Jughead’s Time Police #3-5
Derek Charm (Art and Covers), Sina Grace (Writing); Matt Herms (Coloring) Rebekah Isaacs with Matt Herms (Covers), Ryan Jampole (Cover), Jack Morelli (Lettering); Darick Robertson with Matt Herms (Cover), Dan Schkade with Matt Herms (Cover), Brent Schoonover (Cover), Greg Smallwood (Cover)
August 17th, 2019-October 17th, 2019
It’s been awhile since we’ve checked in with Mr. Jones and his future-based compatriots; and it turns out a lot has been happening over the last few issues.
It turns out that the Jughead January has been helping — and dating — considers the Jughead we’ve been following an ‘evil’ counterpart, and the two of them have been scheming together to neutralize him. The Jughead from this timeline escapes by jumping into the timestream. First to Hamberg in 1847, where the first hamburger was invented, and then when he’s nearly captured by the time police, to the far-flung future, where he spends time with an elderly version of himself. January is beyond disturbed by the amount of damage Jughead might be doing to the timestream — and concerned about her own Jughead’s dismissive, sexist cruelty. With the timelines falling apart and the very universe at stake, a shocking twist will settle the fates for once and for all and lead to a brawl among all of the Jugheads.
There are a lot of terrific things about this Jughead’s Time Police — from Derek Charm’s knowing, cartoony art, which pays tribute to ’50s era Archie comics while also winking at the comic’s present state, to the extremely great writing by Sina Grace.
But I have to admit that I found January’s characterization a little bit disappointing. In the previous Jughead’s Time Police she was tough and authoritative, a perfect counterpoint to Jughead’s laid back behavior. Here, she’s been made a fool by love and takes four issues to catch on to the fact that the guy she’s dating – you know, the sexist, rude asshole – is trying to take over the existence of every single Jughead in existence because he hated the way his own timestream was working out for him. She could be naive back in the day, but not this naive. The fact is that she doesn’t get to do nearly enough in the series, and the Time Bandits that were introduced so promisingly in issue #2 have next to nothing to do with how the series ends. All of the individual Jughead scenes are great, but I did have a problem with this.
There’s some really wonderful lines sprinkled throughout both issues. I loved Jughead calling ice cream a ‘multipurpose wonder’ as he used a large milkshake statue to block an entrance way. I loved the way the book mashes together all of the various different Archieverse properties (to reveal too much of why and how would ruin the surprising plot of the book) but everyone from the ‘40’s era Jughead who engineers the chaos, to the werewolf Jughead who becomes his ultimate weapon. And there’s a special celebrity cameo that throws the right handful of cheese into the works at the best possible way when it really ought not to.
Overall, Jughead’s Time Police works on a lighthearted level, but there were a few troublesome spots that stuck with me. Yet that didn’t stop me from devouring it at light speed.