Jughead (2015) #4 by Chip Zdarsky & Erica Henderson | Rating: ★★★★★
Archie Comics does it again! I mean listen, I am probably slightly biased on the matter--I would definitely call Archie my ride or die comics--but the recently rebooted Jughead stories just keep getting better. In #4 we are continuing the trail of mystery (is the new staff at Riverdale up to something? If so, what?) with humour (a lot of humour!) and of course familiar faces.
Oh, yes! Not to mention hilarious dream sequences--say hello to Slackbeard! I am either really tired (plausible) or really easily amused because I'm almost always howling with laughter at the vivid and creative dreams he has. While this one doesn't beat out Game of Jones or their spoof on U.N.C.L.E it is still filled with good old fashioned nostalgic humour that even the oldest Riverdale fans can appreciate. Tied it up in one stunning bow (that! artwork! I! feel! faint!) and you've got yourself a can't miss comic.
Even better we get to see more interactions between Jughead and his friends. We get more of Dilton Doiley filling in the position of his partner in crime; as Jughead tries to crack the case on whether or not they are in serious trouble (danger!) at school. I've got a hint for you: HACKING and a bit of a backfire. Because what is an Archie comic without a little mischief gone wrong?
(The lifelong question of our youth. Right? Right!?!)
I don't know if this was necessarily my favourite of the four so far but it is still a deliciously fun piece of fiction that brings in old and new qualities that we all know and love about Jughead. I liked that there was more continuity in this one (because, obviously, we have more to build off on) and I thought the art was just as fantastic as always. If not better--because it just keeps feeling more and more vivid and fun.
There's something about it that ties into the story and makes it unique. Plus, the ending was fun! I liked that it felt more cliffhanger-like that other issues (not that they don't feel as such) and am really, really, really looking forward to the next issue. I'm also really pleased with the throwback Jughead story we see at the end--plus, who can forget the little notes; ahem one sided discussions--is one I'm unfamiliar with.
My favourite thing about Archie reboots is that we see classic strips at the end of the new stories and I think it just ties things up really well.
We get to compare and contrast and I just adore being able to do that.
Because it reminds us that despite the changes and adaptations through the years, Jughead is still Jughead and that's all there is to it. Well, and because they are fucking (oops) hilarious.