Interests and Personality
Reggie is a naturally gifted and talented athlete who excels at football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey. 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 himself 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 is also 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 storylines to working part-time as a stand-up (often insult) 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.
Reggie's pranks are usually harmless, meant to embarrass his victims rather than actually 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.
It is not unusual for Reggie's practical jokes to backfire. In another 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. Yet another story has Reggie punishing himself in various ways in order to win Veronica's affection by forcing a break-up of a date between Betty and Archie, but the joke's on him when Mr. Weatherbee discovers that Miss Grundy had Archie run an errand outside of school at the start of the day and he hasn't returned. This results in Archie and Betty keeping their date and Reggie getting detention for beating himself up.
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.
Read more about this topic: Reggie Mantle
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