If you’ve seen Riverdale on The CW, you have an idea of what kind of problems the teens of the town can deal with. There’s murder, drugs, gangs, and all sorts of relationship drama. Jughead’s Time Police has a different kind of conundrum for Forsythe Pendleton Jones III. He’s been banned from the Riverdale Pie Contest after making something so awful that it gave everyone food poisoning. The only logical solution is to go back in time and prevent this from happening.
I was going to say that that’s where the fun begins, but that would be a lie. The fun in Jughead’s Time Police starts on the first page and does not stop. I’m used to Archie getting into crazy hijinks, but Jughead gives him a run for his money here. The leaps in logic are astounding and even more so by how they weirdly make sense.
Since we’re dealing with time travel, things can get a little tricky. Fortunately, writer Sina Grace expertly plots this issue, putting in details that fit perfectly as Jughead travels back in time. This will definitely lend itself to repeat readings as we dig through the book for details we might have missed the first time around.
We can discount for a minute that someone like Jughead could create a time machine, even with the help of Dilton and Kevin. Yes, it’s a ridiculous notion, but again, the logic just works here. It’s part of the charm of the series. You take for granted that if anyone could do it, it’s Jughead, especially if he is powered by hunger for pie.
The brainstorming scenes are pretty hilarious. Artist Derek Charm creates an infectious enthusiasm with not just Jughead, but everyone that comes in contact with this project. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in this excitement. We don’t know how it works, nor does it matter. When the switch is flipped, a burst of energy fills the page, showing Jughead in a comical stance, yet still confident that this will all work out.
Colorist Matt Herms finds the right balance between the normal, everyday life of small town Riverdale and the out there, anything goes nature of science fiction that comes with time travel. One second things like like a quaint neighborhood and the next there’s an explosion of blue light that changes everything. This is not overdone. It’s used sparingly and to great effect.
My favorite part of Jughead’s Time Police is Hot Dog. The pup is the unsung hero of this scheme, pulling a Good Will Hunting on the calculations to help out his buddy, but stopping short of following him through the time warp. Although you can’t see his eyes, you get an immediate sense of Hot Dog’s attitude and voice. This is aided by letterer Jack Morelli’s thought balloons, placed with care to amplify the gags along the way.
Jughead’s Time Police is just plain fun. Sure, it’s more than a little absurd, but that’s just part of what makes it special. Everything works together to make this hilarious time travel story come together and we’re just getting started. Now that Jughead has opened Pandora’s Box to help him fix the pie contest, what other antics will he get into? I cannot wait to find out.