Written by Sina Grace
Art by Derek Charm,
Matt Herms, Jack Morelli
Published by Archie Comics
Jughead’s Time Police seems an odd concept to revisit at this time in Archie’s history.
Come to think of it, Jughead’s Time Police was a pretty odd concept when it debuted back in the 1980s as well.
At least that original version had Jughead as we knew and loved him, one of THE great and most original comic book characters of all time.
This version unfortunately sticks us with a slightly cartoonier variation on the more realistic Riverdale characters of recent years.
Thus we have a Jughead that’s unrecognizable except for the crown and his preternatural eating abilities.
We’re even asked to believe that he could invent time travel, in a relatively short period, with a little help from Dilton…or is that supposed to be Scoony-Doo’s pal, Velma?
The best part of the book is that we are reintroduced to one of my personal favorite characters, January McAndrews, timecop! Even then, though, expectations are undermined when we see she’s not quite who and what she tells us she is.
In fact, she’s teamed up with the more traditional Jughead, with the nose you can see coming from around the corner. He is, of course, drawn in the even cartoonier DeCarlo/Parent style which is a huge contrast to January and the rest of the characters. And he isn’t what he seems either!
Further down the line, we even see more versions of Juggie, all drawn the way he looked in the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s, and 2000s, and all looking somewhat ridiculous in light of the more or less straight artwork of the rest of the story.
I’m glad they made the effort, as Jughead’s Time Police, as odd as it could be, was quite enjoyable back in its day. This is evidenced by the much more entertaining reprint from the original run that pops up at the end of this graphic novel collection of the newer one.
In between, we get a gallery of variant cover art, my favorite being the one from Francesco Francavilla.
Overall, the whole book is a very nice collection but I really could never recognize the protagonist as being Jughead. Fans of the more recent Archie output might enjoy it but they’re just as likely to be confused by all the alternate versions of Jughead.
In the end, I’m not sure who this book was for. I just know it wasn’t for me.