comic review

Archie vs Predator issue #3 review


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.

Lady Killer issue #5 review


Lady Killer issue #5 of 5

Story: Joëlle Jones & Jamie S. Rich
Art: Joëlle Jones
Colours: Laura Allred

It is the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962 and despite all the excitement in the city, hit-ladies Josie and Ruby have bigger, deadlier things on their minds. Last issue the two bonded with each other over a common cause: wanting out of their contracts with their lives. This is only obtainable if they take out their former colleague Peck and boss Mr Steinholm.

In their ultra-classy World’s Fair worker disguises (which are like a cross between Jackie Kennedy and Pam Air flight attendants), the two head out into the fair to take control of their fates. As suspected, it appears as though Mother Schuller knows more than she lets on when she recognises Josie’s mysterious accomplice Irving Reinhardt.

The final fight is pretty intense, and things really go awry when things don’t quite go as planned. Twice Josie is pulled away from a major kill to be directed elsewhere. Each time she puts utter trust into her cohorts despite her intuition causing her to pause. Josie leaves not entirely sure of the outcome of the battle, but when she’s caught covered in blood by Mother Schuller, she leaves to join her family. This scene is a symbol for what the entire series stood for. While Josie is good at what she does and generally enjoys it, there are people that count on her that she is willing to sacrifice and leave everything for. In mid-century America, that choice is a luxury not many women would have been allowed to make, but making that decision gives her all the more power.

As the last issue closes, it is clear that something more is waiting for Josie, but that’s for another time. Issue #5 was an incredible closing to the series. The art was as moving as always, Jones out did herself again. The dialogue was kept to a minimum to show off the intense fighting, and it worked all the better for it. The same probably has continued throughout the series, though, that it was almost too big of a story for such a short run. There were many characters that were worth exploring further that never really got developed, but thankfully there was always enough of Josie’s character to really keep things alive.

In Rich’s closing letter, he states that he will no longer be a part of the future of the series as he leaves to be a senior editor of Vertigo. But this does confirm there is in fact more in store for Josie. After the huge success of this book it is entirely unsurprising there is more coming from the utterly magnificent Jones. If the future is to carry on in the same spirit of this extremely enjoyable five issue run, there is so much to look forward to.

Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight Issue #1: Bee Vixens from Mars


Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight Issue #1 – Bee Vixens from Mars

Script: Alex De Campi
Art: Chris Peterson 
Colors: Nolan Woodard
Cover art: Francesco Francavilla

This weekend Dark Horse had a “women in comics” sale where women-created or women-centric comics were all 99 cents. So of course I went mad and bought the entire series of Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight. I’ve long been a fan of the gruesome and gory. And what this first issue delivers is definitely gruesome. The entire series is eight-issues long, split into several different stories arcs.

The first issue opens with a series of…voluptuous drawings by Chris Peterson. The honey and bee motif is definitely strong throughout the panels. It’s over the top and dripping with sensuality.

The story follows police officers Jimmy and his eye-patch wearing, motorcycle-riding partner Garcia as they investigate a dead body they found in a car by the road. The boy’s body is torn apart by something, or rather, someone and not much of him is left other than some suspicious lipstick marks. While investigating the scene, Jimmy is attacked by what appears to be a giant bee-woman. Although he survives the attack, Jimmy goes missing later that night and neither his wife or partner know where he’s gone.


There are police protocols to be followed, but Garcia isn’t a woman to sit around and wait. Garcia decides to take matters into her own hands, taking the hive out herself, but will she survive the wrath of the killer bees?

Grindhouse theatres usually showed exploitation films, and in the 70s that often meant slasher films. That is what this Dark Horse series captures, and with plenty of style. It feels like an old school horror film with explicit yet cool visuals. This is a niche comic that will likely only appeal to fans of the genre (or those at least curious about B-moves).

Garcia is definitely a cool character, and this is a great first book when it comes to suspense – not much is given away as to the villain yet but there are not-too-subtle hints being dropped about what’s going in the hive. But thankfully this is just a short-form horror comic because there isn’t enough to love to keep it going beyond four issues. If possible, get Officer Garcia her own comic – now. Because eye-patches and motorcycles are cool.

The story is not terribly cutting edge, but it’s definitely fun for those who really dig this specific style. A word of warning: not to be picked up by the faint of heart.