• Archie Vs. Predator #2



    Archie Vs. Predator #2
    Released by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: May 20th, 2105.
    Written: Alex de Campi
    Art by: Fernando Ruiz
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    This second issue of Archie Vs. Predator beings in Riverdale where Archie is hanging out with Betty, Veronica and Jughead chowing down on some burgers. Typical Archie stuff, really. Just then, as Pop brings out a welcome home cake, they learn of Chery and Jason’s deaths… and then witness first hand Pop’s own demise! Moose calls 911 while Betty mutters to herself that she’s the one responsible for this. She knows what this is all about and convinces Veronica to accompany her to Greendale to visit Sabrina. Betty thinks she may have put a curse on certain people and wants to undo it.

    The girls arrive at Sabrina’s place, the guys left completely in the dark as to what they’re up to. Sabrina lets them in and after Betty explains about the Jaguar Curse, she gets to work in hopes of undoing it. Before that can happen, the Predator shows up and puts an end to Sabrina’s magick, and to Sabrina herself! Betty gets it all on video and reviews the footage while Veronica raids Sabrina’s closest, her own clothes ruined with the arterial spray that followed in the Predator’s wake. Veronica is pretty sure that the Predator is a ninja obsessed with them and decides the best course of action is to get all the guys and the cops in once place, show up as bait, and lure the hunter into the light where he can be taken care of. They send out a text and get everyone together but then General Keller shows up and after seeing Betty’s footage realizes exactly what it is that they are up against. It’s then that they change the plan and get Jughead to impersonate Veronica in hope of getting the Predator into the trap they set out to create…

    The humor you’d expect from an Archie comic is here and handled well – the best example being when Veronica asks Betty how she knows Sabrina’s name is ‘in all the voodoo books’ and we see just why Betty was reading voodoo books in the first place (we won’t spoil the gag). So too, however, is the blood and guts you’d want out of a Predator story, scattered throughout the book and highlighted early on by Pop getting his head blown off and splattered all over the kids and their cake! De Campi paces the book nicely, giving us plenty of the ‘Archie moments’ (the cattiness that exists between Betty and Veronica, Jughead’s love of food, Moose’s dumb comments and what not) and even a bit of character development in between the action and horror set pieces and it works nicely. The story even sexes things up a bit when Veronica changes at Sabrina’s house, playing up the exploitation movie elements she’s handled so deftly in her Grindhouse series but never taking it so far that we veer outside of standard Archie territory.

    Fernando Ruiz’s artwork is clean, slick and colorful. He draws the Archie characters as they should be, not deviating from the established style and working the Predator into their universe in the same manner. Meaning, the Predator looks like an Archie character here, he’s cartoony and not as realistic as he would be had this been a more traditional story. Rich Koslowski’s inking defines Ruiz’s pencil lines really nicely while Jason Millet’s coloring job really helps to keep the traditional pop art feel of the illustrations alive and kicking.

    This being the second issue of a four issue mini-series, it’s not a surprise nor a spoiler to note that this one ends with a big ol’ cliffhanger but even if it hadn’t there’s so much fun to be had here that you’d be left wanting more. Good stuff, a really fun read.