Juggie’s crusade against Principal Stanger is about to heat up…
Also something about burgers, because Jughead. Your Major Spoilers review of Jughead #5 awaits!
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Erica Henderson
Colorist: Andre Syzmanowicz
Letterer: Jack Morelli
Editor: Mike Pellerito
Publisher: Archie Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Jughead: “Jughead’s been detained, suspended and treated like an enemy by Principal Stanger and most of the faculty at Riverdale High. Tired of no one believing his theory, Jughead enlisted the help of resident genius Dilton Doiley to find out what really was going on behind the scenes. After hacking into Stanger’s computer, they discovered that he has surveillance capabilities way beyond that of a high school principal. Now that all of Jughead’s friends know that something is definitely up with the new staff at Riverdale High, it’s up to all of them to convince everyone else. To do that, they’ll have to do some investigative reporting. This sounds like a lot of work for our crowned hero to handle! Can he do it? Will he crack under the pressure? Will he have burgers or pizza for dinner?
The correct answer is pizza burgers.
“THE NARRATIVE OF OUR ADVENTURE DEMANDS IT!”
As our story begins, Jughead, Betty, Archie and Kevin have tried to tell their parents of Principal Stanger’s strange training camp, which is turning their fellow students into some sort of spy-soldiers, only to get laughed at. (Literally, in Juggie’s case.) Thanks to Wade, the weird kid who has been in high school for seven years, they discover that the nearby town (?) of Sunnyside might have had the pleasure of Stanger’s principalling previously. With Archie’s car in the shop, they enlist the assistance of (ugh) Reggie Mantle, traveling to Sunnyside to find that the kids there are strangely…
…familar? There’s also a clever utilization of the Archie Super-Teens premise (Captain Hero, Pureheart, The Equalizer and Superteen appear, though I’m not telling quite how), many wonderfully memorable bits of dialogue, and a terrifying cliffhanger ending that is actually quite upsetting…
ALL IS LOST
I’m really hoping that the modern expectation of a six-issue arc is realized here, because I’m not sure I can stand another issue of this kind of tension. Zdarsky’s story manages to be silly and tense at the same time, making me worry about the future and the safety of our Archie pals. In many ways, the fact that this is happening to the Riverdale kids, imaginary friends I’ve been aware of all my life, makes it even more unnerving, and even though there’s tons of humor in this issue, the idea that something bad is going to happen to Jughead and friends makes for a compelling presence. Add in the use of Captain Hero and friends, in a way that maintains the reality of the new Archie series, and I’m a very happy comic reader. Erica Henderson’s art is joyful as well, especially in her rendition of the Sunnyside kids, another joke that I don’t intend to spoil for you guys. (But you really do need to check it out, it’s a hoot, especially Reggie’s interaction with a particular young lady…)
THE BOTTOM LINE: REALLY ENTERTAINING STUFF
In short, this is a book that pulls off the difficult task of being actually funny, while giving readers drama, character and gratuitous superheroes, leaving Jughead #5 with a truly impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. If you’re not looking into the new offerings from Archie Comics, you’re missing out on some of the most consistently entertaining comic books around…[taq_review]