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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)
|Voiced by||John Erwin (The Archie Show, Archie's TV Funnies, The U.S. of Archie)
Sunny Besen Thrasher (The New Archies)
Paul Sosso (Archie's Weird Mysteries, The Archies in Jugman)
|School||Riverdale High School|
|Title||Mr. Reggie Mantle|
|Spouse(s)||Veronica Mantle (from #603-present) (wife)|
|Significant other(s)||Veronica Lodge
|Children||Dilton Mantle (son)
Midge Mantle (daughter)
|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 to 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), followed by Reggie and Me for issues #19 - #126 (Aug. 1966 - Sept. 1980). Other series include the 55-issue Reggie's Wise Guy Jokes (Aug. 1968 - Sept. 1980, the three-issue miniseries Reggie's Revenge (Spring 1994 - Spring 1995), and Reggie and Me vol. 2, an ongoing series beginning in 2016 after the characters' revamp.
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 referred 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 the newer Life With Archie title, 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 attracted attention at a school dance, but chose to dance with short Dilton. Another cousin, Regina, has Reggie's style of humor, but after a date with Jughead, appeared 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
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 football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey. He is sometimes shown to be the school's boxing champion, best track-runner, swimmer and weight-lifter. In one story, we are told that Reggie has been the state's tennis champion for two years. Reggie also excels at car-racing, ice-skating, skiing and surfing. He often works as a surfing or skiing instructor. Sometimes, if his skills are not enough to secure victory, Reggie is known for using schemes such as bending or downright breaking rules, 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 on how he loves himself more than any girl, earning him the nickname "Reggie 'I-Love-Me' Mantle". His vanity leads him to believe that he is God's greatest gift to women. This may be why Veronica often likes Archie more than she does him. Somewhat of a fashion plate, Reggie also has the distinct trait of being the character who most frequently experiments with his hairstyle to match current trends - even more frequently than Betty and Veronica. 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 '90s.
Reggie, along with Archie and Jughead, is one of the founding members of their band The Archies . Reggie is a bassist for The Archies and occasionally lead guitarist after Archie, and naturally 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 (and bass), Reggie has also demonstrated skill in singing, acting, and piano-playing. In one storyline, a gossip columnist causes mayhem for The Archies when he prints a blind item article about an Archies' member who secretly plays with a "rival group." The member is revealed to be Reggie, who apparently is a church pianist on Sunday.
His sharp, and albeit often rude, quick wit has led him in some story lines to working part-time as a stand-up comedian at a Riverdale comedy club, and hopes 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. In one Archie Comic story, Archie gets so tired of Reggie's bragging that he sends a slick tie salesman to Reggie hoping the man would annoy Reggie; instead it backfires when Reggie gets $10.00 for being the salesman's 1000th customer!
Reggie's pranks are usually meant to embarrass his victims rather than physically hurt them. In one incident when he tried to humiliate Chuck Clayton during a sledding contest, Reggie dug a pit for Chuck to fall into when he landed. Reggie filled the pit with sawdust to soften the blow so Chuck wouldn't be hurt, adding crankcase oil to make it stick and covering it with snow to conceal it. As Reggie told a friend who was helping him with the prank, "I'm not cruel, dum-dum, just clever!" His prank backfired when he ended up jumping the farthest on the sled, landing in his own pit.
Reggie is Riverdale High's resident prankster. It is not unusual for Reggie's practical jokes to backfire. In one story, Reggie is sent to Mr. Weatherbee's office for putting a tack on a chair as a prank. Defending himself, Reggie disdains such a simple prank, pointing out to the principal that his pranks are more elaborate and better thought out. The Bee writes a note to the teacher explaining this, but when Reggie returns to the classroom, he discovers he still has a lot to learn about pranks; Mr. Weatherbee wrote the note in disappearing ink! In one Archie comic, Reggie tries to impress the whole school with his amateur movies of himself. Unfortunately for Reggie, the movies shown were actually the Mantles' home movies of Reggie's childhood after an accidental switch.
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."
In one story, mirroring the George Orwell novel 1984, we see the serious side of Reggie. His father has printed a story about U. S. government waste and incompetence, in a complicated matter dealing with Mr. Lodge's companies; and a judge, apparently acting under pressure from military brass, ordered Reggie's dad jailed until he reveals his source. Reggie is furious and looks for a way to get his father released. The opportunity presents itself in the form of a contact between the judge and his pretty young secretary. Reggie has a camera, and snaps a picture, telling the judge he'll get it printed unless the judge releases the elder Mantle.
Reggie is Archie Andrews's rival, and he has a perennial crush on Archie's primary girlfriend Veronica Lodge. In one story, it is said that Veronica is the only other person to evoke any kind of emotion in Reggie other than himself. The fact that she loves Archie makes Reggie jealous, so he enjoys making Archie's life miserable by playing practical jokes on him, sometimes going as far as making everyone turn against Archie. While Veronica often dates him, she sometimes does so only to make Archie jealous. She also dates Reggie when Archie does not have enough money to take her out.
Reggie's main love interest throughout the comics run is Veronica Lodge.
Other than Veronica, Reggie is romantically interested in Midge Klump, who is the girlfriend of one of Reggie's athletic teammates, Moose Mason. This infuriates Moose, and a running gag is that Reggie has received some unkind, sometimes almost brutal, treatment from Moose at times. But Reggie never gives up on his attempts to date Midge, often thinking of ways to get past Moose by taking advantage of the latter's low intelligence or any other weaknesses. On some occasions, Midge dates Reggie out of her own choice, having prevailed upon Moose not to interfere, because she is known to get frustrated at Moose who tries to monopolize her and scares boys away from her.
Reggie is Archie's rival in romance, sports, popularity, and everything else. He spends most of his time trying to outwit Archie, and playing practical jokes on him. Ironically, many of his schemes backfire and allow Archie to be the victor. Sometimes, Reggie's ego is his own downfall, as he can sometimes be overheard bragging about his scheme. Despite the rivalry, he and Archie are generally amicable and remain good friends, and often spend time together pursuing dates or practicing athletics. In Archie's Double Digest #201, during the possibility of Archie moving, he eventually had to admit he would miss Archie, whom he called his best friend.
Sometimes, Reggie targets Jughead Jones instead, thinking that he is too lazy or stupid to do anything about it, and receives some payback when Jughead proves that he is smarter than he looks. In reality, however much they deny it, they are good friends who care about each other. In one story, Betty and Veronica set out to prove that Reggie and Jughead actually care about each other, and their scheme have Jughead diving in a pool to save Reggie's life. Later in the story, Reggie jumps in a front of a car to save Jughead from being run over. In a lot of the older Archie Comics stories, Reggie and Archie often teamed up to play pranks on Jughead. Their schemes usually backfired as Jughead outwitted them.
In one story, where Archie and Jughead have an argument and declare their friendship to be over, Reggie takes it upon himself to patch things up between them.
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. In one story, Reggie finds Archie has a bad sunburn, so he buys a tube of balm and puts it in Archie's bag. But Archie, mistaking 'balm' for 'bomb', throws his belongings into the water.
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. During the Baby Tales storyline, for example, at a baby shower for the Jughead Jones's family, he was infuriated that they were the stars of the evening. He tried to change this by making fun of Jughead's family. This infuriated everyone in the room, until Ethel Muggs, who had come dressed as a stork, hooked the flyline from her costume on to Reggie's tuxedo, which caused him to be hung up for the rest of the evening, to everyone's amusement.
In another story, Reggie deliberately breaks an expensive vase of the Lodges and frames Archie for it; so he can take over his date with Veronica. He continues this horrid behavior at school, causing all sorts of messes, framing Archie for it, landing him in trouble with the teachers and principal. Betty Cooper helps Archie with cleaning a store room, when Reggie attacks her. For that, she summarily thrashes him. Veronica scolds Betty for nearly ruining "Reggie's aristocratic profile". When Archie criticizes the spurious contention, Veronica yells at Archie to shut up, blasting him with her "aristocratic mouth" to coin Jughead's phrase. Eventually, Reggie is thwarted when Jughead removes the rotor from his car, which strands him and Veronica, to the humor of the police.
Reggie is mainly attracted to Veronica and Midge, but he occasionally seeks to date other women, including Betty Cooper. In one memorable story, Reggie saves Betty from being run over by a car, and after that Reggie is genuinely touched when Betty knits him a sweater as a thank-you gift. They proceed to date, where Betty comes to discover the gentleman in Reggie. However, when they start to kiss, Reggie whispers Veronica's name whilst Betty whispers Archie's. They laugh it off and revert to being friends, but smile meaningfully at each other at the end of the story. In the earlier decades of Archie Comics, Reggie and Betty frequently joined forces to try and break up Archie and Veronica. In some stories of that era, Reggie and Betty are shown to be a couple, even though their respective interests still lie with Veronica and Archie. In the newer Life with Archie series in which it looks to a future where Archie marries Veronica, Betty and Reggie are portrayed to be a loving couple. It has been hinted that they may even be thinking about getting married.
Reggie is also known to date Cheryl Blossom occasionally. The two have very similar personalities, and at one point, before she began dating a boy named George, tried going out together. Like Betty and Veronica, however, Cheryl mainly uses Reggie as an alternative to Archie.
On certain occasions, when he's feeling generous or whenever it really matters, 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, it showed he had a close childhood friendship with an elderly woman named Mrs. Finklehoff.
Reggie starred in his own comic book, Archie's Rival, Reggie. The series ran for 14 issues between 1950 and 1954. It was revived with the same numbering in September 1963, but the title was reduced to Reggie for issues 15 through 18. It was then changed to Reggie and Me beginning with issue 19, and retained that title through its cancellation in September 1980 at issue 126. The first issue of Archie's Rival, Reggie was reprinted, along with Reggie's first appearance (in Jackpot Comics #5 (Spring 1942)), in Archie's Pals 'n' Gals Double Digest #133.
A second series, Reggie's Wise Guy Jokes, ran for 60 issues between August 1968 and January 1982. A three issue miniseries titled Reggie's Revenge was published quarterly in 1994.
On September 20, 2016 it was announced that a reboot of Reggie and Me will be published as part of Archie Comics' "New Riverdale" lineup. It will be written by Tom DeFalco with art by Sandy Jarrell.
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 is set to appear in Riverdale, a drama series for The CW portrayed by Ross Butler.
- 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.
- Ge, Linda (March 9, 2016). "CW's Archie Pilot 'Riverdale' Casts Reggie, Moose and Dilton (Exclusive)". The Wrap.