Stay on target
Horror is a genre that feels underrepresented in comic books. That isn’t to say that there are not horror comics because there are, but horror is like comedy, which is to say that its very hard to pull off well in a comic book. Archie Comics is the last publisher that one would associate with the genre, but their track record in the past few years has shown that they are capable of pulling it off. The Hangman from Archie’s Dark Circle brand and Sabrina the Teenage Witch from a couple of years ago were both great little series that proved that the publisher could do it. Here, with the Jughead: The Hunger One-Shot the publisher does it again, with writer Frank Tieri returning from the Hangman, and artist Michael Walsh.
(W) Frank Tieri (A) Michael Walsh
BRAND NEW ONE-SHOT SPECIAL! Jughead Jones has always had an insatiable appetite… but what if his hunger came from a sinister place? When a murderous menace is on the prowl, taking the lives of some of the most well-known and esteemed inhabitants of Riverdale, Jughead and his family’s dark legacy comes to light. Join writer Frank Tieri (Wolverine) and artist Michael Walsh (Secret Avengers) for this horrifying one-shot for TEEN+ readers.
via Archie Comics
An over-sized first issue, The Hunger plays out like a first issue more than a one shot. Tieri’s story doesn’t feel particularly inspired, but there is clearly a lot of fun being had with the premise. Essentially a werewolf story told with Archie characters, it provides the same joys that the Afterlife With Archie series does, letting classic characters run around in a horrific, gory story. Seeing these characters get ripped to shreds provides plenty of fun, but as a self-contained story, it just doesn’t stand on its own. Despite being over-sized and advertised as a one shot, it does not feel like a whole story. There are plenty of twists and turns, but they feel rushed and more as a means of setting up a larger story than they do adding to this issue. That being said, if it were to be extended into an ongoing, I would absolutely read that series.
Michael Walsh’s art is the real star of this issue, perfectly setting the mood and tone for a this darker story. I have been a big fan of Walsh for the past few years, especially his work with writer Ales Kot on their Secret Avengers and Zero. Walsh always finds a great balance between violence and humor, and he brings that to the table with this issue. The colors are perfect, with lots of contrasting warm and cold colors that add a moody, almost over dramatic vibe to it. The colors bring to mind artist Francesco Francavilla who works on Afterlife With Archie and has done variants for many Archie series recently. All in all, it makes for a fun issue, but hopefully, there is more to come. I am trying to avoid a “hungry” for more pun here but just know that its there. If the worst thing that can be said is that there isn’t enough of it, it must be pretty good.
via Archie Comics
Jughead: The Hunger One-Shot is written by Frank Tieri, with art by Michael Walsh, and is published by Archie Comics’ Horror imprint. Due out in two weeks on March 29th, the one-shot will be available in stores and online at Comixology.com.