Jughead: The Hunger #1 (Archie Comics)
Archie Comics has become one of the stronger comic publishers, mainly because of their willingness to try new things. While their rebooted Archie universe has been a major success, my favorite imprint has been the Archie Horror series, which is home to Afterlife with Archie and my beloved Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Unfortunately, both of those series are plagued by delays. But luckily for us we have Jughead: The Hunger to hold us over. Where Afterlife focuses on zombies and Sabrina focuses on the occult, Jughead is focusing on the titular hamburger devourer turning into a werewolf.
The town of Riverdale is being terrorized by the “Riverdale Ripper”. Countless friends and townspeople have been killed by this mysterious monster, and no one can figure out who is behind it. And now Jughead has been waking up with strange cuts, bruises, and blood all over him. He can’t be the Ripper, can he? He’s always been hungry, but for human flesh?
Spoilers, he is. Frank Tieri is new to the realm of Archie Horror, but his story fits right into the world that Afterlife with Archie and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina created. However, as a one shot Tieri has to cover a lot of ground in a few amount of pages. There are numerous moments that would be awesome if they were given more time to breathe, including a revelation about Betty Cooper and her connection to the werewolves. As it stands in this issue, we’re given a quick explanation and expected to roll with the revelation. It’s not a major problem, but it does stick out a little when you think about it.
Like Tieri, Michael Walsh’s artwork fits in with the Archie Horror world. Walsh’s art is very reminiscent of Francesco Francavilla, albeit a little looser. However, this loose style serves this story really well, and Walsh has some truly incredible pages in The Hunger, the standout being the history of Jughead’s family of werewolves throughout the years.
The Hunger is a great little one and done story, but it seems like it’s in fast forward. There are many moments that could’ve been fleshed out, and with the delays that have plagued Afterlife with Archie and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina you’d think Archie would want to have one book out there that would keep the Archie Horror imprint alive. Regardless, if you’re looking to get your fix of terror in Riverdale, Jughead: The Hunger is definitely going to do it.