By Brandy Dykhuizen and Arpad Okay. Our Week In Review collects our thoughts on the comics that demand attention. Do you have a deep-rooted desire to know what we think about all your favorite books? Well. This is where you need to be.
Written by Chip Zdarsky.
Artwork by Derek Charm.
Lettered by Jack Morelli.
AOK: Chip Zdarksy made Jughead a better character. The life and times of Forsythe P. Jones III somehow transformed into a social how-to: how to deal when your best friend is being a total Archie. (Re: horny, well-meaning, kind of stupid.) Archie was and always will be the crown king of teenage drama, but Jughead? He’ll always be indifferent to what plagues his buddy. But while past Jugheads could care less because they were busy looking out for number one (and possibly a cheeseburger), Zdarsky has penned a new zen Jug who is detached simply because he is over it. He’s moving on from being a kid and there’s Archie, falling flat on his face running to keep up.
Think of Jughead as a book for those of us who find Archie’s behavior tiresome instead of compelling.
“All I wanted to do is kiss cute girls in the woods but that’s how teens get killed in horror movies! This is all my fault!” Archie is half right, as the boys find themselves lost in the woods, caught in a Riverdale Cape Fear — not exactly the Friday the 13th Archie is so worried about, but no less scary. Well, not too scary. It’s more of a light and zany Cape Fear between Principal Weatherbee and a throwback Reggie variant (the real gold is Mrs. Weatherbee, another random throwaway character, but one who turns the whole story upside-down in four panels).
Derek Charm handling both the illustration and color makes the simplicity in his style pop with focus. His work has a touch of Toei teen team, but with angles instead of curves, modern instead of retro. Just right for Archie Comics. Charm will continue on Jughead past this issue, which sadly wraps up Chip’s run. The writer leaves Jughead a better book than anyone ever thought it could be. His vision achieved. A send-off fit for a Forsythe. Mr. Zdarsky, we shall miss ye.
8 out of 10
The Bounty #2
Dark Horse Comics/$3.99
Written by Kurtis Wiebe.
Illustrated by Mindy Lee.
Colors by Leonardo Oler.
Letters by Nate Piekos.
BD: In search of their next bounty, Nina and Georgie descend into the rubbly dystopia of Bedouin City, a scrappy locale that seems to hold a repressed memory or two. After a selfie-seeking street urchin posing as a fan sends an image of them to alert the bounty to their presence, the mission goes sideways and all hell breaks loose. Not only does the bounty, a cold eyed mountain of a man named Oscar, escape, but Nina finds herself deep in N’atari territory, which bodes well for neither her physical safety nor her emotional well-being.
Past lives come bubbling to the surface as a few of the Gadflies’ secrets are exposed – this is definitely not their first time on Bedouin soil, where their last visit left quite a footprint and everyone on pretty shaky terms. Kurtis Wiebe employs a steady flow of carefree wit and light banter as the sisters and their friends keep their cool during hostage situations and tough encounters with faces from their past. Mindy Lee keeps things buoyant and trippy with the characters’ fashion-forward pop punk aesthetic and faces full of wide-eyed exaggeration.
Overall, The Bounty is a sweet, snappy foray into a seedy world in which everything seems just a little too cute for us to buy that “badass” brand these sisters are going for. However, they’re constantly rewriting the rules and flipping the script, so who knows what tricks they may surprise us with next time. Still locked in, still enjoying The Bounty.
6.5 out of 10
From earlier this week —
Agree? Disagree? What books are YOU reading this week? We want to know! Tell us about those feelings of yours in the comments section below.