Archie Comics 2015
Written by Chip Zdarsky
Illustrated by Erica Henderson
I am absolutely the hugest fan of what Chip is doing here. I mean he manages to keep this series updated in the vein of the latest trends while keeping Jughead true to who he was. While he’s much more complex and interesting now he’s still the same loveable character that does sometimes eclipse even Archie.
So Jughead had a knife in his backpack, one that wasn’t his naturally, and was expelled from school. I mean c’mon anyone who knows Forsythe, he he, knows he’s not that kind of kid and his parents know it too. So his dad heads to school to chat with Principal Stanger. I love what what Mr. Jones, Jonesy, does in the Principal’s office too. I mean the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and it’s fantastic to see this. He knows and trusts his son, apparent slacker he appears to be, and is going above and beyond in his defense.
I like Erica’s work but it’s not right for this series. This is more akin to the old stuff and when Mr. Jones sees Betty I had no idea it was her. Aside from the times Principal Stanger looked like a Dick Tracy villain none of the characters are really recognizable. This is supposed to be the “new” Archie line where it’s got this more realistic look to it. This is a poor man’s, or woman’s as the case may be, throwback. I mean the back-up Jughead stories look better and I hate to say someone’s work or passion isn’t up to snuff but it isn’t right for this series.
I absolutely adore the dream sequences! I think this is something that reminds me of the way the older stories are structured and by using things like the Man from Uncle, yes I know there’s a remake but the original yeah, as a spoof in his dream that’s genius. It ties the past and present together beautifully like a giant red bow on a brand new car. I think Jughead’s subconscious really is telling him something though maybe not what his conclusion is but it’s probably not far off.
This new Principal is up to something shady and his new teachers are part of it that’s for sure but what it is we don’t know since all we’ve seen is things from the kids point of view. Still from what we learn this issue just through casual conversation well it’s more than enough to know that somehow, someway it’s going to be Jughead who saves the day in his own unique and unorthodox way. Which should be interesting to say the least. That Chip can make Jughead this interesting, complex and much more alert and smart than we give him credit for is the kind of updating that I am so 1000% behind.
It’s kind of fun having this kind of mystery in a Jughead book. One that has more facets and things going on than meets the eye. This isn’t your old half hour sitcom where everything is taken care of and ready to go in twenty two minutes. So this new vision the folks at Archie thought of for this is utterly fascinating and a huge success for me.
I’ll be around for Chip’s story and grimace through the artwork because this is a case where the writing is so incredibly good it trumps everything else.