Archie vs. Predator #3 and #4
Penciller: Fernando Ruiz
Inker: Rich Koslowski
Colorist: Jason Millet
Letters: John Workman
Archie et al. created by Bob Montana
Predator created by Jim Thomas, John Thomas, Stan Winston
The Predator kicked off his killing spree of Riverdale's populace by disposing off its most peripheral members, then made short work of the entire cast until only a quintet composed of Archie Comics' core characters remained. In the final two issues, the pace slows down as the remaining survivors hide, take stock, make plans, or start freaking out. It's as introspective as a traditional Archie Comics publication gets. Plot logic goes out the window as the zaniness ramps up. Take Riverdale's resident science nerd/inventor Dilton Doiley. How does he deal with the prospect of being murdered by an unstoppable alien big game hunter? Turns out he's been building a high-tech Archie-themed suit of armor on school grounds all this time. So now is probably as perfect an occasion to reveal his newest creation, save what's left of the town and hopefully impress the girls.
This is all sorts of crazy, yet it's probably what would happen to anyone else if they were the only nebbish trapped in a world which revolved around a freckle-faced teenage boy and offered no other role models as viable alternatives. Just like those dystopian stories Lord of the Flies, Battle Royale, The Hunger Games, etc. which are all the rage at present, all drama is reduced to the petty rivalries of adolescence, only carried out to its bloody extreme.
The difference here is that the students of Riverdale High are decidedly more wholesome even when they have no reason to be. No one becomes too mean-spirited. No one turns on each other. Not even the vain and self-centered Veronica Lodge, who would be the first to sell out her companions to the Predator if this story took place in any other universe. She gets to have her own heroic turn when the chips are down, and eventually gives mad props to her perpetual rival Betty Cooper. As for Jughead Jones, he's a true best friend who's just way too distracted by the constant need to fill his own stomach. And main man Archie Andrews is a genuinely nice, but largely ineffectual, protagonist. Heck, even the Predator of the series is basically another insecure teenager who wants to be like Archie, through his own sociopathic means off course.
Which is pretty much what happens in its most messed up version. The Predator is the wholly exotic bad boy who rides into an insular community and proceeds to upset the status quo in the worst way possible. He tries so hard to catch the attention of the prettiest girl in school while facing down the cliquish student body. He succeeds, after a fashion, but at a personal cost so high it wrecks himself and the object of his affections. That’s just the mundane horror of life in high school school.