Jughead’s Time Police #1
Tyler Boss, Derek Charm, Francesco Francavilla, Robert Hack with Kelly Fitzpatrick, Tracy Yardley (Covers); Derek Charm (Art); Sina Grace (Writing); Matt Herms (Coloring); Jack Morelli (Lettering)
June 12th, 2019
The original 1990s version of Jughead’s Time Police was a cult classic in which Jughead Jones, gifted with a magic beanie, finds himself named a member of the Time Police, fated to bounce through the continuum trying to keep things from fouling up. It felt like those old Saturday morning cartoons where well-known pop culture characters (Josie and the Pussycats! Yogi Bear! The Partridge Family!) were marooned in space like a bunch of lost Robinsons—a lot of fun, but super lightweight. This brand new reboot of the series keeps this sense of light fun and adds some really good art from Derek Charm to make a book that’s a lot of fun to read.
Jughead gets so caught up in sipping milkshakes and bird-dogging Archie and Veronica’s date at Pops’ that he forgets to go shopping for the Riverdale Pie Contest. Without the right supplies he tries to make the Pendleton Family Lemon Meringue Pie and without listening to the directions replaces lemon juice with fish oil. He unsurprisingly finds himself banned from the contest for life. For aspiring baker Jug, this cannot stand. There’s only one thing he can do to stop this nightmarish turn of events from occurring: ask Dilton to help him reverse time so he can avoid that fateful disqualification. But Dilton and Jughead’s invention results in Archie and Jughead being zapped back in time, and while they land in the right place, the two of them have to do some fast footwork to keep ahead of their past selves and a suspicious Betty.
There’s something really delightful about Jughead’s Time Police that manages to keep the gentle fun of the Archie series alive while introducing modern sensibilities and a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor. Sina Grace’s writing is so much fun, striking the right note between wholesome and campy. (My favorite bit of dialogue, as Jug breaks a promise to Archie: “Sorry, Arch—I love you like that Queen guy loves his car, but I really can’t risk messing up twice.”) Hot Dog—Jughead’s pet pooch—gets a lot of particularly dry and funny lines as he silently comments on the ongoing ridiculousness.
The art style is really wonderful and creative. As was highly touted in the pre-press, the Archie gang is drawn in the style of their Riverdale TV show counterparts for this series, and seeing broody Cole Sprouse as Jughead whip up pies instead of dealing with endless ennui with his floppy hair is both a hoot and causes some mild dissonance. Charm’s lines are crisp and well-defined, and the page layouts are eye-catching. All credit to Matt Herms’ coloring work as well. Shadows pop and the sunny world of Riverdale—as well as the phantasmagorical blues and whites of time travel—stand out memorably.
This issue ends on a big cliffhanger that suggests the adventure is just beginning. Thankfully, the charming set-up of Jughead’s Time Police ensures that readers will want to keep following along. To quote Hot Dog: “Okay, I’m intrigued!”