Reggie And Me #1 Review: The Softer Side Of Reggie

Believe it or not, Reggie Mantle isn't completely awful. Granted, he's still a jerk, but at least a fraction of his actions have a somewhat Freudian excuse. Narrated by his faithful dog Vader, the premiere issue of Reggie's miniseries reveals that he doesn't have the best home life. His father is a wheeling and dealing newspaper editor, while his mother is part of many different charitable organizations, but doesn't pay a lot of attention to Reggie himself.

Reggie's dad is the reverse clone of Paul F. Tompkins.
Really, Vader is his one constant companion. The other teens in town are fickle and readily desert his house party to go to Veronica's. He used to be friends with Archie, but that presumably ended sometime after they became teenagers. Reggie doesn't want pity, that'll put you directly on his enemy's list, but he does want romance. Yup, just like practically every other incarnation of the character, he creepily lusts after Midge, who is dating someone else. (Moose Mason, to be specific. He's the closest thing Riverdale has to the Hulk.)

Gosh darn it, Reggie, stop giving me flashbacks to Afterlife With Archie!

I do appreciate that this story implies that Reggie is actually friends with Midge, and not just a stalker. It doesn't make him any less creepy in his attempts to ask her out, but it shows that he is capable of being a good friend. For all I know, maybe he was friends with her before he developed the crush and she was dating Moose when it happened.

Anyway, I really do like Reggie's relationship with Vader. It definitely serves to humanize him. Who doesn't love a dog? They're cute, loyal, and faithful. Reggie rescued Vader from a shelter, and Vader idolizes him in return. Incidentally, that does provide an interesting insight into the story. Similar to Hot Dog recounting the events of Betty And Veronica, Vader narrates Reggie And Me, being the eponymous 'Me' in the title. He does raise some good points about Reggie's behavior, but is ultimately an unreliable narrator.

Reggie And Me #1 serves as an introductory issue for the miniseries by examining Reggie's relationship with his fellow teenagers and his dismal home life. It's a fascinating character study into what could simply be a one-note character. I'm interested to see what happens next and if Reggie can ever repair his friendships. I don't know about you, but the focus on those "Zero Violence Tolerance" posters looks pretty ominous to me.

Reggie And Me #1 is written by Tom DeFalco and drawn by Sandy Jarell. You can find it at your local comic book shop.

Zachary Krishef is an evil genius. Do not question his knowledge of Saturday Night Live trivia or Harry Potter books.