“Pal, once you figure out the game, life is easy” – Jughead
When Jughead issue 1 debuted last month, it was interesting to see how well it would fit into the masterful Mark Waid and Fiona Staples reboot of Archie. The creative team of Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson were great additions to the Archie spin-off starring his best friend, Jughead Jones, but did it live up to the expectations of wearing the crown? In my review for issue 1 I had written that I was slightly concerned that too much of a look into his own solo adventures may prove detrimental to how he appears within the pages of Archie. Upon reading issue 2, one that I was awaiting just as much as Archie issue 4 (releases this week), the further (mis)adventures prove to be even better than the first.
Chip Zdarsky’s script for Jughead issue 2 reads much more assured in the kind of story it wants to be. It comes off as part Waid and Staple’s Archie and part something far more psychedelic. Jughead issue 2, much like the first issue, begins in our reality and the second part takes place in Jug’s mind.
While readers have had more time with Fiona Staples re-imagined portraits of the students and faculty at Riverdale High (again, Archie issue 4 out this week), we only have two issues of Erica Henderson’s art for Jughead. If you enjoyed the whimsical and cartoony look of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, you’ll love the look of Jughead. Admittedly, Henderson’s art has grown on me since the first issue and she renders everyone from Jughead to Reggie Mantle III in a great way. The coloring of the comic is very bright and despite the issue delving into darker subject matter with a weapon depicted near the end of the issue, it retains a familiar cheerfulness that the original Archie comics had.
We once again see Forsythe Pendleton Jones aka Jughead as the 80’s Robert Downey Jr character. It totally works to great effect and we see him play off of Kevin Keller and Reggie Mantle III in a fun way. We see the “needle-nosed slacker” grub milkshake after milkshake and offer pop philosophy. His second story, presented as a day-dream sequence is fun, and is rife with clever nods to various figures and moments in pop-culture. “The Time Directive” provides Erica Henderson an amount of creative freedom which allows her to truly deliver panel after panel of pure fantasy.
Jughead issue 2 is a fun issue to pick up and it’s a series slowly becoming a must read. While it’s not quite up there with Mark Waid’s Archie, we have to remember that Jughead isn’t Archie, nor is his title supposed to read like one. Jughead is a fun character and issue 3 should be just as good, if not better!
Jughead issue 2 is out now and gets five stars! To find a local comic shop, click here.
Zdarsky and Henderson return with the next issue of the all-new Jughead! Things continue to be amiss at Riverdale High as Coach Clayton gets replaced by a tough-as-nails, take-no-prisoner Phys-Ed teacher! Can he be stopped or will Jughead have to become… physically active? The answer lies in the far future…
Art: Erica Henderson, Jack Morelli
Cover: Erica Henderson
Variant Covers: Veronica Fish, Francesco Francavilla, Robert Hack with Steve Downer, Les McClaine with Steve Downer
32-page, full color comic