Archie

Archie vs Predator issue #3 review

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Script: Alex de Campi
Pencils: Fernando Ruiz
Inks: Rich Koslowski
Colours: Jason Millet

Cover: Gisele with Maria Victoria Robado

“More victims! More mutilations! MORE MILKSHAKES!”

Riverdale is doomed. Or it certainly seems like it will be in issue three of Dark Horse’s Archie vs Predator series.

Archie and his pals are still on the run from the elusive predator, and not too many of them left. Their plan to destroy the creature didn’t go as planned, leaving all of Riverdale’s best muscle scattered in the once-quaint streets. Issue #3 opens with Jughead rejoining the team, still dressed as the Veronica decoy. He has to deliver the bad news, which brings out some of the most Archie-esque banter of the series.

The group splits, not wanting to be around the certainly-doomed Veronica behind, leaving only the core group of characters left. Certainly they will all survive, right? Unfortunately, unlike last issue where it seemed uncertain who could survive, readers know no one will. What was shocking before felt a bit repetitive this time around. Being bored watching classic, beloved characters die probably wasn’t the goal.

The trip to the AV room goes pretty much as expected, minus one trick left up Dilton’s sleeve. But with the Predator fast approaching, someone needs to stand up as the ultimate hero of the series. Last review, Betty was the queen of taking control while Archie acted like a massive dolt. But de Campi brought the best out in him this issue, as he was finally becoming the hero he is often seen as in the original comics. This is called AvP for a reason.

The art is delightful as ever. The cover by Maria Victoria Robado and Gisele is so good. The delightful juxtaposition of an iconic Archie look with the horrific predator just about sums up the entire feel of the comic. Balancing the line between an all-out bloodfest and keeping the fun appeal of the characters has to be tough, but the creators have found a balance that has really led to a fun almost b-movie camp type of entertainment.

So far this series has been a lot of fun. It doesn’t take itself too seriously because it really can’t – its so silly and sometimes brutally gruesome. It isn’t better than Afterlife with Archie, but it could never be. Thankfully it never tries to be. But there is plenty of action sure to come with next month’s issue. The fate of our heroes is not certain, but one thing is: the conclusion is sure to be one hell of a ride.

Archie vs Predator #4 is out July 15.

Archie vs Predator issue #2 review

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Archie vs Predator #2 of 4

Script: Alex de Campi
Pencils: Fernando Ruiz
Inks: Rich Koslowski
Colours: Jason Millet
Cover: Dan Parent with Jason Millet

The first issue of Archie vs Predator played like a regular Archie comic in many ways: the usual cast of characters, the silly plot device (a bag of chips) and the usual predator. Okay, so a looming alien hunter is probably a slightly unusual visitor to Riverdale. But while the first issue held suspense for blissfully unaware teens, this issue let’s all Hell break loose.

The kids think they are returning back to Riverdale and normalcy, but the predator is on their trail. All this mayhem and bad luck is mostly Betty’s fault, as she stole the jaguar knife and cursed half the ladies in her high school. She and Veronica seek out a familiar name for some magical assistance. Actually, this series should be Betty vs Predator because this girl is kicking ass and leading the entire plot. This seems very typical of de Campi’s work (which is always twisted and fun).

Everything about this issue is both brutal and balmy. This series continues on being the best of each, even during the major battle scene at the end. Just beware: do not to read while eating because things can get pretty grim here. But the deaths are pretty fun and entertaining. These awful killings are great juxtapositions compared to the pleasant lives they though they were returning to in Riverdale.

Despite this heightened level of gore and violence, this will probably still appeal more to Archie fans than Predator ones. The motive for the juvenile specimen, when it is revealed, is bound to be more silly than sinister. But for those who love both – Archie vs Predator is a massive success. This issue really amped up the action that is bound to be a nice set-up for the last two issues.

As a side note, there are so many great variant covers for this series, it’s so difficult to choose every time I’m in the shop – though I have tended to go with the Archie-looking ones because they’re utterly hilarious.

Archie vs Predator #3 is out June 17th.