Reggie and Me #2
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Artist: Sandy Jarrell
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters: Jack Morelli
Publisher: Archie Comics
A review by Insha Fitzpatrick
You gotta play by the rules of Reggie Mantle. Honestly, no one can guess those rules, but you gotta play by his rules in order for him to win. This time comes no different. In Reggie and Me #2, the tone continues to shift as we dive deep into Reggie’s childhood, his relationship with Archie, and his interest in Midge.
Reggie doesn’t like to be pitied and in Reggie and Me #2, we see a Reggie getting full pity from Midge after the catastrophe that was his party in the last issue. He honestly accepts this with humble grace because he has an interest in Midge that he wants to deepen beyond the lines of their “friendship.” Moose comes in hearing “rumors” about something that is unclear and Reggie continues to want to separate Midge, from what Vader sees him as, the hulk like figure that is Moose.
Reggie and Archie’s relationship is also examined and Vader tells the story of, what Reggie told him, happened between them. You’d think by now, Vader’s devotion to Reggie is starting to get a bit annoying, but honestly it’s not and is completely endearing in a way. Vader’s perspective of Reggie is so pure, that he believes anything his best friend tells him. It’s revealed that Reggie used to be friends with both Archie and Betty. Betty wouldn’t give into his charms and Archie always kind of stuck up for him whenever Betty saw the bad. Seeing the way the two are now, you wouldn’t think that they were friends at all. In this issue, we move back and forth into the present with him and Vader and the past of Reggie, Archie, and Betty, which are some of the most heartbreaking parts of the story.
There’s so many things about Reggie that Tom DeFalco writes so well. He’s a bully. Truly, Reggie is not a good guy by any means, but when Vader dives into of his story, bringing you pieces of it that you’ve never seen before, it’s written in a way that helps you can understand where he’s coming from. I want to say this loud and clear. Bullying is TERRIBLE. It sucks. In Reggie and Me, the rejection that he faced when he was younger now collides with the man he’s becoming. I’m thankful for these comics because you can see where a bully stems from.
Honestly, reading Reggie and Me comes off as a fascinating character study. You see the different perspective and views of Reggie from different people. From Vader’s point of view, someone who’s close to him, he’s Superman and can do no wrong in his eyes. He sees a side of Reggie that a lot of people don’t see. To others, like Betty and Jughead, Reggie is the devil in disguise, he’s the guy that you want to stay away from. To Archie, he’s probably something completely different. An old best friend, someone who he used to hang out with. It’s interesting seeing Reggie in this kind of light. Tom mixes both those good and bad elements of Reggie, creating a character you despise, but ultimately feel sorrow for.
Sandy Jarrell continues to dominate with the art in Reggie and Me #2. It’s such a great addition to the beauty that’s apart of the Archieverse now and Sandy’s art just makes it all the more better. Something I’d like to point out is how GREAT she is with facial expressions. Most of Reggie’s emotions come out through his face. In every single panel featuring Lil Archie, Betty and Reggie, I’m in awe at how she drew these panels, especially with his facial expressions. There’s four panels in particular when he comes home. He founds out no one is there but him. Jarrell’s style spoke volumes about the sheer loneliness this kid must have felt, especially the emptiness around him when he’s sitting at the table eating a lone sandwich. Sandy’s art mixed with Kelly’s life-like colors are another part of my favorite things about this comic.
Buy it! Bullying is lame, but Reggie and Me #2 kind of shows you the different sides of what a bully goes through. It’s no excuse for what they do, but within Reggie and Me, it presents a fascinating character study of what people could be going through in life, especially the life of a bully. I can’t wait to see what happens next in the adventures of Reggie and Vader!