Archie Comics 2015
Written by Ryan North
Illustrated by Derek Charm
Lettered by Jack Morelli
Jughead and his best pal Archie had a rough summer. Jughead just wanted to spend some time with his buddy, but Archie couldn’t get his mind off girls. Archie’s girl-crazy ways sent the two brosephs into a fight that landed them lost in the woods, almost attacked by a bear, targeted by a weird old Mantle family member and eventually saved by Mr. Weatherbee—AKA NOT Jughead’s idea of a good time. How could Archie think about girls that often? I mean, there are so many other things to think about. I bet you’re expecting me to say something about burgers, right? Well I’m not. You think you’ve got ol’ Jughead figured out but it turns out you only associate the superficial aspects of his personality with him. You don’t know the REAL Jughead. Just your perception of Jughead. What I was going to say, was: why doesn’t he think of other things—like burritos? Jughead likes burritos too, you know.
Is it even possible that Jughead just got even better? Quite possibly welcome aboard Ryan and Derek. This series so far has been incredible in showcasing what’s made Jughead who he is alongside expanding our views and opinion of him and his intelligence. Not to mention that his ingenuity and his determination. This time around Ryan decides it’s time for Jughead to be stricken by the crush bug and the dialogue here couldn’t have been any better.
Seriously throughout the entire issue we see how each of the gang reacts to what he’s going through. Whether it’s the self portrait sculpture made out of food at the science fair or the fact that Pop’s has a new mascot, Burger Lady we see how they react to him. It’s honest and it’s one of the aspects that showcase the depth of friendship these kids have. I love how they can marvel and be disgusted by his eating habits, and jealous that he doesn’t gain an ounce, and then giggle at the fact he’s crushing on a girl in a hamburger suit.
The characterisation here is utterly fantastic. The reveal, which isn’t a reveal really, that the new girl in town working for Pop’s is Sabrina and she makes a date with Jughead after a long spell of him showing up at Pop’s and the two talking. It’s nice and even better is when they all talk about Jughead and his date around that outdoor table. I think that was the best round table moment i’ve seen in comics recently it was funny, interesting, scary and all around just a bunch of teenagers being who they are trying to help their friend.
I’ve been harping on the fact that the interiors aren’t the whole new direction of realistic but Derek does a marvelous job here. There’s a charm to it that I really connected to. It has the elements of the classic Archie but then it’s a little more upscale. The facial expressions are done beautifully, the use of page layouts and the flow of the book is amazing. Plus the just the way these kids come across with their new looks and hairstyles yeah i’m totally on board with what he’s doing here.
This series has steadily been among the more entertaining reads and one of my favourite Archie titles but this one right here is the standout so far and if this is what we can expect moving forward well heck not even the sky’s the limit.