Chip Zdarsky, Erica Henderson
So aside from Phonogram: TIM and Spider-Woman, I had to choose between picking up Jughead and Ms Marvel this past week. I went with Jughead, as it’s a buck cheaper, I love the creative team, and I now have an excuse to pick up Ms Marvel in trade. It’s a win for everyone involved who’s not my checking account! Also I have bought 2 consecutive issues of an Archie comic in the year of our lord 2015, this is definitely a personal record of sorts! Be proud of me.
The 2nd issue of Jughead was something I found highly enjoyable. Jughead’s Time Police is something I’ve heard about in whispers for some now time, so seeing Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson tackle it in this reboot was certainly intriguing. Much like the previous issue, the issue is broken down by first act, “fantasy”-based second arc, the final act, and then a reprint of a classic Archie strip with an hilarious introduction from Chip. While the older material isn’t my cup of tea, I appreciate the format Zdarsky and Henderson have established, and the extra content certainly justifies the $4 price tag.
The 2nd issue continues the debut issue of Jughead and his pals having to deal with the new over-zealous staff at their high school. First and foremost, I love how much Erica Henderson draws from current fashion for the cast’s looks. I’m already familiar with how expressive her art is from her work on Squirrel Girl , but with Jughead, she’s allowed to draw less super heroes and more every day clothing, which is rad. Of course, the stuff with the Time Police requires to take the book’s visuals in a different direction, which is fine, because Henderson’s experience with TUSG gives her some experience with the fantastic. I’m a fan of her colors, well at least I think I am, because I’m 98% certain half the copy I picked up was a victim of several errors when I was printed. But the stuff I’m positive wasn’t messed up come printing looks great, and looking at panels from the digital copy of the book confirmed that my book is sadly a victim of a printing press error.
Everything Chip Zdarsky contributes to this issue is gold. Obviously the humor is on point, which comes as no surprise, give his…well everything. Like go check his twitter account right now for proof. Okay back? Too bad, I’m continuing without you if you’re not. Anyway, Chip’s dialogue is great, chock full of snark and jokes, making this incarnation of Jughead very Spider-Man-esque with the amount of wisecracks per page. But it’s never overdone, as Zdarsky knows when to reel it back a bit as to not to interfere with the plot. And despite the teen rating due to a realtively dark twist at the end, the book is a clever read that I feel kids who watch stuff like Adventure Time and Steven Universe would dig.
(( I also want to give props to whoever decided Jughead should come off as asexual, but I’m not sure if that’s Chip or Mark Waid‘s doing. It may not be intention, but it’s cool to see a high school male character who’s not all girl crazy for a change, and has very little interest in smooching. ))
Jughead #2 is another fun installment of this really interesting Archie reboot. I really like the overarching “Jughead vs the man, but is still kinda lazy” plot of this new series, while weaving in some weirder elements of Archie’s publishing history into the narrative. It serves the spirit of classic Archie will, but also gives the franchise a much needed modern make over, resulting in a fun, relatively all ages experience.