Following the events of the ‘Jughead: The Hunger’ one-shot, Jughead Jones is a werewolf. Reggie Mantle, among many others, fell victim to his monstrous ways. Now Betty Cooper: Werewolf Hunter along with Archie Andrews is hot on the trail of Jughead. Can they stop him in time before the tortured teen transforms and kills again? And just who is Betty’s mysterious cousin and what are his plans for Archie?
Jughead: The Hunger #1
“Run Like A Wolf” Part 1
Written by: Frank Tieri
Art: Pat and Tim Kennedy
Inks by: Bob Smith & Jim Amash
Colors by: Matt Herms
Lettered by: Jack Morelli
Cover: Francesco Francavilla
Variant Covers: Robert Hack & Michael Walsh
***This review contains spoilers***
When I reviewed the Jughead: The Hunger one-shot back in March, I had such a good time with it I truly hoped we would get more. And now we have an ongoing. Frank Tieri continues on as series writer and he is doing one hell of a job. This title is gruesome when it needs to be, with a lingering sense of tragedy that all great lycanthrope tales need to have. He is also expanding the mythology of the Cooper family being werewolf hunters by introducing Betty’s cousin as a bad-ass ready to train Archie.
Having Jughead join a circus/carnival is also a great idea. That setting creates a moody and appropriate atmosphere and harkens back to classic horror.
The character portrayals are all excellent. Juggie’s tragic narration is also well written, giving us a portrait of a young man both scared and guilt-ridden. Betty is very much tough as nails and Archie is in over his head. All these are in line with the classic version of these characters but also have a dark edge to them.
There is some humor though, even if it’s dark. Having Betty and Archie trail Jughead by casing on the road burger joints is a nice callback.
One of the most interesting developments in the ongoing though is…SPOILER…Reggie Mantle’s resurrection as a werewolf, and his instant embracing of it. It seems they are setting up Reggie as a truly evil werewolf, and I am onboard from some wolf vs. wolf action when it eventually comes along.
This entire art team has worked together to create a classic horror comic. The art here is all thick lined and angular, giving off a sense of unease. There is also some great page composition and layouts that bring to mind the horror comics of E.C.
The coloring stands out, giving the reader a perfect mood. There are heavy red hues and dark shadows. There is a lot of contrasting which again adds so much to the atmosphere.
I also want to mention the lettering, which I think is extra important in a horror comic as ‘sound effects’ are a big part. There are some great moments here were ‘howls’ and ‘screams’ not only play a part in the narrative but it the artistic layout as well.
Right in time for Halloween, this is a horror book you want to pick up when it hits comic stores on October 25th. Archie Comics is building a nice library with its horror line, and this is a great addition to the equally awesome Afterlife With Archie and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Who knew it would be Archie that would fill a horror comics void?