Riverdale’s Bad Boy To Get Ongoing Series

by 20-Sep-16

A new ongoing series starring Riverdale’s favourite failed lothario and general pain-in-the-bum? How’s that going to work?

Reggie & Me Jarrell cover reviewThe announcement that, after Archie, Jughead, and Betty & Veronica, the next ongoing in the new Archie Universe would be Reggie and Me was in one sense to be expected – but in another, it’s a little surprising.

For one thing, yes, he’s the last of Archie’s “Big Five” to be released – but he’s always worked much better as an antagonist in someone else’s stories, and previous attempts to launch him as a series star have been less successful (His first series, Reggie, fizzled for 14 issues between 1950 and 1954. An attempted revival, continuing the same numbering, began in 1963, but had to be rechristened Reggie and Me beginning with issue 19, with Archie as the “Me” of the title, and the star of most of the stories. Reggie and Me lasted till 126 in 1980, a respectable run, but unexceptional by Archie’s standards. A companion title, Reggie’s Wise Guy Jokes, ran for 60 issues between August 1968 and January 1982, but was really a disguised ensemble book with Reggie often the butt of the jokes.

For another thing, the announced writer is Tom DeFalco, firmly established as Old-School Archie, having (once he fell out of favour with the Big Two) earned a crust scripting the traditional archetypical pratfalls of the Archie gang in their Digest line, where his work is still frequently seen. Will he adapt to the soap-operatic tempo of the New Archie regime?  DeFalco himself seems confident he, and Reggie, will win us over:

Reggie & Me 1 alt. cover review

“Abba Lyrics”? Maybe Kevin Keller isn’t the only gay in the village of Riverdale…

“Reggie Mantle has been called a self-aggrandizing egotist, a sinister super-villain, a merciless monster and worse, but his dog loves him. Sandy and I intend to show all the doubters and haters exactly why Reggie should be named the true master of this universe… or else!”

Artist Sandy Jarrell is a relative newcomer, best known at the moment for fill-in work on Black Canary and DC Bombshells. Though as yet untried on a regular title, Jarrell’s style already looks more appealling and less haphazard than the increasingly scratchy and ugly illustrations on Archie proper.

So… hit or flop? Will the combo of Old School scripter and comparative neophyte illustrator pull off a regular series starring a perennially unlikeable character? The title, Reggie and Me, hints at a co-star: will it be Archie? Will it be Big Ethel? (We can only hope…) Or will it be Reggie’s daschund, Vader, newly created for this series?

On the face of it, one’s tendency is to say, “Hell, no”; but then, I’ve said that about everything from Afterlife with Archie to the Jughead revival to Sabrina, and been proved delightfully wrong each time. One thing’s for sure – whether it’s a train-wreck or a a triumph, I’ll be keenly awaiting the first issue’s release…

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