Now I may not have read Jughead: The Hunger, but I was someone who read Vampironica from start to finish. Vampironica was a book that may have left you with some conflicting feelings. That was why I couldn’t help but anticipate this book that would open us up to a new chapter in Veronica’s life as a vampire. Especially now that we are learning she is not as cured as she thought. Which begs to question, how? How does a vampire go about their normal life without knowing that they are still a part of the undead?
We got our answer pretty fast, but still I couldn’t help but feel unsatisfied. There’s absolutely no way to hide that someone is a vampire. Not when vampires only drink blood, when they will have triggers for their transformations, when they will always have some sensitivity to sunlight. Unless there is some trinket or spell, it’s hard to ignore the fact that this is close to impossible, even in the realm of fantasy. If there was a proper explanation, I could roll with it, but we did not get much of that.
What I appreciated about this second issue was the way it eased those of us unfamiliar with the world of Jughead: The Hunger into his story. I’ll admit that they have done wonderful things on that end because it’s not only a Riverdale where werewolves exist. Hunters exist, Frankenmoose, and apparently more. It was interesting how from the introduction of Jughead we began to transition into the plot for this crossover. The big question for the plot was what would drive this conflict between Jughead and Veronica. As we know with these stories, there tends to be a formula. These stories are versus, but the clash only really happens upon first contact. After that, they begin asking the right questions about one another, and then they join forces to take on the bigger threat. How they approached this was where you found redemption past the unsatisfactory Veronica situation. Nothing as straightforward as you would have assumed, which is a plus. What we got was an interesting merging of two worlds on top of wheels already set in motion. Entertaining actually because Jughead and company have been there and done that, yet still couldn’t believe that their next big problem was vampires. That did make the build-up to the reveal exciting if you ask me.
I actually found the characters from Jughead’s world a lot more engaging. All of them so contrasting to what you are used to from them. Betty Cooper as this hunter who both swears a lot and is very comfortable with the supernatural world. An Archie who plays more of the middleman with humorous reactions to what goes on around him. Then you have Jughead who you would expect to be more front center and aggressive, but somehow still doesn’t seem to fully understand what is and what he can do.
The artwork for this book impressed me between the first issue and this second. When it comes to books like this, you tend to worry most about the quality of the interior art. That usually tells you what kind of story you’re in store for. Fortunately, this was an art team that is seasoned with the horror theme. Great atmosphere, expressive characters, and kept to the appeal of unique panel layouts. For having multiple artists as well, I was impressed that you couldn’t tell too much that the styles were switching up. That would have been a big problem to notice as changes too big can create distractions. One thing with the colors that grabbed my attention the most was how blood spats were handled. I thought it was clever to make it a shade of red which always stood out without overtaking a scene. Just enough here and there to create a sense of horror for said moment.
It was hard to say if this was a crossover worth investing in after the events of the first issue, but Jughead: The Hunger vs. Vampironica #2 does a better job of creating investment in what this story has to offer. There’s still some questions that need to be answered about the twist to Vampironica’s story. However, they made up for this for now by taking advantage of the fleshed out world of Jughead: The Hunger and it’s engaging cast of characters.