After a blackmailing plan went wrong, Reggie Mantle took out his frustration on his pup, Vader—and he ended up being hit by a car. In this issue, Reggie sits alone in a veterinarian’s office waiting for any news regarding his injured dog. Elsewhere, Moose Mason is playing in a football game against the creeps who recently beat up Reggie—and he doesn’t hold back. Unbeknownst to him, Reggie is greeted by all his friends from Riverdale who have come to the veterinarian’s office to show their support. Reggie is already planning how to use this to his benefit…
Here I was thinking Reggie’s only real friend was Vader. But the kids of Riverdale have bigger hearts than I thought. Even though Reggie has put a lot of people through a whole lot of Hell, they still show up to his side when he needs them. It’s a heartfelt moment that is as endearing as Betty’s one-on-one apology to Reggie for her judgment.
Writer Tom DeFalco scripts this issue with ease and fluidity. My favorite part has to be when the “souls” or “astroprojections” of Vader and Hot Dog (Jughead’s pooch) are talking about Reggie while Vader is under anesthesia. It’s the most innocent, pure, and adorable thing I’ve ever seen in a comic. These two are buds, even though their owners aren’t the greatest of friends. The whole time, Hot Dog is commenting on how terrible Reggie is, but Vader defends him against anything and everything.
The language in this issue is easy to understand, which makes the story go by at a fairly quick pace. There isn’t all too much to this issue aside from the fact that we see Reggie has friends. Quite honestly, I’m surprised that everyone came to his side. I think it speaks more to everyone else’s hearts than it does to Reggie’s character, though. He’s not that great a guy, but he knows some really great people.
Sandy Jarrell’s illustrations are very simplistic. We don’t get too much detail and backgrounds are pretty barren. The lines are really neat and clean, though, which is a visually appealing aesthetic. The only thing I’d like to see more of is realism, at least in characters’ faces. There aren’t too many lines to show depth—only some shadowing—which leads to a rather 2D look.
This is a really heartwarming issue that shows us a lot about how strong the friendships in Archie really are. Even amongst the most unlikely of friends, there is still respect. These characters are some seriously kind-hearted people with good intentions. Except for Reggie, so it’ll be interesting to see what he’s got up his sleeve. As Vader says, Riverdale is headed towards “tears and fears.” Keep reading to see what happens!
Written by: Tom DeFalco
Illustrated by: Sandy Jarrell