Jugheadmania is on this week’s menu, and I’m hungry for more Riverdale mayhem! (Get it? Food puns, because Jughead!) As we bite into this comic, let’s ask, is it good?
Jughead #3 (Archie Comics)
The entire Archie universe is getting a major revamp under the able hands of the new creative talents leading the flagship titles. The world of Jughead is expanding with new characters and more development to faces new and old. This issue of Jughead did not do anything drastically ne in the way of storytelling or world building, but it did do a nice job introducing a new set of characters and really cementing our perspectives on existing ones. Jughead‘s characters are introduced (although his father enjoys considerably more airtime) and they add to Jug’s personality. Just from the scenes of Jughead’s father, we better understand where Jughead gets his crafty wit and sarcasm, and also how the father and son may not share some values. I’m very much hoping that Jughead’s relationship with his father is seriously fleshed out, as I suspect that there is much conflict to be explored between the two.
I suppose it is safe to assume that every iteration will feature some type of mythical daydream sequence (Game of Jones in the first issue, the Back to the Future parody last time, The Man from R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E this time); it’s a neat gimmick with plenty of material to explore. It might edge on repetitive if every issue is so similar to the last, but for now it’s sufficiently entertaining. This specific parody portion was humorous but also did some neat things by linking directly to the bigger story occurring in the issue. There were references to aspects of the kid’s high school, and the outcome of the sequence foreshadowed much of the overall story’s trajectory. Instead of disrupting the story with this sequence, the writer in fact augmented the story by providing a fresh and fantastical look at the narrative arc.
Erica Henderson was given space to flex some never before seen artistic muscles this issue, especially in the parody sequence. She employed some dramatic shadowing techniques, she played with some more dynamic movement within fighting and used colors in more vibrant ways then ever. I love her choice of palette; it makes the comic so readable and amplifies the whimsical atmosphere.
The dialogue continues to be a little glitchy at times. A poor word choice here, a repetitive phrase there. Nothing that really detracts from the experience of reading the comic—the writer might just benefit from a little tighter editing.
Is It Good?
Definitely. Jughead is a pleasure to read every month. Hopefully it maintains its momentum into 2016.