Pullbox Reviews – Jughead: The Hunger #12

JUGHEAD THE HUNGER #12

And Bingo was his name-o! Jughead’s enigmatic and demented werewolf cousin Bingo Wilkins returns! But where has he been? And what does his return mean for good ol’ Jug? 

Script: Frank Tieri
Art: Joe Eisma, Matt Herms, Jack Morelli
Cover: Adam Gorham
Variant Covers: Dennis Calero, Bill Galvan
On Sale Date: 2/20
32-page, full-color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Springing from the successful AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE series, we are now 12-issues into what can only be considered as An American Werewolf in Riverdale. Looking back at a year’s worth of issues and I feel confident in saying that Jughead: The Hunger is one of the best werewolf books I’ve read in the past few years.

That’s a big statement. Werewolves are a popular creature feature in comics and, to me, what makes a great werewolf story is the right mix of storytelling and art. That seems like a no-brainier given the comic book medium, but it’s really true here. We’ve all seen projects where the story is compelling, but the art missed the mark. Conversely, we know of books where the art is beautiful but the story fall flat.

Let’s start with Frank Tieri’s script. In short, it just works. He’s done a great job of taking these established characters and relationships and placing them in supernatural situations, but still maintaining their troupes. It still feels like an Archie book, even though it is very far from the original world build by Riverdale founders Bob Montana and John Goldwater. Tieri is respectful to the Riverdale gang roots, but the horror aspect is there and it is wonderful.

The art team of Joe Eisma and Matt Herms is also creating the perfect mix of Archie and the horror aspects of a werewolf story. I know everyone has there own version of werewolves. My preferred version is bi-pedal, large, muscular, and feral. Bring on the fangs and claws! That is exactly the kind of lycanthropy Eisma and Herms embrace. Jughead goes from a typical scrawny teenage boy to hulking fanged beast looking for blood, often shown to us in full splash pages. It brings a visual level of awesome the a book about werewolves needs to be successful.

I am continually impressed with the Archie Horror titles and I’m looking forward to the upcoming Jughead: The Hunger vs. Vampironica coming April 2019.

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