Archie vs. Predator #1
Penciller: Fernando Ruiz
Inker: Rich Koslowski
Colorist: Jason Millet
Archie et al. created by Bob Montana
Predator created by Jim Thomas, John Thomas, Stan Winston
Archie Comics may have a history of venturing into some really odd territory, but even by its standards a crossover with the Predator seems quite unexpected. The simple appeal of that character arises from the idea of an alien hunter searching for big game by traveling to Earth and deciding to go after humans. In the original movie, this well-armed extraterrestrial easily takes down a Delta Force unit making their way through a South American jungle. Much of its entertainment value comes from watching this group of he-men played by the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, and Jesse Ventura reduced to screaming like little girls while trying to escape an invisible bogeyman who's more testosterone-addled than all of them put together. Since then Dark Horse has paired the Predator against everything from the xenomorphs of the Aliens franchise to the iconic Justice League America. With a track record of such formidable opponents, what exactly does the cast from Riverdale High offer as potential prey?
Apparently, they have a lot to offer our would-be killer. The comic is drawn in the traditional house style and presented in the publisher's classic humor format. Archie Andrews and what feels like the entire Riverdale student body are spending spring break at an exotic beach resort. But while the usual teenage hijinks occur, they're being stalked unseen by the Predator. If it weren't for this disturbing presence and one rather gory scene, the story would look like a conventional Archie comic. The beach vacation-inspired plot elements are fairly unoriginal, the humor is rather forced, and the cast's behaviour is pretty over-the-top. The boys talk and act like horny twelve year olds. And the rivalry between Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge spills over into physical violence, which is what actually draws the Predator to them.
What exactly is it that he sees and approves of? Does he admire their fighting style? Is he attracted to their taste in clothes or horrified by it? Is he some kind of peeping tom? Does he believe targeting the two is some form of public service? Is he fed up with the Archie-Betty-Veronica love triangle? Or is he seeking a change in pace? And what's up with the emojis? Whatever the reason, it looks like a lot more people are going to die, preferably in ways both funny and appropriate for each character.