We all know Reggie Mantle is a jerk. He's been a jerk since his introduction in 1942, Reggie has been the crowned price of mean at Riverdale high. In his new series, Reggie and Me, writer Tom DeFalco and artist Sandy Jarrell attempt to make his antics more human, and sympathetic.
As it stands in this series, everyone knows to steer clear of Reggie. Everyone except Archie and Veronica, who in the previous issue threw a party the same night as one of his parties, resulting in people bailing on him. This results in Reggie plotting something evil to get back at the two of them. It's important to note however, that Reggie only acts out because of his underlying abandonment issues, which issue 2 (and hopefully further comics) will elaborate on. We catch a glimpse of this in flashbacks, most notably with a younger Archie, Betty and Reggie. Archie and Reggie are teasing each other, and one way or another this results in Archie being knocked into a river. Betty goes to save him, demands Reggie to help, and then scolds him for hurting Archie. A distraught Reggie runs back home, to see his parents are gone for the evening. Without someone to comfort or listen to his side, Reggie is understandably upset.
Of course years of this kind of stuff do mess with a person. In Reggie's case he's learned to cope by being a jerk to everyone. However, it does seem that Reggie has a soft spot for Midge. Only problem, Midge is Moose's girlfriend. And Moose does not like other men even looking at Midge. Thankfully Moose would rather treat Reggie as a pal since Midge is so fond of him, but Reggie has other plans. The writing in this series is fantastic. DeFalco injects a sense of
tragedy and depth to Reggie, unlike what we've seen before. As previously mentioned, DeFalco makes the reader almost feel bad for Reggie. Of course this is all through the eyes of Reggie's dog, Vader. So while his dog may view him as the best human ever, we still know Reggie is still a jerk. But now he's a jerk with a tragic backstory. Jarrell's art style is fantastic. It's fluid and beautiful, and works well with the writing. The gags Jarrell draws are clever and reminiscent of classic Archie. For example, when Reggie throws a stick under Archie's feet, and he falls back onto Mr. Wetherbee. All in all, this is a great series to add to your pull list.
I also really enjoyed the inclusion of a Golden Age Reggie story at the end of the comic. Seriously, keep it up guys!