"Jughead: The Hunger #2" 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
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on December 13th, 2017
A teenage werewolf is a very dangerous creature. Jughead knows this firsthand and is taking steps to make sure he doesn't hurt anyone again. The same cannot be said for Reggie Mantle. He was already a jerk before he got turned. Now he's using his newfound strength to hunt down those that have wronged him. This creates an interesting dual narrative with Jughead trying to hide and subdue the monster within and Reggie embracing it with open arms. Only one of them is being hunted by the Coopers.
Reggie's story in Jughead: The Hunger is building. We get a glimpse of how dangerous he is in the previous issue and we get a bit more here, although we don't actually see the violence. Artists Pat & Tim Kennedy leave that off the page, allowing our minds to fill in the grisly details. Much is implied, particularly with the relationship between Reggie and Veronica, who seems very buddy-buddy with the wolfed-out Mantle.
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The transformation is violent and painful. Reggie goes from a suave, confident teenager to a hulking beast made of muscle and fur. Spittle flies from his open maw as he lets out a massive howl. There's a crazed look in his eyes as he stares down his prey.
As with the last issue, there are splatters of blood on the page itself. This adds to the tone of the book, especially with the bright reds. It's as if these scenes are lit with crimson fluorescent lights. Perhaps this is how Reggie and now Veronica see the world, as a blood-red, pulsing vein of life.
The other half of Jughead: The Hunger #2 picks up with Archie and Betty as they track down their former friend. The forces are mounting against Forsythe Pendleton Jones III and all the poor kid wants to do is to be left alone. He can't get away from his past and the heinous things he's done as a werewolf. With his face plastered all over the news, it will be hard to hide out.
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You really feel for Jughead. Artist Joe Eisma picks up the art duties for this section of the book and he presents the title character as rather pathetic in his human form. He's just a scrawny, awkward kid. Under normal circumstance, you wouldn't even notice him.
The mythos of Jughead: The Hunger grows considerably in this issue, branching out into further reaches of the Archie Universe. Writer Frank Tieri creates an old-school, moody horror feel to the book, filling every page with dread for what might come next. These rival forces are building on both sides, which will ultimately lead into some sort of werewolf showdown and I cannot wait to see it. This is a top tier werewolf story.