Story: Chip Zdarsky
Art and Colors: Erica Henderson
Letters: Jack Morelli
What They Say:
Zdarsky and Henderson return with the next issue of the all-new Jughead! Things continue to be amiss at Riverdale High as Coach Clayton gets replaced by a tough-as-nails, take-no-prisoner Phys-Ed teacher! Can he be stopped or will Jughead have to become… physically active? The answer lies in the far future…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
We’re two issues in with Jughead and I’m starting to see a pattern: Jughead gets into a pickle, discovers the answer to his predicament in some crazy dream, and manages to snub the rules without actually breaking them. It’s not a bad idea, but I worry that the novelty might wear off after a time. Right now, though, it makes for a fun issue that plays around with time travel and evil gym coaches.
With Principal Weatherbee gone, Riverdale High finds itself under new management with Principal Stanger, and it seems like every policy he makes is designed to punish Jughead. In the previous issue, he tried to get rid of normal cafeteria lunches for some sort of nutritionally-optimized gruel, and now he’s installed a sadistic new gym coach who uses detention as a punishment against the less athletically-inclined students. Jughead breaks his no-detention streak, and has to come up with a way to get around the rules without breaking them so he won’t get sent back again.
The answer comes to him in a dream. January McAndrews—a future descendent of Archie—travels from the future to enlist Jughead’s help. Apparently, Jughead will be the greatest time cop in history and January reaches out to him in her hour of greatest need. The only problem is the rules of time travel prevent them from changing the past. Luckily for her, Jughead is a master at circumventing the rules, and the strategy he employs in the dream becomes the strategy he employs to beat Coach Eng’s obstacle course.
Once again, Zdarsky and Henderson craft a fun issue. I never thought I’d say this, but I identify with Jughead. I like his laidback attitude and ability to manipulate the system. He’s the trickster of Riverdale High, and there’s nothing I love more than a trickster.
Of course, like all tricksters, Jughead’s ego proves to be his downfall. In an odd way, so does his naiveté (another trickster characteristic). He believes that Principal Stanger and the rest will play within the rules—just the same as he does. He also flaunts his cleverness too much, effectively egging Stanger to bring him down. I won’t spoil what Stanger does, but it’s pretty crummy, and it makes Jughead even more sympathetic and Stanger even more of an antagonist. Seeing where Jughead will go from here is enough to keep me coming back.
Although the comic already seems to be falling into formula, Jughead 2 is a fun issue full of good dialogue and character moments. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned that the formula might start to wear thin soon, but right now, the other qualities of the comic are enough to make me come back next time. Dr. Josh gives this a…
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Archie Comics
Release Date: November 18th, 2015