America’s favorite comic teen Archie comes face to face with one of the most deadly hunters in the universe, The Predator. Writer Alex De Campi (SEMIAUTOMAGIC) and artist Fernando Ruiz (ARCHIE COMICS) put together a crafty little “What If” tale that answers the question, what would happen if the Riverdale gang ever met The Predator. One thing for sure he’s not here to take Betty or Veronica out on a date. Who will survive?
Archie vs Predator begins after Jughead wins a luxury beach vacation courtesy of Tayto-Chips; the bunch find themselves in Costa Rica just in time for spring break. What they don’t know is an unexpected visitor has arrived there as well. As Archie and the group go about their usual teenage shenanigans, they’re unaware that they are being followed by thermal heat-seeking imaging utilized by their unknown observer. A short time later Archie and the crew decide to cut their vacation short and head back to Riverdale but not without a stowaway of sorts.
What comes next is a fantastic blend of the world of Riverdale and the dreadlock-sporting, technologically enhanced alien nightmare we know as The Predator. Campi crafts an outrageously well-done plot that combines great elements of horror, comedy, and teenage drama all into one. When I first read the title I said to myself that there’s no way that Campi is going to kill any of our main protagonists and I was surely wrong. Not only is no one safe in the book but the deaths that occur during the story are MORTAL KOMBAT fatality worthy.
Campi does an impressive job of keeping everything you love about both Predator and the entire Riverdale gang central to the story. Betty and Veronica still find time to fight over Archie, Jughead’s always hungry, and the remaining friends insert their usual witty punchlines. The Predator, on the other hand, has all his gadgets including infrared shoulder cannon, wrist blades — and it wouldn’t be complete if he didn’t at some point take off his mask. The story does get pretty violent at times with some shocking moments you would never expect to see in an Archie comic like people getting their heads ripped off with their spinal cords still attached.
Ruiz vs Predator
Ruiz delivers some pretty solid straight forward line work throughout most of the story. The panel segments where he switches to the Predators stalkerish heat imaging is pretty badass. A very memorable takeaway moment for myself was when the chef loses his head from the Predator’s laser cannon while he’s serving cake. Ruiz does a magnificent job of giving the panel a superb amount of shock value and leaving the reader and the characters all speechless.
In a nutshell, Archie vs Predator is a lot of fun provided you like both horror and comedy. The kill sequences are great, the plot is decent, and the pacing is right on point like a Predator film. Campi and Ruiz work well together and deserve a high five for putting together such an unlikely comic duo and making it work. Make sure to get your hands on this trade on digital or at your local comic shop.