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Library Journal★ 09/15/2014
Not parody but serious drama, this graphic novel casts off the typical Archie comic lightheartedness and goes deep into the gut. The art by Francavilla (The Black Beetle) carries this with black/red tones throughout and a gruesome face on the cover that can, unfortunately, only be Jughead's. The cartoonish big eyes are gone, and all characters are drawn with subdued and edgy realism. Upset over a rivalry with Moose for Midge's affections, Reggie runs over Jughead's dog. The distraught Jughead enlists teen witch Sabrina to bring the dead mutt back to life, but the dog reanimates as a zombie and bites his master. As a now-grisly Jughead and his pet spread the plague throughout Riverdale, all the teenagers' petty feuds and buried secrets come out of the closet, and they turn on one another in fear. Only Archie keeps his head and heart, trying to save as many lives as he can. VERDICT Paired with Francavilla's dead-on illustrations, the excellent writing from Aguirre-Sacasa (The Stand) brings constant surprises while confronting the dilemma of remaining humane through crisis. This story line skews older than other Archie titles and is best for teen through adult readers.—M.C.