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|First appearance||Jackpot Comics #5,
Spring 1942 (one panel)
Jackpot Comics #6, Summer 1942 (full appearance)
|Portrayed by||Gary Kroeger (Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again)
Ross Butler (Riverdale season 1)
Charles Melton (Riverdale season 2)
|Voiced by||John Erwin (1968–1976)
Sunny Besen Thrasher (1987)
Paul Sosso (1999–2002)
|School||Riverdale High School|
|Significant other(s)||Veronica Lodge
|Relatives||Ricky and Vicky Mantle (parents) Oliver Mantle (brother)|
Reginald "Reggie" Mantle is a fictional teenager in stories published by Archie Comics. Created by writer-artist Bob Montana and John L. Goldwater in Jackpot Comics #5 (cover-dated Spring 1942). He is a frenemy of Archie Andrews.
Reggie Mantle debuted in Jackpot Comics #5 (cover-dated Spring 1942). An enduring character, he appears across the Archie Comics line and headlined the series Archie's Rival Reggie (14 issues, 1949 n.d. – Aug. 1954), which returned a decade later as Reggie for the sporadically published issues #15-18 (Sept. 1963 – Nov. 1965). The series was renamed Reggie and Me for issues #19 – #126 (Aug. 1966 – Sept. 1980).
Reggie appears as a main character in the 2015 Archie and Jughead titles that launched the New Riverdale reboot. On September 20, 2016, it was announced that a five-issue miniseries titled Reggie and Me would be published as part of the launch. It was written by Tom DeFalco with art by Sandy Jarrell.
Fictional character biography
Reggie Mantle at one point says he was born in Texas, and comes from a fairly well-to-do family, although certainly nowhere near the level of Veronica Lodge's. In Reggie's debut story, Archie refers to him as, 'that snooty Reggie Mantle', indicating his upper-class background. His father, Ricky Mantle, owns a newspaper-publishing company, one of his publications is The Riverdale Gazette. Reggie seems to show journalistic aspirations himself, often working as the editor of the high school paper, Blue and Gold. He is quick to use the term "freedom of the press" to defend controversial or inflammatory articles. Little is known of his mother, though her name was eventually revealed to be Vicky Mantle. Reggie has a brother, Oliver Mantle, who has appeared in Life With Archie issue #26. Compared to the families of the other main characters, Reggie's family members have made very few appearances in the comics through the decades.
Like many Archie characters, Reggie has a number of relatives who are created for one story only. One, his cousin May, is often mistaken for a pre-teen. After a makeover, she attracts attention at a school dance, but choses to dance with short Dilton. Another cousin, Regina, has Reggie's style of humor, but after a date with Jughead, appears to enjoy herself. Reggie also has a number of relatives whom he often uses to get favors.
Reggie has been known to boast that his family is the only one in Riverdale that has its own coat of arms.
Interests and personality
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Reggie Mantle's chief characteristics are his love of sarcasm and practical jokes, his vanity, his athletic abilities, and his interest in dating multiple women.
Reggie is a naturally gifted and talented athlete who excels at nearly every major sport, including football, baseball, and basketball, along with more obscure sports such as cross country running and Kung Fu. He often works as a surfing or skiing instructor. Sometimes, if his skills are not enough to secure victory, Reggie cheats, and he often shows little team spirit. Once in a while, Reggie tries to win competitions on a technicality by pulling out a rulebook.
The most common accessories associated with Reggie are the mirror and the comb. A lot of jokes in the comics are about his vanity, earning him the nickname "Reggie 'I-Love-Me' Mantle". Somewhat of a fashion plate, Reggie is the character who most frequently experiments with his hairstyle to match current trends. These looks have lasted months (rather than been contained within a single story) and have included several incarnations of sideburns, slicked back, short, shaggy, and even a ponytail in the early 1990s.
Reggie, along with Archie and Jughead, is one of the founding members of the band The Archies. Reggie is a bassist for The Archies and occasionally lead guitarist after Archie, and thinks of himself as the most important and talented member of the group—and has gone to great lengths to prove it, such as hiring groupies to scream his name during concerts. Although his instrument of choice is guitar, Reggie has also demonstrated skill in singing, acting, and piano-playing.
His sharp, quick wit has led him to working part-time as a stand-up comedian at a Riverdale comedy club, and hoping to perform professionally someday. In spite of his evident upper-middle class status, he is remarkably cheap, and the first time his schoolmates remember him inviting them to a party, he had filled the room with vending machines from which to obtain the party food.
Reggie is Riverdale High's resident prankster. It is not unusual for Reggie's practical jokes to backfire. His pranks are usually meant to embarrass his victims rather than physically hurt them. When he tries to humiliate Chuck Clayton during a sledding contest, Reggie digs a pit for Chuck to fall into when he landed. Reggie fills the pit with sawdust to soften the blow, adding crankcase oil to make it stick and covering it with snow to conceal it.
Reggie likes to chase girls, delighting in the pursuit, but is not usually interested in having a serious relationship with one girl. Reggie likes to play the field, and openly announces himself 'a true practitioner of the art'. He has expressed horror at the idea of being tied down to one solitary female, saying that, "having one girl is like having one peanut, one potato chip."
Reggie is Archie Andrews's rival, and has a perennial crush on Veronica Lodge. The fact that she loves Archie makes Reggie jealous, so he spends most of his time trying to outwit Archie, and playing practical jokes on him. Despite the rivalry, he and Archie are generally amicable, and often spend time together pursuing dates or practicing athletics. In Archie's Double Digest #201, during the possibility of Archie moving, he eventually admits he would miss Archie, whom he calls his best friend. In a lot of the older Archie Comics stories, Reggie and Archie team up to play pranks on Jughead Jones. Their schemes usually backfire as Jughead outwits them.
Other than Veronica, Reggie is romantically interested in Midge Klump, who is the girlfriend of one of Reggie's athletic teammates, Moose Mason. Reggie's relentless efforts to spend time with Midge without attracting Moose's ire are a running gag. He occasionally seeks to date other women, including Betty Cooper. Reggie and Betty frequently join forces to try and break up Archie and Veronica. In some stories, Reggie and Betty are shown to be a couple, even though their respective interests still lie with Veronica and Archie. The Life with Archie series looks to a future where Archie marries Veronica and Betty and Reggie are a loving couple. It has been hinted that they are thinking about getting married.
In the rare occasions when Reggie is genuinely trying to help someone, the others usually believe he has nefarious motives, and are wary of trusting him.
Reggie is insanely jealous of anyone else but him being in the spotlight, and will sometimes deliberately cause them trouble to get what he wants.
Reggie is also known to date Cheryl Blossom occasionally. The two have very similar personalities, and at one point, before she dates a boy named George, try going out together. Like Betty and Veronica, however, Cheryl mainly uses Reggie as an alternative to Archie.
On certain occasions, Reggie shows a kinder side where he will come to the aid of his friends or total strangers, although he prefers to keep these good deeds secret. In one comic, he has a close childhood friendship with an elderly woman named Mrs. Finklehoff.
In one storyline, Reggie is shown to have fallen in love with Veronica's cousin, Harper. They have a long distance relationship, so there aren't many times they are shown together. Harper is a disabled author, blogger, and fashion designer with an automated, bedazzled, bright pink wheelchair.
In other media
- Reggie appeared in The Archie Show, a 1968 cartoon series produced by Filmation. He also appeared in the various spin-offs The Archie Comedy Hour, Archie's Funhouse, Archie's TV Funnies, The U.S. of Archie and The New Archie and Sabrina Hour produced in the same format. He was voiced by John Erwin.
- Reggie appeared in The New Archies, a 1987 re-imagining of Archie and the gang. Reggie was portrayed as a pre-teen in junior high. He was voiced by Sunny Besen Thrasher.
- Reggie appeared in Archie's Weird Mysteries voiced by Paul Sosso.
- Reggie appears in the TV movie Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again portrayed by Gary Kroeger, where he still lives in Riverdale and owns a gym.
- Reggie appears in Riverdale, a drama series for The CW, portrayed by Charles Melton. The character was originally portrayed by Ross Butler in the first season but left due to scheduling conflicts with 13 Reasons Why.
- Jackpot Comics #5 at the Grand Comics Database.
- Archie's Rival Reggie at the Grand Comics Database.
- Reggie at the Grand Comics Database.
- Reggie and Me at the Grand Comics Database.
- Reggie's Wise Guy Jokes at the Grand Comics Database.
- Reggie's Revenge at the Grand Comics Database.
- Reggie and Me vol. 2 at the Grand Comics Database.
- Thompson, Steven (September 2016). "Archie's Antagonist, Reggie Mantle". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (91): 63–67.
- Ge, Linda (March 9, 2016). "CW's Archie Pilot 'Riverdale' Casts Reggie, Moose and Dilton (Exclusive)". The Wrap.