Review - Jughead's Time Police #1 (@ArchieComics)

"But all I did was use margarine instead of butter..."

Anything with the name "Archie" on it is an interesting proposition because more than likely it'll have some new twist on familiar characters. Those twists take a lot of liberties with established norms and Jughead's Time Police #1 from Archie Comics is certainly no exception. The issue is written by Sina Grace, illustrated by Derek Charm, colored by Matt Herms and lettered by Jack Morelli.

When Jughead messes up his Riverdale Annual Bake-Off pie recipe so terribly, he is disqualified and banned from all future Bake-Offs! Jug goes to unthinkable lengths to fix his error: time travel! Even Riverdale's most erudite teenager can't manage the delicate dance of going back in time, and poor Juggie lands himself in an epic battle to keep the time stream intact!

Jughead has by and large been a character of comic relief for Archie and crew--something that Grace leans on heavily in Jughead's Time Police #1. The series revolves around the notion that Jughead invents a way to travel through time which basically throws any sense of realism out the window, but it works for a character like Jughead. Grace writes the characters with something of a nod to the entirety of their defining traits; for instance, Archie is part-part cool, part-dork, Betty is very strong-willed and Veronica is more socialite. These personalities have worked for decades and Grace has them clicking here to full effect as well, working in plenty of dialogue that's amusing and engaging. The ending of the issue is something of a left turn, which is saying something considering most of the issue involves Jughead solving time travel to make his perfect pie.

Charm's illustrations are concise and very well-done as the characters sport younger, more stylized versions of themselves that give the book a good sense of youth. Charm's linework feels like a perfect fit for the characters, in that it effortlessly captures their expressions in reaction to one another. There's a simplicity to Charm's approach that just feels right for the book, tapping into the general mentality that Archie books generally carry with them. The panels are laid out in a way that's a nod to Archie comics of the past, as pages ebb and flow with panels that are for the most part arranged fairly cleanly. Herms' colors are emphatic, ensuring that the defining color palettes of the characters aren't lost on the reader.

Jughead's Time Police #1 is a completely harmless and enjoyable first issue that doesn't seek to revolutionize anything. Jughead is determined to right his own wrong in the past with the hope that it restores his future as a pie-baking entrant. Grace's script is witty and amusing, carrying with it a very moderate pace that doesn't rush anything. Charm's illustrations are the perfect match for the Archie universe as it's just lighthearted enough. Jughead's Time Police #1 is another fine entry in the Archie universe that imagines the characters in yet another way.

Jughead's Time Police #1 is available now.