Evilheart the Great

Evilheart the Great

(pop culture)
Reggie Mantle has always been the vain bane of all-American teenager Archie Andrews' existence, vying for the heart of vivacious Veronica Lodge by hook or by crook—and briefly, by superpowers. During the superhero boom of the mid- 1960s, Archie Comics publisher John Goldwater mandated that their carrot-topped headliner become a superhero, and Pureheart the Powerful was born in Life with Archie #42 (1965). Two issues later, in Pureheart's second appearance, Archie's Riverdale High rival Reggie gained a temporary superpower: “the Bloodshot Eye,” emitting a “pulverizing beam” from his left eyeball. Reggie's peculiar alterations were only beginning. In Life with Archie #48 (1966) the teen ne'erdo- well is overcome by hostility toward Archie, inexplicably transforming into Evilheart the Great, sporting a flashy green-and-purple caped-andcowled costume. While his identity is masked, Evilheart scooters about on his Reggiecycle, using his enhanced strength and stamina and his “Destructo Ray” to tangle with Pureheart for Veronica's affections—the same modus operandi as “regular” Reggie. Despite his egocentrism and name, Evilheart was, essentially, a superhero with a bad attitude. He protected Veronica and/or Riverdale from supervillains such as the Bee, who commanded swarms of attack bees; the Rotter, whose ring zapped a ray that caused matter to decay; the sticky-fingered Tar-Man; and the Wishing Weirdo, a gypsy whose wishes became reality. After a couple of years of appearances, Evilheart—along with Pureheart, as well as Betty as Superteen and Jughead as Captain Hero—mothballed his tights when the caped-crusader craze subsided; a mid-1990s revival of these characters in Archie's Super Teens failed to catch on.