Jughead #5 (Archie Comics)

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CREDIT: Archie Comics

Rating: 4.5/5 – A Must Read for Anyone Looking for Comics That are Fun!
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

I love this series. When Bob reviewed the first issue of Jughead last year, he said that he’d “love to see super-heroes, super spies and lots of other classic Archie tropes”. Well, we’ve gotten those as this issue delivers on the super heroes! Jughead number five continues the pattern of having a main story that started in issue one and that’s continues on here, and a dream sequence in the middle that explores the classic Archie superhero trope via the Super Teens.  At the end of the main story there were three short (including a one-pager) Jughead stories from the past that are introduced by Zdarsky. The three of these are also enjoyable and add to the complete package.

As strong as these dream sequences are, I’ve enjoyed the main story the most. Jughead and now the rest of Riverdale’s cast continues to investigate Jughead’s claims that the school staff is being replaced with a training staff focused on creating future secret agents. It’s a crazy concept that allows for writer Chip Zdarsky to infuse plenty of hilarious moments while still providing enough drama to keep this story going. The gang heads to Sunnyside to ask past students about the evil Principal Stanger. That investigation lead the gang from Riverdale into a Bizarro-like gang from Sunnyside mirroring the Archie crew, creatively drawn by Erica Henderson.

At first the art by Erica Henderson didn’t connect with me. Although I enjoy her work quite a bit on Squirrel Girl, it didn’t seem to fit the world of Archie when I started on this series. Now, after multiple issues I’ve come to really enjoy her style along with her unique character designs and facial expressions. Henderson’s drawing of the eyes for example express a wide range of emotion which we see delivered on the first page in an eight panel layout with eight different characters all displaying a different emotion. In this issue Henderson also gets the chance to present Jughead as a superhero in the middle dream sequence titled “Deadly Ringers”.  The colors by Andre Syzmanowicz definitely stand out and flipping through the pages it was rare to see the same color twice!

I’m thoroughly enjoying this new Jughead series.  Jughead has a dedicated reader for this series as long as these creators are working on it. They’ve found a formula that really works and provides the reader not only great laughs and a fun story, but also fantastic visuals and selected stories from Jughead’s past adventures. If you’re looking for comics that are fun and can go perfect with a cheeseburger and shake, read Jughead.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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