From Archie Comics. Script: Frank Tieri. Art: Michael Walsh, Pat & Tim Kennedy, Joe Eisma. Inks: Bob Smith, Jim Amash. Colors: Michael Walsh, Dee Cunniffe, Matt Herms.
Collecting Jughead: The Hunger one shot and issues 1-3 of the series. Also includes the first issue of Vampironica.
Previously I reviewed the zombie apocalypse Archie series, Afterlife with Archie. It’s a great fun first volume collection. A shame because the series never finished. Jughead the Hunger Volume One is a complete story with the best way to end a horror movie. A tease that there could be more.
The concept is easy, Jughead is a werewolf. How, why, who hunts him and who dies is explored throughout the issues of this graphic novel. Archie’s gang and all of Riverdale has become this amazing familiar blank slate that can be put into any situation. The teens all have moments which completely suit the characters from decades of all ages stories. Jughead likes to eat. That’s his whole thing. It makes sense that he would want to eat as a supernatural character. It also makes sense that the first to die would be the ones closest to his.. desires.
As Betty and Veronica have told us for generations, Archie is just the best. It’s true though. He believes in the best within everyone and just wants to help. Betty is the perfect country girl strong who is willing to get dirty to get the job done. Veronica is always a great in between character who is ruled by her actions which can land her on either side at any point. Reggie is exactly what he is supposed to be in this story.
Archie Comics could easily over do the sexuality in a horror book, especially as dating and innuendo are part of their legacy. That never happens though, to their credit. The women are shown strong throughout the book. Within their character archetypes to be sure, but still strong.
The gore is on another level though. Not only the werewolf’s killings, although those are plentiful and graphic. The transformations are as visually painful as An American Werewolf in London. They hurt a little more to see a well known character horribly transformed into a monster.
The first issue of Vampironica at the end is a separate tale with no connection. Taking the same Archie characters we all know and love then putting them into a vampire story. Of course Veronica would be the first. It makes all the sense. This first issue is a great tease of the larger story and how it impacts everyone at Riverdale High. The first graphic novel is already in my queue and I’ll review that soon.
Don’t sleep on Archie Comics anymore. They keep putting out some of the most risk taking books in all of comics today. In addition to simultaneously publishing the classic versions everyone fell in love with.