Have you ever noticed that people have a default comic book genre? I'm convinced that people, when they want a good read, naturally gravitate towards one specific genre. For example, Jim loves crime noir, Matthew loves nostalgia and has a soft spot for every book from the 80s, and Thomm just love confrontation. I meant, a spirited discussion about people's inability to use gramar correctly.
Don't worry if you've never read a Jughead comic, the first issue quickly set the stage by introducing all the main characters and the plot. Riverdale H.S. has a new principal and according to Jughead he's turning everyone's favorite high school into a training school for spies! Or is Jughead just dreaming it and if it's true, how will Jughead avoid detention?
Zdarsky does a great job of updating Jughead for modern readers. From
the very first issue, the old style Jughead, Archie's goofy straight
man, is replaced by a Ferris Bueller-esque savant who manipulates the
system to maximum effect. I didn't think Zdarsky wouldn't be able to
keep it up for six issues but I was wrong. Each issue featured Jughead
thinking up some new and ever more creative way to torment the school's
new principal. I didn't think I would like Jughead as a lazy genius but
it fits perfectly.
That isn't to say Zdarsky doesn't do a great job of silly outside of the dreams in each issue. One of my favorite scenes is when Archie, Jughead and gang travel to the next town over and meet... Andi, Crownz and the gang???!!!!! It's played so straight that you can help but smile!
Finally, Erica Henderson does a perfect job on the art! Her loose style is perfectly suited for the material. She has a solid command of facial expressions which is necessary in a book without superheroes. I loved her sense of design, like this page in which Jughead learns to make hamburgers in home economics in order to "defeat" the evil principals nasty lunch menu. My only quibble was Betty. Henderson tried to make her an "every girl" to offset Veronica but she never quite nailed Bettie's look.
Overall, the new Jughead series was a fantastic read that will make you smile and laugh with it's good natured fun.