The Archie Horror Universe is one I really wanted to investigate once I started watching the series Riverdale. While I know the original Archie comics are a huge deal and a number of people cite them as their introduction to comics I kept hearing about the newer horror focused stories and felt possessed to find them. I decided to dip into the pool with a one shot that drew my eye.
Jughead The Hunger doesn’t tie into any other Archie Horror stories and has not only a werewolf, but a werewolf slayer. Riverdale has been tormented by a killer that’s been nicknamed the Riverdale Ripper. The latest victim, Miss Grundy, opens the story with her brutal beheading, which segues in a fabulously gruesome way to Jughead decimating an all you can eat buffet. While most of the gang is impressed Reggie tells him off and the two of them get into a brief fight, before they find out about the murder and head home. Jughead is feeling a bit sick, though he chalks it up to a bad clam, but we learn he’s been coping with some really weird changes.
He can smell people before he sees them, hear voices even when they’re far away, and his temper is shifting a lot closer to hair trigger than normal. Poor Dilton doesn’t even see it coming when Jughead shifts. In the morning he wakes up covered in blood and finds some leftovers hidden in his sheets. Panicked he rushes to Archie’s and learns his friend saw exactly what happened. Before they can figure out what to do Betty arrives rocking a very Buffy the Vampire Slayer inspired look and launches herself at Jug. She reveals their families are locked in an immortal feud. The Joneses are cursed and the Coopers have spent their entire lives hunting them down. As she pulls the gun Archie throws himself in front of Jughead. You’ll have to read the comic to find out just what happens next because it is too good to spoil for you.
The art in this comic by Michael Walsh was gorgeous. It played with colors in a way that was captivating and the use of red was a great connection point. I also thought that Jughead’s werewolf shifting scenes were the best I have ever seen. The story was also a really cool take on Riverdale and the connection between the friend group. This Betty was definitely nothing like her typical self. Based on this comic I’m definitely going to have to start reading more Archie Horror books. If you’ve read any let me know your suggestions and if you haven’t checked out this one shot you are missing out on a delightfully frightening read.
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