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Review – Jughead: The Hunger #2 (Archie Comics)

Jughead: The Hunger #2

Beware the moon…

Jughead: The Hunger #2 continues the saga of Jughead the werewolf. In the last issue, Jughead had run off and joined the circus to get away from Riverdale. It seemed he was doing well and had even made friends with a young lady in the circus. Things seemed to be going well, or as well as being a teenage werewolf can go (unless you are Michael J. Fox, then it is all backflips on vans and being good at basketball)–that is, until he “wolfs out” and apparently savagely kills the girl he was friends with! Now Jughead Jones is on the road again and he is getting closer and closer to being caught. Not only are the police looking for him, but Archie, werewolf hunter Betty, and her crazy uncle are closing in on him (oh, and the carnies are not too happy with him either)!

Jughead: The Hunger #2 cover by Adam Gorham
Jughead: The Hunger #2 cover by Adam Gorham

Much worse is that in the previous issue we found out Jughead’s last kill in Riverdale was not quite dead: Reggie had been turned into a wolfman too, and he huffed and puffed and blew Veronica’s house down! With more werewolves on the loose things are looking bleak for everyone in Jughead: The Hunger #2. Is there a solution to this problem or will everyone eventually be hunted down?

I am a little split storywise in this series. I don’t like that it seems there are a lot of different things going on in Jughead: The Hunger #2. There are several different subplots going on and I wish it were a little bit more focused on Jughead being a werewolf with Betty and Archie hunting him. I, for the moment, do not care about Betty’s uncle or the whole Reggie-being-a-werewolf thing. That being said, I am liking Tieri digging into the werewolf mythos and adding it to the Archie universe. Tieri also does a good job of writing the characters, making them feel like who they are supposed to be in the Archie world with that horror twist to them. There is also a nice Punisher reference in this issue that is great.

Art

I am also split on the art in Jughead: The Hunger #2. On one hand, I like the more “cartoony” character designs that the series has with Pat and Tim Kennedy, the characters look good and fit well in the story but then I do wish it had a little more “creepy” vibe to the art; when the werewolves show up they do seem a little out of place and maybe not as menacing as they should be.

Joe Eisma does come on board for this issue, doing pages 11-20, but it is not a very noticeable change in style from the Kennedys’. The characters look a little different and maybe he has a little more “realism” but overall it is a good matchup, not a shocking change. 

Matt Herms’ colors probably help the change not be too drastic, as he gels the work together nicely and really nails the dark brooding tone of the series with some wonderful coloring work. I really just wish the werewolves were kept a little more in the shadows for a while and maybe had a little sleeker feel to them. There is also a page with Veronica where her legs are extremely long and it is very noticeable and distracting. The art team does nail the more horror-oriented scenes, and when the monsters are kept in the shadows and we only see a slash of claws or glint of an eye in the darkness it looks really good.

Conclusion

Jughead: the Hunger continues to be another hit for Archie’s more horror-oriented line of comics. While I do wish the art was maybe a little “creepier” in the vein of After Life with Archie, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina or the original Jughead: The Hunger one-shot, it does the job for the most part. The story is getting a little murky with several things going on, but I have faith that Tieri is going to make it all become a little clearer very soon. Jughead: The Hunger #2 does have some high points that outweigh the low, and is worth a read.

 


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