It’s time for another entry in the Archie Horror imprint, this time focused on Archie Andrews’ best friend Jughead Jones who finds himself hungering for something other than burgers. Jughead has always had an insatiable appetite… but what if his hunger came from a sinister place? When a murderous menace is on the prowl, taking the lives of some of the most well-known and esteemed inhabitants of Riverdale, Jughead and his family’s dark legacy comes to light.
Since Afterlife With Archie arrived in 2013, it has been amazing to see how well Archie and co translate to the various horror sub genres whether it be zombies, witchcraft or vampires. As you’d expect, Jughead: The Hunger is no exception. If you were to reimagine Jughead Jones as a monster, a werewolf would be the only creature that would match his seeming endless appetite. Frank Tieri takes this idea and runs with it in the best way possible. Not only does he manage to weave a family of werewolves into the history of Riverdale, but he also ties it into one of the title character’s defining characteristics. Jughead finds himself struggling with whether he is hungry for burgers or for human flesh to the point that he has to chain himself up at night. This is made worse by a later encounter with his cousin and fellow werewolf Bingo Wilkin who tells him that his hunger is a sign that he must embrace his bestial side.
Betty Cooper is also given a perfect role in this series as the latest in a long line of werewolf hunters who only joined Archie’s circle of friends to keep tabs on Jughead and his werewolf family. It’s a role that amps up her normal tomboy persona and she is definitely one of the standout characters of this volume. Archie is somewhere in the middle and seems to be the one remaining link to the traditional sort of atmosphere you’d expect in Riverdale. He is frequently torn when it comes to stopping the werewolf curse or standing up for his best friend.
As you’d expect from this imprint, the art is a perfect melding of traditional Archie with old school horror comics. Michael Walsh does a fantastic job of setting the tone with the grisly sequence of Jughead giving into the urge to devour Dilton being particularly impressive. Regular Archie artists Joe Eisma and Pat and Tim Kennedy are also on top form, and easily adapt to the horror setting.
Fans of Archie horror and horror comics in general will no doubt appreciate this new entry in the werewolf genre as the Archie Comics line-up continues to evolve.
Jughead: The Hunger Vol. 1 is out now from Archie Comics
9781682559017 – P/B – £14.99