Everyone loves the bad guy. But what if the bad guy isn’t all that bad? That seems to be the track Tom DeFalco and Sandy Farrell are out to take with Archie’s latest Riverdale reboot, Reggie and Me #1. Following titular terror Reggie Mantle, this first issue is a charming, character driven affair, though one whose initial plot structure reads thin.
Borrowing a feather from Adam Hughes’ cap, writer DeFalco too uses an animal narrator as the book’s grounding focus. But where Hot Dog feels more like an omniscient narrator in Betty & Veronica, Reggie’s dog, Vader, has a much more personal connection. Playing up the pup’s obvious canine loyalties, DeFalco is able paint Reggie through an unfamiliar lens. He’s still a cocky, selfish braggart, but the way Vader sees it, deservedly so. It’s an interesting approach given how louse Reggie is usually portrayed, and the many instances introduced are ultimately stronger because of it. Rather than coming off as a one-sided villain, this Reggie is one stung by slights both real and perceived. Those same slights dictate his actions, and while readers won’t always support them, they can at least understand them.