This is absolutely, without a doubt, the iconic Betty Cooper Image.
Created By: Vic Bloom & Bob Montana
Role: The Girly Girl, The Tomboy, Unlucky In Love, The Nice Girl
First Appearance: Pep Comics #22 (Dec. 1941)
Group Affiliations: The Archies, Riverdale High
PL 4 (78), PL 5 (78) Defenses
STRENGTH 2 STAMINA 3 AGILITY 3
FIGHTING 4 DEXTERITY 1
INTELLIGENCE 2 AWARENESS 1 PRESENCE 3
Acrobatics 4 (+7)
Athletics 6 (+8)
Deception 2 (+5, +7 Attractive)
Expertise (Feminine Activities) 5 (+7)
Expertise (Masculine Activities) 5 (+7)
Expertise (Animal Handling) 2 (+5)
Expertise (Pop Culture) 2 (+4)
Expertise (Tambourine or Guitar) 4 (+6)
Expertise (Singing) 4 (+6)
Expertise (Teen Reporter) 3 (+5)
Expertise (Retail Bitch) 2 (+4)
Insight 4 (+5)
Perception 2 (+3)
Persuasion 5 (+8, +10 Attractive)
Vehicles 4 (+5)
Attractive, Benefit (+2 to Situations Involving Her Archiekins), Daze (Persuasion), Favored Enemy (Brunettes), Improved Critical (Unarmed), Set-Up, Teamwork
Unarmed +4 (+2 Damage, DC 17)
Dodge +3 (DC 13), Parry +4 (DC 14), Toughness +3, Fortitude +4, Will +6
Obsession (Archie Andrews)- Betty's love for Archie is so all-encompassing that it borders on stalking. Her parents are concerned, and her friends don't get it.
Relationship (Veronica Lodge)- Betty's best friend is also her greatest romantic rival. As Archie generally prefers Veronica's company, Betty finds herself at odds. She also finds Ronnie's materialism and selfishness tiresome, but values her friendship too much to do anything about it.
Relationship (Family)- Betty is extremely-close and loyal to her parents, and never argues & rebels against them the way the others do with thier folks. Her worst arguments are generally over her obsessiveness with Archie.
Relationship (Cheryl Blossom)- Betty & Cheryl actually started hanging out once upon a time (Betty felt bad over a prank the others played on Cheryl), and enjoyed each other's company, despite Cheryl's obnoxious personality.
Relationship (Jughead Jones)- Jughead is one of Betty's dearest friends, and they're among the only ones in the group who usually get along. Jughead admires Betty's finer qualities, while Betty finds Jughead's nature quirky rather than annoying. Still, he could stand to be a little LESS omnipresent whenever she's baking.
Reputation (One Of The Guys)- Occasionally, Betty chafes under the role of "tomboy". When she tried out for the BOYS Baseball team, she faced a lot of criticism from both sexes, and sometimes dislikes being treated as a rough & tumble member of the gang, compared to the more ideally-feminine Veronica. On many occasions, Betty can be seen deliberately trying to suck worse at sports so as to not "show up" Archie, or to beg for his "help" in improving her abilities.
Responsibility (Riverdale High)
Relationship (Adam)- When she was annoyed with Archie, Betty actually grew close to a new guy named Adam, who was the most bland character ever created. Eventually she decided to date both boys.
Total: Abilities: 38 / Skills: 54--27 / Advantages: 7 / Powers: 0 / Defenses: 6 (78)
BETTY AT THE BEGINNING:
-Betty Cooper is pretty much the idealized example of the "Nice Girl" in fiction these days- when people discuss Love Triangles, there's usually the meaner, less-sympathetic "Veronica", and the more good-natured "Betty". Granted, that's not how she STARTED OUT, but that's certainly what she's been since at least the 1960s. Betty debuted in the very first Archie story, and was the new girl in town, being a bit stand-offish with this snot-nosed redhead trying to impress her. Naturally, Archie screws up and makes an enemy of Betty's prominent dad... but soon things shifted entirely. Pretty quickly, Archie set its course on a Love Triangle- Betty worshipped Archie, who chased Veronica, who was somewhat indifferent and aloof to the whole thing, but generally liked to lead Archie around.
-A big gag early on was just HOW obsessed and conniving Betty was- she was CONSTANTLY out to hamper Veronica any chance she got, and was frequently driven to violent rages by Archie's lack of care towards her. If Archie said something insensitive (which was, well, constantly), Betty would BELT him- a frequent gag saw a dazed Archie lying on the floor. This Betty was impulsive, dangerous, obsessive and very feminine- like Ronnie, she was always seen in dresses, and had very long blonde hair. Essentially, her character was unlucky in love.
-Sometime around the 1950s & '60s, Betty shifted in personality, as writers made her more and more sympathetic. With "Women's Lib" becoming a big thing, Betty became more of a "positive" character, demanding equal rights and privileges, and in the process actually became more of a TOMBOY. Of course, she still wore dresses occasionally, and DEFINITELY loved the "girly" things like pink, diaries and all that junk, but generally speaking, Betty was rough & tumble, could fix cars and win at sports as well as any boy, and was more often than not seen in slacks, jeans or shorts. Her long hair soon shifted to a messy, unfussy ponytail, as if you get it out of the way of her activities- a quick "code" for "this is a tomboy". But of course, Betty didn't GIVE UP the feminine things- the aforementioned diary was one thing, but she ALSO became a Domestic Goddess all the same. Betty was now the official "cook" of the gang, making picnic baskets and baking meals that Archie (and, naturally, Jughead) couldn't resist.
-Betty also became much, MUCH nicer. To the point where she was basically an angelic archetype. And she OWNED that role, too- when the Will You Marry Me? Potential Future story came about and Veronica was seen as the girl Archie was asking, news reports were going "Poor Betty!" And in an era of comics when Bad Girls and Nasty Chicks were the norm, Betty was head and shoulders above the lot as the nicest character around. Her violent tendencies were reduced a bit (though both girls were known to clock Archie on occasion), and her crush on Archie became more precocious and silly rather than dangerously-weird. Betty was essentially "The Perfect Girl"- tough AND feminine, and not diminished by either aspect (her room is a cacaphony of pink hues, yet real-life female skateboarders are affectionately referred to as "Betties"- though I've heard a few origins of the term, I'd be willing to bet that's one). As Jughead put it in one story (when he was, naturally, badgering Archie of his mistreatment of Ms. Cooper), "Mothers DREAM about their sons dating girls like Betty!"
-Betty often runs the risk of becoming a bit bland by being so kind- this is often given as the reason why "Nice Guy" heroes find trouble in the media (comics, but also movies- which favor Bad Boys and Rebels). However, Archie Comics kind of averts this by making her just one of the group, so that her kindness is in contrast to the selfishness of Reggie & Veronica, the slovenly nature of Jughead, and Archie's thoughtlessness. So you can get a lot of stories out of Betty running some charity for orphans, helping the homeless, befriending an outcasted student, or seeing a good side in a "negative" character. The point is, THERE IS POTENTIAL THERE- not every character has to be a vicious jerk.
-That said... Betty is GREAT fun when she gets jealous. That dark side is still there, and her love of Archie is her Kryptonite- this turns her into a manipulative, violent psychopath on occasion (in MANY issues, she decides to "Girl It Up" and flirt, with disastrous results to the male psyches of Riverdale; in others, she breaks stuff).
BETTY and SHIPPING:
-Betty also has phenomenal relationships with the rest of the cast. Her love of Archie is obviously a driving force. She & Veronica have a weird friendship, as they hang around with each other constantly... but fight tooth and nail over the same boy (Mark Waid found this so unrealistic that he took it away in his Archie run). Betty is seen by most (including Ronnie's father) of reigning in Veronica's worst impulses. Betty is a great "centre" character to the groups of girls- Veronica makes less sense hanging out with, say, Ethel, Midge or Nancy. Betty gives them a reason to hang out. And of COURSE there are her friendships with Reggie and Jughead... EASILY the two biggest "Ships" of the Archie fandom.
-Generally speaking, you see Betty paired off with Reggie by younger girls (who are way into the "Bad Boy" thing, and idealize Reggie as the deep-down nice-guy they think he is, and sometimes becomes in certain comics- in Life With Archie's future storyline, they're paired off), and her paired off with Jughead by older fans- their relationship is TRULY unique in the books. Generally, Jughead is the biggest woman-hater around, finding women repulsive and evil. But BETTY, he likes. Betty, he likes so much, that he frequently SINGS HER PRAISES to his buddy Archie. On occasion, the Archie writers even play with the idea of something going on between the two of them- Jughead admits that Betty is the perfect woman ("If I ever WILLINGLY kiss a girl... it'll be you!"). There's one where Jughead is called in as a "ringer" to replace a sick Archie on a date... and Betty finds herself having a GOOD TIME with him, as Jug is pretty fun at the amusement park. And naturally, Jughead's misogynistic nature is an ideal thing to play with- the ONE GIRL he likes strokes people's inner FanFic Writer.
-Betty stats out to be one of the best teens in Riverdale- exceptional at studies, athletics and interpersonal skills. Betty is the most likeable person in town, and is well-thought-of by everyone from the faculty to Reggie to Veronica's own father, who frequently beseeches his daughter to learn a few things from her more noble friend. In a few strips, Betty is STRONGER than Archie, too- I've read one where they can't pull off a Surfing Doubles Contest... until SHE starts lifting HIM.