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Jughead #6: Rebirth of the All-New All-Different Super Teens!

Written by Mike Ambrose on Saturday, May 21 2016 and posted in Reviews

Jughead #6: Rebirth of the All-New All-Different Super Teens!

Captain Hero (aka Jughead Jones) vs. the evil new principal in a battle for the hearts and minds of Riverdale's youth.

Source: Archie Comics

Story: Chip Zdarsky
Art: Erica Henderson
Coloring: Andre Szymanowicz
Lettering: Jack Morelli
Covers: Erica Henderson, Cliff Chiang, Ramon K. Perez


Jughead #6 is a entertaining comic book, as Zdarsky and Henderson deliver a funny, silly story that concludes the first arc of the new ongoing adventures of Jughead Jones. Turns out the strict new principal Jughead was butting heads with was actually a disgraced spy turned CIA bureaucrat bent on regaining his status by turning teens into spies. It's all very Scooby-Doo-esque, especially the story's climax, a fact which Zdarsky has Jughead note.

There's a lot to like in this book. Henderson's cover, featuring Jughead, Betty, and Archie as super heroes, is what initially drew me to this issue. Turns out it is just a dream sequence, but it's a great nod to the history of the characters. Afterall, the Super Teens, Captain Hero (Jughead), Superteen (Betty) and Captain Pureheart (Archie), have popped up in stories since the 60's in back up strips and specials. It's a fun little dream sequence that ends with Jughead delivering the best line of the issue:jug1

"Just a dream. Just a non-burger dream."

Jughead later shows up at the school Halloween dance as Captain Hero and shows that capes can indeed be useful.

Henderson's art throughout is great. Her stylized faces and the sense of style she gives the characters is perfect for the new Archie-verse. Her art style is actually somewhat reminiscent of the classic Archie house style, while still being fresh and modern at the same time. And much more dynamic. Henderson's take on action, big and small (like the super hero dream sequence, Dilton's dance moves, a slow clap) and solid use of panel layout and composition really create a sense of fluidity and motion. Henderson's wonderful sense of story telling is on full display here.

I was at first a bit torn on Jughead #6. The book is well made and genuinely funny. On one hand, that's what Jughead should be. He isn't a serious person, and he often finds himself in absurd situations, as demonstrated by the seven page back-up strip, reprinted from a 1949 comic by Samm Schwartz. Jughead #6 contains all the hallmarks of a traditionally Jughead story - ridiculous premise, over the top characters, and Jughead's clever solution to a problem. Yes, it is a very enjoyable comic, but it didn't meet the expectations set by the more grounded tone of the first volume of Archie.

Perhaps this is a failing on my part. I mean, it's a Jughead comic, for crying out loud. And it is much better to judge a comic on it's own merit, and not by how it fits into a larger universe (a lesson I have learned from mainstream comics long ago). I also haven't read the four previous issues, so that would have clued me in on the tone a little better.

Another little touch I like - this issue is set at Halloween, next issue is during summer vacation. It's a little thing that actually reinforces the silly nature of Jughead while being a throwback to the newsstand digests that have absolutely no sense of continuity and chronology.

Zdarsky and Henderson are the perfect creative team for Jughead – both are known for producing very well crafted work that's full on fun, bordering on ridiculous. Which is what they give us with Jughead #6. And as long as your expectations are in line with what this comic delivers, you'll find a lot to enjoy in this issue.


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About the Author - Mike Ambrose

Mike Ambrose isn't slow, he's just Canadian. Mike began collecting comics in 1991 with an allowance earned by doing chores on the family farm, snapping up anything that said "#1 Collector's Item" on the cover, including X-Men, Sleepwalker, and NFL Superpro. That is to say, Mike knows bullshit. These skills were further developed and finally acknowledged when he graduated from a well-regarded journalism and public relations college program. Mike lives in a surprisingly nice house in a pretty good neighbourhood with his loving girlfriend. Aside from comic books of all types, Mike enjoys cooking, rap music, and the rule of threes.
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