"Jughead: The Hunger #6" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Archie Comics
Written by Frank Tieri
Illustrated by Pat & Tim Kennedy and Joe Eisma
Colored by Matt Herms
Lettered by Jack Morelli
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on May 30th, 2018
Jughead Jones is getting desperate. He was already on the run after inadvertently turning Reggie into a werewolf, literally creating a monster. Now Reggie has Jughead's sister, Jellybean, so Forsythe Pendleton Jones III reaches out to his old friend Archie for help. This is the same Archie that shot him recently while on a hunt with Betty. And you thought Riverdale on The CW was filled with drama.
I'm loving Jughead's character journey throughout this series. Writer Frank Tieri paints him with a very sympathetic brush. This poor guy just wants to eat cheeseburgers and be left alone, but all this chaos has been brewing around him. He understands the danger of talking to Archie right now, but his options are so very limited. With his sister's life on the line, he's willing to take that risk.
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The reunion between these two friends is heartwarming. For a brief moment it looks like they're lives are back to normal again. They're just two guys hanging out, like the buddies they've been for over 75 years. Then they start talking and the reality of their new status quo sets in. Artists Pat & Tim Kennedy capture this down-to-earth feeling perfectly. It's then juxtaposed with images of Jughead in wolf form as a stark reminder of the monster lurking within his scrawny form.
The Kennedys' werewolves are terrifying, especially in the opening scenes as they taunt young Jellybean. This is a literal gang of lycanthropes that would give anyone in The Warriors a run for their money. This innocent girl may or may not have the werewolf gene too, but for now she looks frightened caged like an animal.
Matt Herms' colors highlight the splash of blood on her face as she looks up at her captors in fear. This extends to the bright red of the background, giving Reggie and his gang an ominous and threatening appearance.
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Joe Eisma picks up the art duties for the second half of the book. As mentioned in previous reviews, all of the artists on Jughead: The Hunger are solid, but the changeover between the two teams happens abruptly and without warning. In this case, it occurs in the middle of a scene. If there are going to be multiple artists on the book, at least have them handle complete scenes to avoid this jarring change.
Eisma gets some of the gorier segments in Jughead: The Hunger #6 with one particularly brutal death towards the end of the issue. His werewolves have a slightly different feel than that of the Kennedys', however they're no less horrifying. Eisma's feel bigger and more intimidating, while the others seem more sneaky and conniving. It's a healthy mix.
Jughead: The Hunger has been building to this confrontation between the title character and Reggie for some time. We're about to see that pay off in a big way with some added bonuses, as the Coopers are never far behind. The series challenges the idea of destiny and uses werewolves to do it. Just because Jughead is a werewolf doesn't mean he's a monster. Reggie has always been a monster though. That kid is the worst.