Previously in Riverdale, Archie and Veronica accidentally ruined Reggie’s party by throwing one the same night. Now, Archie has moved to the top of Reggie’s hit list. Reggie has a crush on Midge, but nothing is happening on that front. He’s a loner—always will be… Or will he?
In this issue, MOOSE of all people wants to be Reggie’s friend because his girlfriend, Midge, vouches for him. What? What?! Now Reggie is super safe in his retaliation-planning. We also get to see a bit of how Reggie got such a bad rap.
Like last issue, this one is narrated by Vader, Reggie’s Dachshund dog. This is a great way to get the perspective of an outsider. However, Vader is a hint unreliable, given his biased and positive opinion of Reggie. Nonetheless, Vader provides a factual history of Reggie’s life and how he came to his current social standing.
Writer Tom DeFalco incorporates flashbacks in this episode to help us better understand why some people, like Betty, don’t really like him too much. Letting us know about Reggie’s past with Archie certainly puts Reggie’s thirst for retaliation into perspective. It’s irrational, but I can see how a teenage kid could turn a mistake into a reason for revenge.
We also get to see what kind of childhood Reggie had, which gives us a great deal of sympathy for his character. We learn that his parents weren’t really around, so he was left by himself to dwell on what his friends thought of him. His friends were all he had, and when they turned on him, he lost everything. Now, Vader is all he has.
Artist Sandy Jarrell does a great job illustrating this issue. The characters resemble their originals from decades ago, so it isn’t hard to tell who is who. Seeing younger versions of these characters in the flashbacks is also really interesting. We get to find out how they interacted, what they thought of each other, etc. The characters show a lot of emotion, so it’s quite easy for us to tell what a character is feeling at any given moment of the issue. The constant inclusion of Riverdale’s “ZERO VIOLENCE TOLERANCE” poster has got to mean trouble… Do I detect foreshadowing?
Kelly Fitzpatrick’s realistic colors help us identify with the characters a lot more, making it possible to sympathize with them quite a bit. Light sources, however, aren’t taken into account as much as they could be. Nonetheless, the issue still reads really well and is plenty believable.
Archie fans, both old and new, this is an issue you’ve got to read. The franchise is splitting their characters up into different series (i.e. Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica, Life with Kevin, etc.), and each is as entertaining as the last. True fans of the franchise need to read all of them and, I promise, this is one that doesn’t disappoint.
Written by: Tom DeFalco
Illustrated by: Sandy Jarrell