Jughead Jones has always had an insatiable hunger that has turned him into something of a local legend in the small town of Riverdale, but what if something darker lurks behind it? Riverdale is being terrorised by a killer, known as the Riverdale Ripper. When Jughead wakes up covered in blood with no memory of the previous evening he goes his best friend, Archie for help. It turns out that Jughead is a werewolf, a curse that runs in his family. Betty's family, the Coopers, have been tracking and killing the Joneses for centuries.
Jughead: The Hunger is written by Frank Tieri (Civil War: War Crimes and Punisher Noir), with art by Matt Herms, Pat Kennedy and Tim Kennedy (The Death of Archie: A Life Celebrated). There are a few of these darker takes on the Archie universe, including the TV series Riverdale, with all its murder and intrigue, Afterlife With Archie, which features zombies, and Vampironica which speaks for itself. Afterlife With Archie actually managed to get a bit too dark and weird even for my taste, but Jughead: The Hunger has more of a campy vibe and doesn't take itself too seriously. There are parts of the plot, like Betty's back story, that don't make much sense if you think about them for more than five seconds, but if you can breeze on past those it's a fun ride. Warning- There is a lot of gore. I'm not sure why these werewolves are so into decapitation.
This book is not for people who are sentimental about the old Archie comics. Major characters die, and others behave a bit differently from the canonical versions of them. Betty is a badass warrior woman, who has been using Archie to get to Jughead (though perhaps still cares about him anyway?). Archie can handle himself in a fight, though he really doesn't want to go up against werewolves or hurt his best friend.
Betty in action.
Jughead: The Hunger Volume 1 is a quick, fun read for fans of relatively light-hearted supernatural horror. The story continues in Volume 2. Volume 1 also contains a bonus story that is the first issue of Vampironica.