Jughead’s Time Police #2
Derek Charm (cover/art), Sina Grace (writing), Erica Henderson (cover), Matt Herms (coloring), Jack Morelli (lettering), Rosario “Tito” Peńa (covers)
July 17th, 2019
Here’s some news: Jughead’s Time Police is slowly beginning to eclipse the dark fantasy of Archie’s horror line to claim my heart. It’s a fun, snappy and zesty piece of work, and it’s surprising in ways you wouldn’t expect it to be.
When we last left Jughead Jones, he’d managed to fail in his quest to return to the past and get his ban from the Riverdale Pie Contest rescinded. Worse, he and Archie managed to create a divergent timeline when they bumped into their past selves. Now he’s face to face with January McAndrews of the Time Police, and she wants him to come along to right what’s been wronged.
In the future, it transpires that Jughead is a famous scientist and is worshiped as a cultural icon. He finds it far more impressive that there’s a food mall in the future Riverdale. But when he and Jan are accosted by a group of Time Bandits, Jughead must step up to save the day.
Jughead’s Time Police continues to be a really charming alternate universe: weird, but weird in the best way possible, with lots of interesting ideas to be had. The future Riverdale is done up in lots of pinks and neons and seen exclusively at night in this issue—something fresh and different from its usual sunny daytime landscapes of Riverdale’s present, where it seems to be eternally summer. There’s some fun action-laden panels, with soaring Back to the Future-inspired sequences that work on their own merits.
Jughead is kept in-character no matter how far into the future he’s been flung. More often than not, he’s simply an overwhelmed teenager trying to grapple with the fact that he’s this hugely famous person in the future—though he has fun moments of heroism and is as hungry as ever, that’s his baseline, and it’s believable.
Jan is the interesting mystery here. Parts of her character jibe with what we knew of her from the series’ original run back in the ’90s, but there are plenty of new twists to her background that make her a curious and fresh addition to the series. She’s strong but good at teamwork, excitable but sly. Her final panel in this issue provides a great needle scratch moment for me. I wasn’t entirely expecting it even though some clues had been sewn through the issue. And I sincerely hope that we’re going to learn more about the Time Bandits, so far the only major characters of color in the series.
The issue’s team continues to work smoothly together to provide an attractive overall package, from Sina Grace’s clever and emotional writing to Derek Charm’s art, which bounces from elastic, cartoony energy to spooky moments to nervy action. Jack Morelli’s lettering definitely deserves extra praise for being creative and adding extra punch to the writing. Everything works well in Jughead’s Time Police. You’ll have as much fun reading it as they clearly did creating it.