Jughead #1 Review

The first copies of Jughead #1 have gone out and reviews are starting to pour in. Since I’ve loved the Archie reboot so much, I was eager to read this, but does it hold up to Archie? Does it hold up to classic Jughead? Well let’s get into it.

Update: Initially, when putting in the rating, I went to an old method that I used on a one to ten scale instead of the percentage our interface uses. That made it look like this issue got a review of about half a star out of five stars. Sorry, Archie Comics.

Jughead#1RegCvrJughead #1

Script: Chip Zdarsky
Art: Erica Henderson, Jack Morelli
Cover: Erica Henderson
Variant Covers: Anton Emdin, Francesco Francavilla, Robert Hack, Ramon K. Perez, Chip Zdarsky
Blank Sketch Cover Also Available
On Sale Date: 10/7
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Solicitation:
IN THE GRAND TRADITION OF COMIC BOOK REBOOTS LIKE ARCHIE #1, ARCHIE COMICS PROUDLY PRESENTS… JUGHEAD #1—FROM THE COMICS DREAM TEAM OF CHIP ZDARSKY (Howard the Duck) AND ERICA HENDERSON (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl)!
Riverdale High provides a quality education and quality hot lunches, but when one of those is tampered with, JUGHEAD JONES swears vengeance! Well, I mean, he doesn’t “swear.” This is still Archie Comics after all.

Preview Pages:

Jughead2015_01-3 Jughead2015_01-5 Jughead2015_01-6 Jughead2015_01-7

Review:
With Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson behind it, I really wanted to love it. This was my mistake. I went in expecting too much and upon first reading, I was very disappointed. Zdarsky’s story is almost straight out of the traditional Archie Comics playbook. It’s enjoyable, but almost feels disposable. It doesn’t go over the top outside of a dream sequence, but it is on par with the classic Jughead story reprinted in the back of the comic. Many of the jokes were guessed by my wife who didn’t read the comic, but suggested them as I told her the story.

The one element that I really don’t care for is the new principal, which I’m not spoiling since Archie included that tidbit in the preview pages above. Zdarsky may be settin him up as a regular “villain” for Jughead, but he seems unnecessary, as his purpose in this story could have been served without replacing Mr. Weatherbee. With such brilliant retooling going on for the New Riverdale, throwing out a supporting character seems frivolous. However, the story is enjoyable, so please don’t infer that I mean anything else.

The art by Erica Henderson is excellent, but the colors just don’t seem to fit as well as Rico Renzi’s colors over her on Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. I’m just spoiled, because the colors are very good, and it’s good to see a departure from the overly simple computer colors I had been used to in the Archie comics of a few years ago. Really nice artwork here, but Erica Henderson almost always kills it.

Variant Covers:

Jughead2015_01-4 Jughead#1FFvar Jughead#1Hackvar

Jughead#1EmdinVar Jughead#1PerezVar Jughead#1chipVar Jughead#1sketchvar