While we wait for Afterlife with Archie #11 to come out, Archie Comics presents yet another horror comic set in Riverdale to help tide us over. This time, it features a completely different type of threat. Jughead, however, remains reliably hungry.
Jughead: The Hunger (Archie Comics)
- Nice to see the elderly version of Mrs. Grundy again.
- Yikes. Never mind.
- You know what would make for a good horror story? The life of the tapeworm that must be living inside Jughead’s intestines.
- Reggie: A douche no matter what Archie media universe you’re in.
- Seriously? This is the first time that’s happened?
- Way to be a coward, Archie.
- Whether she knows about Jughead or not, I fully support Becky beating the crap out of him.
- Becky’s new backstory = Awesome.
- Jugehead’s new design = Also awesome.
- Archie’s lack of awareness = Incredibly frustrating.
- Oh snap.
Jughead: The Hunger is a very well put together comic.
The art by Michael Walsh is gorgeous, particularly when he gets to cut loose on a couple of amazing splash pages. He also draws one heck of a cool looking werewolf.
And aside from the way he writes Archie, the script by Frank Tieri is very good. He does a tremendous job putting the reader through Jughead’s transformation, gives Becky (and this version of Riverdale) an excellent backstory, and caps it all off with a well-earned twist. Archie acts like a total moron for most of the issue, but his supporting cast easily picks up the slack.
So why don’t I love this book as much as I should?
If I’m being honest, this whole idea of twisting the wholesome world of Riverdale into a backdrop for various salacious/horrorific stories has gone from something novel and interesting into a lazy narrative crutch.
I absolutely loved Afterlife with Archie (and still do when it actually comes out), but since then, it feels like we’ve been inundated with Archie media that’s hell bent on SHOCKING us with how the Riverdale kids are involved in something evil or sinister. It’s getting to a point that the “normal” version of Archie and his gang is starting to feel like the one that’s in an alternate universe.
I’d much rather read this creative team on an original werewolf book than yet another Archie retread. Maybe that’s just me being old and curmudgeonly, but there it is. Regardless of my misgivings, Jughead: The Hunger is still a very well produced comic—just not the shocking and bizarre book that the publisher was likely hoping for.