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"Jughead the Hunger vs. Vampironica #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Archie Comics

Jughead The Hunger Vs Vampironica 1 00

Written by Frank Tieri
Illustrated by Pat & Tim Kennedy and Joe Eisma
Inked by Bob Smith and Ryan Jampole
Colored by Matt Herms
Lettered by Jack Morelli
2019, 36 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on April 24th, 2019

Review:

Two titans of Archie Horror are set to collide as Jughead the Hunger vs. Vampironica kicks off. These two separate universes are about to intersect. One has no vampires and the other has no werewolves. This is going to get messy.

As with any new crossover, there's some setup involved. In Jughead the Hunger vs. Vampironica, writer Frank Tieri has to establish how these two get together in the first place. That involves seemingly retconning the ending of the Vampironica series, to show that vampires are still very much a threat in this world.

This is fun and all, but I have to wonder if this couldn't have been put at the tail end of the Vampironica series, leading into this crossover. Could this have been a tease of things to come? As it stands, we've got a crossover comic with only half of the main characters. Werewolf Juggy doesn't show up at all and the guy has top billing in the title. Granted, it's only the first issue, but I came into this looking for both lycanthropes and bloodsuckers.

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The exploitation vibe is alive and well in Jughead the Hunger vs. Vampironica. Colorist Matt Herms creates such a creepy feel to every single page. Reds really stand out, both from blood and the eerie look in a vampire's eyes. The color pops on the page, among the other, slightly faded shades. The comic has the vibe of a classic horror book from decades ago. That's a perfect fit for this title.

As with some other books in the Archie Horror line, there are splatters of blood here and there. These are some nice touches that add to the overall experience.

Pat & Tim Kennedy and Joe Eisma share art duties for Jughead the Hunger vs. Vampironica. They had done the same for a chunk of the Jughead the Hunger series. I have the same issues here that I did with that series in that there's an abrupt change in artistic style in the middle of the book. Both sides are solid with some incredible images, but it feels rather jarring when the change happens. In this case, it's in the middle of a scene too. It would be a little easier to digest if it happened during a natural transition.

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Click images to enlarge

Both sides also have highlights. The Kennedys bring out a more monstrous quality with the vampires on display. They're like cousins to the vampires in The Lost Boys. Meanwhile, Eisma accentuates the human side with a great interaction between Veronica and her parents. You can feel that emotion coming out as they get into a heated argument.

There are some great framing shots, particularly in the early pages of the book. The very first page is a real standout with Veronica holding a knife in a menacing manner. It's like something ripped off a horror poster. This contrasts well with the more “normal” elements of Riverdale as Veronica and her friends get a celebration together.

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Click images to enlarge

With all the vampires running around, there are bound to be a few bites. I wasn't sure what that would sound like until letterer Jack Morelli shows us in sickening detail. The sound effects are on point and shown in such a way as to add to the horror of a scene. A fleshy “SNUK” flies across the page when teeth are biting through a neck.

Jughead the Hunger vs. Vampironica is easily one of my most anticipated titles of the year, however it’s off to a slow start. I will cut it some slack, as it has to explain how these two worlds collide. It's not like the Crisis of Infinite Earths where you can just have the Flash run really fast for a few seconds. There's more nuance to it. I'm far from giving up on the series, as I can't wait to see how these two characters interact (and undoubtedly fight). You can never go wrong with werewolves vs. vampires.

Grades:

Story: Threestars Jughead The Hunger Vs Vampironica 1 Small
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Art: Fourstars
Overall: Threeandahalfstars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
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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