Archie vs. Predator #1
Story: Alex de Campi
Pencils: Fernando Ruiz
Inks: Rich Koslowski
Colors: Jason Millet
Letters: John Workman
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Man, comics can be a crazy thing sometimes. Remember when the Punisher swapped complexions with Wesley Snipes, or when Wonder Woman worked at a Taco Whiz? The spirit of new ideas can sometimes bring about the strangest bedfellows. It’s that same spirit that brought Archie Comics and Dark Horse together to publish the grudge match of the century, Archie vs. Predator.
Writer Alex de Campi opens the series with an actually feasible scenario where the paths of Riverdale’s most popular teens cross with the galaxy’s most feared game hunter. This first issue is Archie gang heavy as we join them on their Spring break vacation to a tropical island. As you know, a Predator only needs extreme heat and raging conflict to enjoy a vacation and no one has more angst than teens. AvP #1 reinforces the notion that there’s no bigger fight than two ladies squabbling over the same man. As Betty and Veronica have a tiff that cuts their vacation short, they’ll bring Riverdale back more than just a souvenir keychain.
The script is fun, full of zingers, and all the Jughead buffet loving goodness Archie comics are known for. AvP’s premise is surprisingly concise; instead of going off the rails with impossibility, the story actually feels like a plot from a Predator movie staring teenagers.
Fernando Ruiz’s pencils are full of cartoony heavy lines and over the top expressions. In short, it’s pop art at its best. Even the Predator looks pretty darn cute, which shouldn’t be a word normally used to describe him, but it fits here. For anyone thinking the Archie brand wouldn’t allow for the right level of gore; rest assured you’ll see the blood and guts in this opening chapter. Combine the illustration of these pages with solid color work by Jason Millet and a superb lettering design by John Workman and the book visually equates to smooth Saturday Morning fun.
Archie vs. Predator pulls the series back from the notion of “how can this be possible,” to damn I need to read this book. If the remaining issues ramp up the action on the set-up in found in these pages then it’s definitely one any reader can get behind.
Dear Dark Horse, I need an Arnold or Danny Glover cameo in this series. Thanks.