Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Review - Reggie and Me #1 (@ArchieComics)


Archie more or less runs Riverdale. He'll usually never let his status go to his head, but there are still some in Riverdale who really want to see Archie fail regardless of how nice a guy he may seem otherwise. Reggie and Vader in Reggie and Me #1 from Archie Comics is one such duo. The issue is written by Tom DeFalco, illustrated by Sandy Jerrell, colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick and lettered by Jack Morelli.

There is no one more loved, revered, admired and adored in Riverdale than…Reggie Mantle? Well, at least Reggie doesn’t think there’s anyone as loved and admired as himself. And his best friend can back that idea up—his best friend, of course, being his dog, Vader. The unstoppable duo is known around town for pulling the funniest pranks, getting the hottest dates and throwing the best parties. And if anyone even dares to compete with them, there is going to be hell to pay. Come take a look at the life of your hero, the handsome, hilarious Reggie Mantle.

DeFalco knows what makes Reggie as a character work and brings that in spades in Reggie and Me #1. The issue offers a steady introduction of the character via his dog Vader and DeFalco uses that tactic quite brilliantly to offer an almost third-party take on the character. It's extremely effective and DeFalco doesn't get bogged down in exposition or backstory as Vader's point of view makes it as if the reader is observing along with the dog. Using the premise that Reggie is throwing one of this famous parties that is drained of attendees by a rival party is a fantastic way to capture Reggie in a nutshell. And DeFalco ends the issue in a way that promise there will be fireworks for the foreseeable future at least between Reggie and Archie.

Reggie and Me #1 also capitalizes on the more modern direction that the series has been moving in since its reboot courtesy of Jerrell's artwork. Jerrell's linework is very deliberate and crisp, emphasizing the the coolness that Reggie exudes. Despite the seemingly rough edges though, Jerrell still manages to make the characters and settings feel organic, emphasizing how they interact with one another and tapping into their personalities well. The panel layouts are pretty standard for the most part, but there's one page in particular that eschews format in order to demonstrate the types of pranks Reggie is known for. The subtle colors by Fitzpatrick ground the book in a high school reality as the characters sports looks emphasized by simple, primary colors.

Reggie is an interesting foil to Archie and Reggie and Me #1 reinforces that fact. Reggie's build-up as an archenemy of Archie is offered with an emphasis on patience. DeFalco doesn't waste words in the issue, effectively creating Reggie and building up an animosity between him and Archie. Jerrell's illustrations are clean and concise, evoking the artistic nostalgia of past Archie comics while looking forward to a more modern take. Reggie and Me #1 is a fantastic first issue that hits all the right notes in bringing discord to Riverdale.

Reggie and Me #1 is in stores December 7.

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