Camille Schmidt (Archie's Weird Mysteries, The Archies in Jugman)
|School||Riverdale High School|
|Title||Mrs. Veronica Mantle|
|Spouse(s)||Archie Andrews (from #600-602), Reggie Mantle (from #603-present) (husband)|
|Significant other(s)||Archie Andrews
|Children||Dilton Mantle (son)
Midge Mantle (daughter)
|Relatives||Hiram Lodge (father)
Hermione Lodge (mother)
Veronica Lodge (first appearance Pep Comics #26, April 1942) is one of the main characters in the Archie Comics books series.
Fictional history and character
She is called both by her name Veronica and her nicknames Ronnie and Ron. Bob Montana knew the Lodge family, 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 debuted.
Veronica Lodge (Verónica Del Valle in the Spanish version of the comics) is the only child of Hiram Lodge, the richest man in Riverdale, and his wife Hermione Lodge. Veronica is an attractive girl with black hair, favoring 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, in Pep #26, April 1942, 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 Pep #31, September 1942, 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, Winter 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.
Lifestyle and relationships
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, including the boy she is in love with, 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 could steal her modeling 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 simply because she is wealthy, which causes her friends to be upset with her. During those times, she derisively refers to the public at large as "the common horde". At other times, when she can be snobbish, her father will punish her with having her credit cards confiscated.
Living in a house full of servants, Veronica often thinks that they are only there to serve her, and she doesn't see them as people. Like another snobby spoiled rich kid, Reggie Van Dough (from the Richie Rich franchise), she will be quite rude in her way of treating the servants. She will often yell at her maids to bring her something and "to be quick about it". At one point, her mother forced her to do all her own chores and fetch her own snacks, through the whole summer.
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 and supporting Betty in her rivalry with Veronica. However, Jughead and Veronica usually manage to stand being around each other for Archie's sake.
Veronica, being the only child of her wealthy parents, is outrageously spoiled and indulged by her family. Her father, Mr Lodge, loves her dearly, and even though he frequently loses his temper with her frivolity, spendthrift nature, sometimes snobby attitude and choice of boyfriends, he can never refuse when Veronica asks him for something. Mr Lodge does not consider most of the local boys worthy of his only daughter.
Veronica's cousin, Leroy, in Elementary School, has a mean-spirited, juvenile delinquent-like personality. When Leroy visits, he antagonizes Archie even more than Reggie does. Veronica also has a cousin named Marcy, aged 14, who enjoys science fiction and other things that Veronica finds "geeky", so Veronica considers her annoying. Most of the time, however, Marcy is helpful to Veronica, who discovers that her cousin isn't so geeky after all.
Interests and personality
Sometimes good-hearted, sometimes spoiled and vain, the fashion-conscious Lodge stars the Archie spin-offs Betty and Veronica Magazine and Betty and Veronica Spectacular, as well as her own series, Veronica. 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 (for example, she bought out an entire shoe store, so no other girl could buy a pair of shoes that she wanted), 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 a regulator in her mouth, wears red flippers on her feet and a mask on her face, but she 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.
At various times, she will take an ordinarily common situation (for example being Most Popular in the yearbook) and make it into a full blown out situation aimed at increasing her ego, or to shame or humiliate her target (most often that target being Betty).
In the aforementioned Most Popular storyline (shown in Betty and Veronica Double Digest #180, the story being called, "Buddy, Can You Spare a Buddy?"), she pulls out all the stops to outdo Betty, even going so far as to try to buy off the students; throwing mud at her, which was misaimed at Mr. Weatherbee, who gives her a week's detention, and outright slandering and lying about Betty with Reggie's aid (she bought him a car he wanted as a bribe for him to vote her most popular). At one point, she even hires a trio called Dewey Trashem and Howe, in an attempt to destroy Betty's character. In the end, Betty pulls her name out of consideration for Most Popular as she saw the situation having gone way too far; and Veronica losing to Ethel Muggs, the person she scorned in the first part of the story. Infuriated (she only got one vote, her own!) she ordered a tow truck to drive Reggie's car, with Reggie trussed up in it, to the dump.
A similar situation involved her wanting to be Homecoming Queen. In Betty and Veronica Double digest #185, (the story being called Crowning Achievement) She declares that she will be Homecoming Queen, her reason being that because she is wealthy, she should be treated as royalty. She went so far as to get a custom made $500 gown in the school's colors to show the town that she was worthy of being the queen. She spurns any attempts to help her friends to build the float and decorate the gym, except in annoying everyone with ridiculous suggestions to build herself up and make herself the star, to the exclusion of everyone else. Her overbearing snobby behavior outrages her friends. When the votes were finally cast, it was Betty, who practically did more than her fair share in decorating and building, who won the vote and was named Queen. Once again, angry that she didn't get what she thought she deserved, Veronica smashed the queen's crown on Archie and then promptly stormed off.
Her best school subject is economics, and it is implied that she will eventually take over her father's business. She also takes every chance to work as a fashion model. By the 1960s, Betty and Veronica, joined Archie's band, The Archies. Betty plays the tambourine, Veronica plays the organ, and both sing accompaniment. In the 2000s, Veronica appeared a few times as Powerteen — a comic book character created by Chuck Clayton. She also enjoys traveling to exotic places, which was the basis for Veronica's Passport.
Besides being in The Archies, Veronica also appeared alongside indirect namesakes The Veronicas (Australian twins Lisa and Jess Origliasso) on the Veronica #167 cover and in the feature story, What's In A Name?, which includes the duo performing in Riverdale and explaining to Veronica how she was an influence on their name. (The issue had been enabled after Archie Comics and Warner Music Group had settled their legal battle over the duo's name by agreeing to a cross-promotion deal.)
In other media
- Veronica appeared in The Archie Show, a 1968 cartoon series produced by Filmation. She also appeared in the various spin-offs The Archie Comedy Hour, Archie's Funhouse, Archie's TV Funnies, The U.S. of Archie and The New Archie and Sabrina Hour produced in the same format. She was voiced by Jane Webb.
- Veronica appeared in The New Archies, a 1987 re-imagining of Archie and the gang. Veronica was portrayed as a pre-teen in junior high. She was voiced by Alyson Court.
- Veronica appeared in Archie's Weird Mysteries voiced by Camille Schmidt.
- Veronica appears in the TV movie Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again portrayed by Karen Kopins, where she has been married (and divorced) four times.
- Veronica is set to appear in Riverdale, a drama series for The CW with Camila Mendes portraying the character.