Veronica Lodge first appeared as a wealthy debutante from another part of the country than Riverdale, sometimes Boston and sometimes New York, an exotic stranger whom Archie asks out in a letter as an act of daring and who surprises him by travelling all the way to Riverdale to accept his date. Her surname comes from one of the most prominent of the real life Boston Brahmin aristocratic families. Her original personality had more than a little in common with the 1950s "sophisticated yet naive heiress" film type played by such actresses as Veronica Lake, Katherine Hepburn, and Grace Kelley (Hepburn starred as a very Veronica Lodge character in *The Philadelphia Story* and Kelley as the same character in the musical remake *High Society*).
Initially, Veronica was clearly a secondary character who functioned most often as nothing more than a plot device -- an object of desire for Archie and an object of envy for Betty, who was depicted as an energetic schemer at the time. Many of her earliest appearances with Archie focused entirely on his worshipful desire for her and his impotent jealousy of all other young men that might attract her attention; often, she had no dialogue at all but simply appeared there, evoked Archie's desire for her followed by jealousy over another male that came near her, and then allowed herself to be played as a pawn by whichever male came out on top. Similarly, many of her earliest appearances with Betty focused entirely on Betty's jealousy of her attractiveness and privileged background, with Veronica less a character than a maguffin for Betty's latest zany schemes to enthrall a disinterested Archie.
In the decades since her first appearance, almost all of this initial background has disappeared. Veronica Lodge has been retconned to have grown up in Riverdale, and she has become a full blown character in her own right.
Veronica's accent was originally a comic book version of the Transatlantic accent iconic to the American upper class of the during the first half of the 20th century, an accent that has all but vanished from the world since then. The Transatlantic accent appeared in black and white films as the natural accent of sophisticated or upper class characters played by such celebrated actors as Katherine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Carey Grant, and Vincent Price; it was also used in the politics of the day by such luminaries as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis, and William F. Buckley, Junior. (Today, the Transatlantic accent is remembered almost entirely in comedy characters, such as Thurston Howell III or Frasier Crane.) Today, little of her Transatlantic accent remains in the comic books beyond picaresque uses of the word "darling" and appending "-kin" to names (Archiekins, Daddykins, etc.). For unknown reasons, the 1960s animated series gave her the cartoon version of a Southern Belle accent.
Veronica was created by the Bob Montana. Despite being the usual main focus of Archie’s attention, she was actually introduced four issues after Betty in Pep Comics #26 in 1941.
As with the majority of the characters in Riverdale, Veronica’s background is not ever fully developed instead serving only as a reference point for certain plot devices, other developments or comedic effect. Thus there are few canonical aspects of her character’s history. The most common points though are a strong relationship with her extremely rich father, the fact that she is a single child and her privileged upbringing which in turn leads to often snobby behaviour. Despite her privileged upbringing she still goes to public school. She is often referred to as Ronnie. Conversely she uses nicknames for others which often end in –kins (daddykins, Archiekins).
As the Archie characters’ stories are told in a comedy/romance serial format there is often not much discernible character development among the characters from story to story. However, over her many years in publication, Veronica has come to personify certain traits more consistently. Her high school life is primarily defined by two relationships – her romantic interest in Archie Andrews and her friendship with Betty Cooper who she regards as a best friend. Although at times portrayed as a “frenemy” of Betty, this is really not the case as she is a loyal friend, with the sole exception that Archie can come between them and cause jealousy.
As opposed to Betty’s girl-next-door character, Veronica is generally portrayed as the character that has had an easier walk through life with many things simply given to her as opposed to having to work especially hard for them. This creates situations where Veronica does not excel as easily at school as she could or where she expects many results out of little effort. Conversely she likes her friendship with Betty as Betty often reminds her of the importance of things which have less financial value but which have moral value. Her free access to money creates situations for her in which she differs from Betty, namely that Betty often cannot afford to go on a date with Archie and this Veronica takes advantage of this.
Despite their mutual interest in Archie, they are also not above working together if they feel he needs to be taught a lesson. Notably among the major Archie characters, Veronica and Jughead Jones do not generally get along very well. This is one of the few duos in the Archie comics who show some level of indifference towards one another, though this is not an absolute rule. Veronica relationship with her father is one of the most developed of any child parent duo in the Archie comics. This is as his hesitation over spending money and his dislike of Archie often provides for comedic developments.
Due to the levity of the characters from the Riverdale based comics, they are not taken seriously among comic fans. However, the character's history do reach back to the golden age, with Veronica having appeared for instance within a few years of the first appearance of Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and Captain America.
In recent years the creative minds behind the Archie franchise has decided to add a new wrinkle to the traditional three-way-love-triangle by adding in a new object of affection for Archie in the form of Cheryl Blossom (who Archie seems to favour). Archie has also been featured in some other high profile relationships, such as when he and Valerie Brown were supposed to get married. It is also worth mentioning that neither Betty nor Veronica is completely lovestruck with Archie and they will occasionally date other boy their age.
Major Story Arcs
As a sequence of serialized issues (and this has been the case since their introduction) there are very few story arcs per se in relation to hers or any other character in Riverdale. Generally speaking this means that there is not much in terms of canon outside of the basics as it pertains to the characters. There are exception to this as in Archie #600 where he chooses as an adult between Betty and Veronica of who to marry (and though he chooses Veronica this is later revealed to only be one of many possible outcomes.) This issue led to a series of adult based Archie comics where the characters have to deal with ongoing problems. The few consistent developments over the character history are those that pertain directly to the popular culture at the time (which can be seen in among things her choice in fashion.)
Veronica generally is never featured solely in her own series, but more often than not shares double billing with Betty in Betty and Veronica Digest or Betty and Veronica Double Digest. These individual issues are usually given a theme appropriate to the season in which they are released, for instance issues released in winter will involve the character figure skating or engaging in snowball fights. At other times of the year the character might be seen going to the beach (for instance in summertime) or engaging in seasonally appropriate activities (such as partaking in Halloween festivities).
Another relatively common theme in recent years has been to include the character in a sequence of imaginary one-shots where the characters play the roles in popular stories and fairy tales. This has led the characters to be included in stories such as ones centered around the Wizard of Oz and Sleeping Beauty.
Another recent trend for Archie Comics is to have once a year a tie-in to the Riverdale comic convention usually around the same time as the San Diego Comic Convention. As can be expected about these stories they are usually light hearted as when Betty, Veronica and friends enter a contest for best superhero costume (where Veronica is dressed as Genie Mahinie).
A relatively common feature in Betty and Veronica comics throughout the years has been that of reader submitted fashion for either of the two characters. This involves the common reader sending fashions for the character of their own design which are then published.
Very little continuity is often maintained between stories. For instance, on one occasion Veronica mentions that she stayed at home all summer and didn't do much. What she meant by that is that she spent time in her mansion in Switzerland and her mansion in California. In reference to other stories though, neither of these are considered canon. The few facts of absolute canon are her relations with her friends, her father, the household staff and the fact that she lives in a mansion in Riverdale.
Despite the apparent lack of continuity in the stories based in Riverdale, in recent years a new version of Archie comics has been introduced where the characters have aged and face adult like problems, only not in a comedic setting. As with everything else is Riverdale, the inclusion of these stories in the canonical core of the character is dubious, however they are written with a serious tone and with key aspects of the characters' backgrounds intact.
Powers and Abilities
Veronica lives in a world without superhuman powers (except for Sabrina the teenage witch) and thus all characters in this continuity are regular humans. Veronica is generally portrayed as less intelligent than Betty though generally speaking she is still quite smart (though she tends to struggle more in the science courses which she takes at school.)
Additionally as she is compared to Betty she is also not as athletic is a general sense, though she is still adept and excels at sports considered more upper class (for instance figure skating or horse riding.) Despite this she still partakes in regular sports as much as any other character and is a member of the school’s cheerleading team. Like Betty she knows how to use her natural attractiveness to her advantage. She also has access to her father's extensive fortune which she generally uses for her own selfish interests, but occasionally uses for the benefit of others. For instance, often when she realizes she has made an error based off of her selfish ways she will try to make it up to others with some sort of splurge of cash.
There is a superhero version of Veronica in the Archie inspired group, the Super Teens. Her name is Miss Vanity and she has the ability of sonic scream. She discovered this ability one day when she had discovered that her bank account was running out and her subsequent scream was beyond that of a normal person.
In January 2013, MAC cosmetics released a line of its products inspired by Betty and Veronica.
The Archie Show (1968)
Veronica appears in the 1968 cartoon show The Archie Show, produced by Filmation. Betty also appeared in 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. She was voiced by Jane Webb.
The New Archies (1987)
Veronica again appears in the 1987 re-imagining of Archie, this time as a pre-teen in junior high. She was voiced by Alyson Court.
Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again (1990)
The first live-action adaptation of Veronica was in the 1990 made-for-television movie Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again. She was portrayed by Karen Kopins.
Taking place 15 years after graduation, the gang returns to Riverdale for the high school reunion. Veronica had been living in France and has been married ( and divorced) four times to wealthy men. At the end movie she moves back to Riverdale.
Archie’s Weird Mysteries (1999)
Veronica again appears in the 1999 cartoon show Archie’s Weird Mysteries where gang faces B movie style monsters. Betty is voiced by Camille Schmidt.
Schmidt also voices Betty in the animated movie The Archies in Jugman, a direct-to-video movie taking place after Archie’s Weird Mysteries.
Camilla Mendes portrays Veronica in the 2017 live-action teen drama series Riverdale on The CW. Contrary to her comic book appearance Veronica (and the rest of the Lodge family) are depicted as Latino. Veronica and her mother move back to Riverdale from New York after her father is sent to prison. She becomes quick friends with the gang and eventually enters a relationship with Archie.
The fashion of the character has generally tried to remain current with what could be considered fashionable for the time, though perhaps not too extreme. Therefore it was common to see Veronica (and Betty) wearing tight sweaters in the 1960s, and in the 1990s and beyond it even became possible to see them in midriff revealing outfits. If there is one commonality though among the depiction of fashion in the series and for the character, it would be the same attempt to channel an older time frame, even while staying current.
In the same vein it is relatively uncommon to see Veronica exposing any cleavage. Other aspects of her depiction are also not necessarily quite fashionable to the moment. One of these major aspects of fashion would be her lack of earrings, but this is due more to the general artistic style associated with the Archie characters.
Veronica Lodge was ranked #87 in Comics Buyer's Guide's 100 Sexiest Women in Comics and was one of five Archie Comics characters to make the list. Despite usually having the upper hand vs Betty Cooper for Archie's affections, Veronica was ranked 21 spots lower than her arch-rival on the list.