Archie Comics 2016
Written by Tom DeFalco
Illustrated by Sandy Jarrell
Coloured byKelly Fitzpatrick
Lettered by Jack Morelli
Reggie Mantle has good looks, a great personality, a sharp wit, an amazing sense of humor and the best friend anyone could ask for in his pet Dachshund, Vader. But there’s one thing that Reggie doesn’t have—and her name is Midge Klump. Unfortunately, Midge is already taken by the big, burly Moose Mason. Reggie’s willing to do anything he can to spend some time with Midge, but Moose has other plans for Reggie. Moose actually wants... to be Reggie’s friend?
I’m absolutely in love with this story so far. That for the most part we are getting a look at things through the eyes and mind of Vader is utterly delightful! The way that Tom is able to bring us all these different perspectives and yet have it all be basically the same is a kind of cunning that matches the young man Reggie actually is. Actually the characterisation here is superb and I can’t get over just how Reggie sees himself and how Vader is coming to see him and how i’m beginning to see him in a new light!
Also the fact that Tom makes us think about Reggie and his motivations beyond the surface really does do wonders in making this version of him more likable. Does he really want Midge because of who she is or because he can’t have her? Though if he knew before what he learns this issue then perhaps i’d have seen the attraction earlier. Still the revelations that come with this issue and the way he sees Moose, Betty and how Vader sees them and actually intercedes in things well I gotta say wow. That my viewpoint keeps changing throughout the issue and leaves me with this lingering question about him and his motives and what he's honestly like thrills me more than I thought it would.
Sandy’s interiors are great. I like the style he uses to bring this to life. There’s a classic comic book style here that works really well with these characters and makes their uniqueness stand out while still keeping them as familiar as we know them to be. His use of page layouts through utilising angles, perspective and backgrounds bring this to life beautifully.
Usually the Archie gang has never had this kind of depth to them before while still maintaining the humour that they are known for. That Tom can do that so well here is a great testament to his writing ability. While i’ve always enjoyed the Archie line of books I will say this relaunch has me loving them even more and i’m thrilled to be a part of their world.
This is the Reggie we’ve always wanted to read about, full of himself and yet completely insecure at the same time and willing to do whatever he has to to make himself feel good about himself. There’s so many things that contradict who he is and what he does and why that you just can’t help but feel and understand where he’s coming from. He’s also that guy in high school you didn’t like but found out years later was one of the best guys you could befriend. There’s so much great stuff going on here you need to be experiencing.