art by Sandy Jarrell
The Hated, Part One - Villain Heroes
I've picked up all the “new” versions of the Archie universe and enjoyed them to different degrees for the most part. Sometimes there are a few laughs. Or some nice artwork. Or just the fun of seeing the characters I've liked for so long being somewhat reinvented. I can't say I've been really wild about any of them; maybe I'll write up reviews of them in a future newspost.
“Reggie and Me” has been my favorite so far. Part of it is the tight, not-too-wordy story and script by veteran writer Tom DeFalco, and the clean, perfect-for-this art of Sandy Jarrell. The Reggie/Midge/Moose triangle is more interesting than the Archie/Betty/Veronica one; probably because it hasn't been explored nearly as much over the years.
But I think another reason is my enjoyment of “villain heroes”.
The Villain Hero is not an “anti-hero” like Batman or Han Solo: those types still have Antagonists who are worse than them. Villain heroes are the comedic sociopaths we see in Seinfeld and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, or the cynical jerks who need redemption or punishment. Tales From the Crypt and other horror stories featured these types quite often.
It's not even the satisfaction of seeing these characters suffer that interests me; actually I feel sorry for the Villains most of the time…unless they're REALLY bad eggs. Even then it saddens me to see the poor devils suffer too much. It was frustrating to see the humiliations suffered by Daffy Duck and even Cartman (sometimes. That kid is a monster sometimes, though).
I would rather see these cats redeem themselves in some way. Not in a corny way. It has to ring true. And it doesn't have to be COMPLETE redemption. I like a dude like Reggie to keep his edge. But it's a lot more interesting to see a character like that make some progress than to follow the usual bland hero on their journey.
I'm going to keep collecting this Reggie series. He seems destined to lose a lot of the time - but I'm rooting for the big jerk to find some kind of happiness and a little victory once in awhile, too.
Do you hate fictional jerks, creeps, and Villain Heroes? Or do you have a soft spot for them?
Banes at 12:00AM, Jan. 19, 2017
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