Friday, April 17, 2015

REVIEW: Archie vs Predator #1 of 4

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Script: Alex de Campi
Pencils: Fernando Ruiz
Inks: Rich Koslowski
Colors: Jason Millet
Review: Art Bee

I recently made the comment that nothing good is coming out of Dark Horse comics. Archie vs. Predator seems to steer that comment into slightly wrong territory. It was by chance I even laid eyes on this comic while at my LCBS, Comics Cubed. I was in a rush to get my other errands done and get back in time to pick up my child from school. The awesome cover of this issue drawn by Eric Powell just stopped me. The Predator was drawn well, holding the decapitated head of Jughead and standing over a burger.

You have to understand my stance on the Riverdale gang. When I was a child my interest in comics began with Fantastic Four and Star Wars. Unfortunately, my ass of a father took that as me wanting to read Archie like he had for years and dumped bunches on me. For a while my comic interest died in Riverdale. Until I was older and buying my own comics, the thought of purchasing an Archie comic just about made me puke, but the thought of Predator tearing through the Riverdale gang just lit me up inside.

I have to hand it to Alex de Campi; she has done a great job on the story thus far. A stage for maximum carnage has been set without trampling on preexisting work. At the start of the book the whole Riverdale gang is trying to decide how to spend their Spring Break, such a horrible dilemma for these troubled eternal teenagers. Cheryl and her brother Jason brag about yachting in the Caribbean, and about that moment Jughead tears a bag of chips open and wins a trip to a tropical beach paradise for all. What a setting for some prey to go and get hunted, right? Nope. I will not spoil that twist for you, but let me just say that this is not going to be a jungle or urban hunting ground.

This book was enjoyable and a couple of panels made me laugh, but the real enjoyment came from the bright, colorful artwork. Ruiz, Koslowski, and Millet intertwine their talents well. The thermal imaging artistry was done fairly well, and it was nice to see that the Predator could not pick whether he thought Betty or Veronica was prettier.

The following will be said without spoiling the comic: I think it was dumb on pages 19 and 20 that the Predator has made two kills and strung up over the group, and even though blood is dripping on them none of the gang looks up or mentions it at all. That is just unbelievable even in the world of make-believe. The dripping blood should have been left out completely.

My firm philosophy of comic books is the writer is the backbone of the comic. Artwork can be perfect and spectacular, but without a good story and direction, no one will be interested. De Campi is doing a great job lately. Last week No Mercy #1 (Image) really enthralled me with the story setup. Before these two issues came out Alex de Campi was unknown to me, but this is one writer to watch. She has a very attractive website at

Archie vs. Predator will be a mini-series I am going to have to follow. My hope is that the great hunter thins the herd in Riverdale. The only ones I hope survive are Jughead, Reggie, and Betty. That’s right! I am a Betty man. Veronica is just too full of herself. I just hope Predator is not vulnerable to dramatics and teenage whining.

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