In a time of reboots, sequels, and remakes, decades-long franchise Archie Comics recently rebooted their favorite redhead last year with an enjoyable first issue and favorable reviews. But we’re not here to talk about the indecisive redhead. We’re here to talk about the solo series around his best friend/epic daydreamer, Jughead Jones.
The series started back in October with the story by Chip Zdarsky and art by Erica Henderson (you’ve seen her work on Squirrel Girl). The series focuses on the titled character as he deals with the new changes at Riverdale High (including a new principal who may or may not be out to get Jughead) in his own unique ways.
Now, I’ve been reading Archie Comics since I borrowed them from my brother when I was in elementary school and read them till I was in high school. It was corny and cliched, but I enjoyed the comics for what they were. Jughead tries to figure out how to take a character with a dislike for dating and odd characteristics and work it into a modern setting and succeeds at it. Jughead still isn’t interested in girls and the trappings of high school drama, but it’s played less like an oddity and instead is more relatable as he frequently retreats to his daydreams of spies, time travel, and a Game of Thrones parody. His actions are a combination of innate personality, his own family (his dad has a dry sense of humor, and dealing with a blow from going to one of the richest kids to one of the poorest and becoming a “loser” of sorts.
One of the strongest elements of the series is the humor that Henderson’s art pairs well with as we see Jughead realize he can make his own burgers and his disdain towards anything associated with Reggie Mantle. You find yourself both laughing at Jughead’s own dramatics while laughing with him as we realize that the world around him is no more sane acting than he is.
While a humorous story that offers a break from the teen drama in the Archie series, Jughead ends up being the more relatable of the two towards a Millennial audience. He approaches problems through the use of pop culture, trying to understand change as the world around him changes and trying to regain power from an environment that seeks to undermine him. If Jughead represents a typical Millennial, then the new principal, Mr. Stanger, represents the negative view of the Millennial as he sees Jughead as nothing more than a nuisance with no respect for authority.
I would definitely recommend Jughead to anyone who wants a humorous comic without some of the teen romance drama. Rating: 5/5