If you’re not familiar with Jughead: The Hunger, let me ask you a question while simultaneously bringing you up to speed: Have you ever wanted to take the “Aww, shucks” innocence of Archie and marry it to the campy, over-the-top gory fun of the Evil Dead series? If the answer is YES (and why would it be NO, weirdo?), then buddy, Archie’s Madhouse imprint has a comic for you.
In this issue, we find hamburger–and now human–devourer Jughead on the lam from his friends, the police, and…the circus?
He’s joined by his Hey-I-Thought-You-Were-Dead cousin Bingo Wilkin. Ya see, the Jones bloodline is filled with a history of lycanthropic bloodletters, Jughead and his cousin (“Cuz!”) being the latest in the family line to inherent said affliction.
Jughead is still green when it comes to this whole murderous mammal thing, so Bingo tries to coach him through it.
On the flip side of that story, we have Archie and an ever growing company attempting to track down Jughead, and hopefully cure his werewolf ways (or I dunno, kill him?).
It’s an entertaining issue, with some laugh-out-loud bits of B-movie dialogue (“I’m wanted for murder–again–because I’m a friggin’ werewolf!”) and some world building, though nothing incredibly exciting of note happens. I hesitate to say “filler,” but it’s certainly an exposition-filled issue. Not necessarily a knock against the book, but those expecting as brisk a pace as the first few issues, this one has slowed to a jog.
Also, something to note– the art does change in the middle of the issue. It’s not too jarring, but it is noticeable, as Eisma’s lines are a bit cleaner and less heavy than the Kennedy’s. If you can get through the issue without being irked by that (And why should you? These artists work hard, cut ’em a break if someone can’t do a full issue.), you’ll be treated to some incredible art, ranging from Werewolf Jughead with bits of Human Jughead still on his face, to cousin Bingo opening his window blinds with his bare arm bone. Still wincing from that!
With the revelation at the end of the issue, I’m curious to see where this Elseworlds Archie will go. Will we be going full nihilism here or will our heroes prevail? Will Jughead live to eat another double cheeseburger with bacon? I don’t know about you, but I could go for another serving of The Hunger.
Jughead: The Hunger #3 is currently available from Archie Comics.
Written by Frank Tieri
Art by Pat & Tim Kennedy and Joe Eisma
Inks by Bob Smith
Lettering by Jack Morelli