Jughead’s Time Police is published by Archie Comics, written by Sina Grace, art by Derek Charm, colors by Matt Herms and letters by Jack Morelli. When Jughead fails at a pie baking contest so spectacularly that he is banned from the event for life he comes to the only logical conclusion. To build a time machine and go back in time to prevent himself from making this most grievous of culinary errors. But in doing so he may well cause time itself to shatter.
After a multi-decade long break I took my first foray back into the town of Riverdale last week when I reviewed Archie #710. I enjoyed the visit so much that when my editor offered up Jughead’s Time Police I decided to jump back in. While the content here is very different, it certainly has its charm.
After Jughead tries to undo his culinary calamity through time travel he gets picked up by 29th century time cop January McAndrews, who brings him to the future. A future that has built itself around the ideals and virtues of one Forsythe Pendleton Jones. Ya know, Jughead.
Once in the future however things quickly become more than a simple chronol error threatening the space time continuum. There is more than one Jughead in town. And when the other Jughead tries to paint the original Jughead as a villain things get crazy. But nothing can keep a good Jughead down. Except perhaps a lack of cheeseburgers.
Without a doubt the best part about this entire book is it’s lead character. Jughead, despite his many decades of comic presence, still feels like such a refreshing protagonist to read about. He is friendly, laid back, always thinking about his friends, and his sense of fulfillment is only limited by how full his stomach is. I love that comics as a medium has grown over the years into an art form that addresses serious issues in society and culture. My favorite comics series of last year devoted its entire story to it. But, perhaps because of this growth, I truly appreciate characters who can just be fun and happy. Grace does an excellent job breathing this refreshing energy into every interaction Jughead has throughout this book. It is truly a joy to read.
While Jughead may steal the show Grace still surrounds him with an equally fun group of support characters. From the good natured time cop January McAndrews, evil other timeline Jughead, and even good old Archie himself, all the characters in this story feed into the fun and energy that overflows the pages of this book.
The art in Jughead’s Time Police does a fantastic job of capturing all the different times, places and characters it brings along for the adventure. Charm’s art is perfect for this story. Delivering fun, well laid out panels allowing the reader to effortlessly enjoy the story being told. But perhaps Charm’s greatest triumph is in his versatility. By the end of the story there is a bit of timeline crossing happening. As characters interact with characters from different timelines Charm manage’s to represent them all with styles that make them distinct but still feeling like they belong in the book. His work to make all these different designs mesh together instantly reminded me of Into the Spiderverse.
The coloring job done by Herms is the final touch to the wonderful art presentation in Jughead’s Time Police. The brightness and fun of it’s story is fully embraced here. Bright colors, and strong contrasts make every panel pop. It’s a perfect storm of artistic talent.
Even the letter work by Morelli stood out at times. Throughout the book word bubbles are always well placed, so as never to obscure the action going on. I also repeatedly noticed how the the dialogue bubbles are often partially behind objects and persons in the panels. These moments never obscured words, but kept the rest of the bubble from covering up art. Maybe I’ve just never noticed letterers using this trick before but I absolutely loved seeing it employed here.
The only place where Jughead’s Time Police really stumbled for me was in some of its attempts at humor. While some are giggle worthy and reinforced its fun, other moments just fell flat. Perhaps this is also due to my reading it in a collected state as opposed to monthly release. Individually I can see each issue having the right amount of intentionally dorky moments. While reading them one after another kind of became a little much.
When all is said and done though I truly enjoyed my time with Jughead’s Time Police. If one approach’s this comic with the expectations of the style of story the name suggests I think they won’t be disappointed. A fun colorful adventure is delivered by the creative team that will take readers to the 29th century and beyond! (or before? Time travel is confusing…)
Jughead’s Time Police is available January 22nd wherever comics are sold.
Jughead’s Time Police
A fun colorful adventure is delivered by the creative team that will take readers to the 29th century and beyond!