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"Jughead: The Hunger #12" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Archie Comics

jughead the hunger 12 00

Written by Frank Tieri
Illustrated by Joe Eisma
Colored by Matt Herms
Lettered by Jack Morelli
2019, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on February 20th, 2019


Jughead is finally starting to get something resembling a normal life again. He's got his dog, Hot Dog, back, albeit in a Frankenstein fashion. His buddy Archie is by his side. Who cares that he turns into a werewolf sometimes? Jughead might be trying to stick to his human side, but his werewolf side is not letting up. Forgotten memories buried deep within his mind are starting to resurface and with them is his cousin Bingo Wilkins, back to pull Jughead into the Jones clan.

If you can ignore the stitches across Hot Dog, there are segments of Jughead: The Hunger #12 that look like any regular day in Riverdale. Granted, if you listened to what Jughead, Archie, and Betty are talking about, you would instantly realize that this is very different. The friendship among these characters helps keep them strongly linked together. Although Betty and her family have been hunting Jughead and his family for years, they've been able to put aside their differences and find that friendship again, which is no easy task.

Click images to enlarge

Of course, this is a horror book, so it's not going to be about best pals and playing fetch with your dog. Things take a sudden turn when Bingo shows up, destroying Jughead's carefully crafted life. Whereas Jughead and his friends appear wholesome and earnest, Bingo is pure evil. Colorist Matt Herms adds a nice touch with these eerie glowing yellow eyes on the character, removing any humanity he might have had and replacing it with the monster within.

Artist Joe Eisma creates a nice dynamic between Jughead and Bingo. The two bear some similarities, being related and all, but they could not be more different. Jughead is more passive and slouches down, while Bingo is the opposite, standing with confidence and power. He has embraced his werewolf side and all the strength that comes with it.

Speaking of werewolves, Eisma does a tremendous job with the designs for these monsters. They are big, bulky, and intimidating. They tower over the human characters. Jughead is a completely different person when he's transformed, standing tall and powerful. He lets loose with a huge howl that letterer Jack Morelli delivers with gusto.

Click images to enlarge

Eisma shifts the panel layout when Bingo shows up, further showing how this guy is going to shake up Jughead's world. Up until that point, the panels are shown in a more traditional sequence with rectangles. When Bingo appears, the shapes get more erratic and the layout is varied.

This issue takes Jughead: The Hunger back to basics, returning the character to his family roots and all the dangers that entails. Writer Frank Tieri is guiding us through an incredible and violent journey, putting these characters we've known and loved for decades through the ringer. Somehow I don't think we'll see them sharing a milkshake at Pop's after all this.


Story: fourstars Cover
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Art: fourstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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