NOT the cover to the issue featuring this story…’cause this story’s never been published. Art by Dan Parent. Cover and story (c) Archie Comics

Declassified at last! The untold tale of ““How Veronica Lodge Saved the United States of America From Committing A Terrible Mistake!”, a 10-page script written in October of 2009 for Archie Comics that, as far as I know, was never drawn and, for reasons unknown to me, never published.

But now that we’re nearing the end of the Obama administration, I thought it was time the story was revealed…and that great patriot Veronica Lodge to at last receive her due!

* * *

“How Veronica Lodge Saved the United States of America From Committing A Terrible Mistake!”

Page 1

  1. FULL-PAGE SPLASH: We open in the OVAL OFFICE of the WHITE HOUSE, where the PRESIDENT is seated behind his desk, reviewing the thick folder of information before him with a look of great concern. Standing before the desk to brief the PRESIDENT are GENERAL REED and a serious, middle-aged man in a dark suit, MR. CHASE, who has a folder of his own that he will consult and pull things out of during the course of the story. There is a laptop computer plugged in on the PRESIDENT’S desk, lid open but facing away from us; we shouldn’t see the screen until requested; it’s a set-up for a gag on page 5.

1 PRESIDENT:      …I’ve read the report TWICE, gentlemen, and all I can ask is–HOW could something like this have happened?!

2 CHASE:      Mr. President, after a lengthy investigation, we have at LAST determined…


4 CREDITS:      Script: PAUL KUPPERBERG / Pencils: NAME / Inking: ANOTHER NAME / Lettering: YOUR NAME / Coloring: ROY G. BIV / Managing Editor: MICHAEL PELLERITO / Editor/Editor-In-Chief: VICTOR GORELICK

Page 2

  1. GENERAL REED is speaking, the PRESIDENT listening with great interest.

1 REED:      As you know, sir, the computers controlling the country’s DEFENSE SYSTEM developed a small program glitch.

2 REED:      Over time, the program that watches radar and satellite images for enemy missile attacks became CORRUPTED.

2. The PRESIDENT looks very concerned with what he’s hearing from the two other men.

3 CHASE:      As a result, one of the computers believed the SIMULATED ATTACKS stored in its memory were REAL!

4 REED:      That first computer spread the corrupted file to the system…

  1. TWO-SHOT of REED and CHASE.

5 REED:      …But because it was just a simulation, no one detected a problem!

6 CHASE:      In fact, we might only have learned of it once it was TOO LATE…

  1. CHASE has pulled a picture of VERONICA, a smiling close-up, out of his folder to show to the PRESIDENT.

7 CHASE:      …If not for THIS young lady–VERONICA LODGE, of Riverdale!

8 PRESIDENT:      Isn’t that HIRAM LODGE’S teenaged daughter?

Page 3

  1. CLOSE-UP on the picture of VERONICA held up by CHASE.

1 CHASE:      Yes, sir. It began last Saturday afternoon when Miss Lodge was, from all reports…

  1. CUT TO A FLASHBACK (as we’ll be doing often in the pages ahead): it’s a CLOSE-UP of VERONICA, in the same pose as the picture in the previous panel, but she’s now frowning instead of smiling.


  1. PULL BACK to see that VERONICA is sitting in the middle of her bed, surrounded by CDs, her laptop, her cellphone, her iPod, pieces of clothing, scattered magazines, etc. And she’s cross legged, chin on her fist and pouting…bored!!

3 VERONICA:      Archie and the boys are playing softball!

4 VERONICA:      Betty’s babysitting her sister!

5 VERONICA:      I’ve listened to every CD, read every magazine and tried on all my clothes!

  1. VERONICA is hopping off the bed, looking determined.

6 VERONICA:      And NOW I’m talking to myself!

7 VERONICA:      I better DO something before I go NUTS! And the best cure I know of for boredom…

  1. VERONICA is snatching up her purse as she marches out the door.


Page 4

  1. CUT TO: DOWNSTAIRS, as MR. LODGE comes walking from his study, smiling like the cat that ate the canary and rubbing his hands together. With him is his lawyer, portly MR. FLEEGEL, who is smiling over a hand full of freshly signed contracts.

1 LODGE:      Thank you for bringing over those CONTRACTS, Fleegel! This deal will make Lodge Industries a FORTUNE!

  1. VERONICA is sweeping by LODGE and FLEEGEL, waving to them. LODGE’S buoyant mood is suddenly deflated and he’s rolling his eyes.

2 VERONICA:      Bye-bye, daddy-kins! I’m off to do a little SHOPPING!

3 LODGE:      …Which should JUST ABOUT pay for this shopping spree…

  1. BACK IN THE OVAL OFFICE, the PRESIDENT is looking at VERONICA’S picture on the desk before him, smiling. CHASE and REED are looking on.

3 PRESIDENT:      Hmm, yes. I’ve heard stories about Miss Lodge’s LEGENDARY shopping abilities!

4 CHASE:      THIS shopping trip was destined to break ALL records, sir…

  1. CHASE is now holding up a picture of a book cover for a HARRY POTTER-type book, “LARRY HOPPER AND THE SILVER BIRDS OF PYRAS” featuring a teen-age wizard riding on the back of a giant silver bird for the still smiling PRESIDENT to see.

5 CHASE:      …But it wasn’t the ONLY record being broken that day. You’re familiar with THIS, I’m sure.

6 PRESIDENT:      The latest LARRY HOPPER book? Sure, we ordered it for the girls when it went on sale last Saturday ONLINE!

  1. CLOSE-UP of REED.

7 REED:      You and 8 MILLION other fans, sir! The OVERLOAD crashed the computers of…

Page 5

  1. FLASHBACK, to VERONICA standing at the counter in a very fancy jewelry store, handing her BLACK CREDIT CARD over to the elegant SALESPERSON while she admires the glittering new diamond bracelet on her other wrist.

1 SALESPERSON:      …EXPRESS AMERICA CREDIT CARD? Of course we accept it, Miss Lodge!

2 VERONICA:      Thank you! I’ll wear THIS now…

  1. VERONICA is pointing to s stack of jewelry boxes on the counter, everything from larger necklace boxes to ring boxes. The smiling SALESPERSON is happy to be of service. END OF FLASHBACK.

3 VERONICA:      …And you can just deliver the REST to my house!

4 SALESPERSON:      It will be our pleasure, Miss Lodge!

  1. BACK TO GENERAL REED, speaking to the listening PRESIDENT.

5 REED:      Saturday was ALSO the launch of a long-awaited ONLINE MULTI-PLAYER GAME which…

6 PRESIDENT:      Oh, yes, the CHROMAN THE BARBAROUS game!

  1. REED and CHASE are exchanging confused looks. The PRESIDENT is grinning sheepishly as he reaches casually over to the OPEN LAPTOP COMPUTER on his desk, the screen of which we still haven’t seen.

7 CHASE:      You’ve HEARD of it, sir…?

8 PRESIDENT:      I, er…must have read an article about it…

  1. Just as the PRESIDENT’S hand is shown starting to close the lid of the LAPTOP, we finally see what’s on it: the home screen for the CHROMAN THE BARBAROUS ONLINE MULTI-PLAYER GAME, which features an image of a long-haired sword-wielding barbarian.

4 PRESIDENT:      …Or something! So, General…you were SAYING–?

5 REED:      Well, our defense monitors got the first sign of trouble with a…

Page 6

  1. TWO-THIRDS PAGE SPLASH: FLASHBACK: CUT TO a large, DR. STRANGELOVE military monitoring room, with rows of computer and control consoles lined up before a giant-sized digital map of the world, all sorts of symbols and lights on the map that we don’t have to understand…except for several large FLASHING RED DOTS spotted at various points in Europe and the Far East. In the FOREGROUND, a young AIR FORCE AIRMAN wearing a headset is standing up at his seat behind a monitor and shouting out excitedly to the room. The other stations have various military types seated at them, and a few OFFICERS are scattered around the room, including the MAJOR who’s near the AIRMAN. END OF FLASHBACK.

1 AIRMAN (burst):      …RED ALERT!

2 AIRMAN:      It says ENEMY MISSILES are being readied to LAUNCH at America!

3 MAJOR:      HUH?! Since WHEN are we at war with THOSE guys?!?

  1. BACK TO THE OVAL OFFICE, where the PRESIDENT is pacing now, looking disturbed, as he listens to GENERAL REED.

4 REED:      As you know, Mr. President, if an attack is detected, they are PROGRAMMED to automatically RESPOND!

5 PRESIDENT:      But there was no REAL attack, was there?

  1. REED is grimly shaking his head.

6 REED:      No, sir, but the computer THOUGHT there was and…

Page 7

  1. FLASHBACK: a missile with U.S.A. markings on a launch pad, smoke and steam billowing from it somewhere in the dessert. A couple of scared AIRMEN are in the foreground, one of them shouting into a walkie-talkie.


  1. BACK TO THE OVAL OFFICE: CHASE is holding up a stack of pages about 2-inches thick, showing it to the startled PRESIDENT.

2 CHASE:      THIS, sir, is Miss Lodge’s credit card bill!

3 PRESIDENT:      >Gasp!< For the YEAR?

4 CHASE:      No, sir…just THIS MONTH! As we said, this was an EPIC shopping spree…

  1. FLASHBACK, a MONTAGE SHOT: VERONICA is seen in all sorts of exclusive designer stores: shoe stores, clothing stores, handbag shops, jewelry stores, etc. In each instance she has a CREDIT CARD in her hand, and all the images are revolving around a CLOSE-UP of her hand swiping her EXPRESS AMERICA CREDIT CARD through a credit card machine.


Page 8

  1. VERONICA is walking happily out of a super-expensive shoe store in the mall, waving her CREDIT CARD is farewell and leaving behind two sweating salespeople each loaded down with a small mountain of shopping bags and shoe boxes.

1 SALESPERSON A:      THANK you, Miss Lodge!

2 SALESPERSON B:      DO come back, ma’am!

  1. VERONICA is walking through the crowded mall, happy but tired out by her afternoon at the mall as she checks her wristwatch.

3 VERONICA:      How time FLIES when you’re shopping…I’m POOPED! I don’t think I can buy one more thing…

  1. VERONICA is marching into the MOONSTONE COFFEE STORE, brandishing her CREDIT CARD.

4 VERONICA:      …Without a delicious double-whipped soy latte caramel mocha frappe PICK-ME-UP!

  1. BACK TO THE OVAL OFFICE: the PRESIDENT is sitting on the corner of his desk, facing REED and CHASE.

5 REED:      Now, sir, Express America had already experienced a system-wide computer crash…


6 CHASE:      …And the internet was OVERLOADED with people ordering Larry Hopper books and playing Chroman the Barbarous, and then …

Page 9

  1. FLASHBACK: In the MOONSTONE COFFEE SHOP, VERONICA is taking a sip of her latte as she hands her CREDIT CARD over to the SALESPERSON behind the cash register.

1 SALESPERSON:      That’ll be $4.89, please!

  1. CUT TO: the military monitoring room we saw on PAGE 6, where everyone is in a bit of a frenzy as little red warning lights flash on their giant map. The MAJOR and the AIRMAN are in the foreground.

2 AIRMAN:      …No one KNOWS, sir! The computer’s going to LAUNCH a missile in 5 SECONDS…!!

  1. CUT BACK TO the MOONSTONE COFFEE SHOP, with CLOSE-UP OF the SALESPERSON’S HAND as it is just about to insert and swipe VERONICA’S CREDIT CARD into through the card reader.

3 SALESPERSON:      This’ll just take a SECOND!

  1. BACK TO THE MONITORING ROOM, TIGHT ON the now sweating AIRMAN as he anxiously watches his monitor, the MAJOR looking on.

4 AIRMAN:      …4 seconds…32

  1. CUT BACK TO MOONSTONE, for the same shop as PANEL 3, except now the hand is swiping the CREDIT CARD through the card reader.

5 SFX:      beep!

Page 10

  1. BACK TO THE MONITORING ROOM: to everyone’s amazement and relief, the big map is flashing in giant letters “LAUNCH SEQUENCE STOPPED”. The AIRMAN is looking at the MAJOR in total disbelief.

1 AIRMAN:      T-the missile DIDN’T LAUNCH! It…it STOPPED…with 1 SECOND left to go…!

  1. BACK TO THE OVAL OFFICE: the PRESIDENT is back behind his desk, looking astonished by what he’s just heard from REED and CHASE.

2 REED:      That coffee was the LAST STRAW! Express America’s computers crashed AGAIN, shutting down the internet for about a MILLISECOND…

  1. FLASHBACK: CUT TO: VERONICA, walking happily out of the coffee store, sipping her latte.

3 CAPTION:      “…Too fast for anyone to notice, but requiring systems EVERYWHERE to REBOOT…including OURS, which also FIXED the original glitch!”

  1. The PRESIDENT is shaking his head in astonishment.

4 CHASE:      The entire incident has been labeled TOP SECRET, sir!

5 PRESIDENT:      That’s an AMAZING story…and Miss Lodge deserves SOME recognition for her part in averting DISASTER…!

  1. CUT TO: another day, at the LODGE HOME: VERONICA is in the front hallway, by the open front door. Standing in the doorway are two SECRET SERVICEMEN, wearing dark glasses and with earplugs in their ears. VERONICA looks very confused; in one hand, she’s holding a box, which contained the GOLD MEDAL on a ribbon that she’s holding in her other hand and staring at.

6 CAPTION:      And so…


the end

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