The Horror Honeys: Archie vs. Predator: Predator comes to Riverdale!

Archie vs. Predator: Predator comes to Riverdale!

A Comics Honey New Release Review by Shannon

Welcome to the JUNGLE -
Title: Archie Vs. Predator #1 of 4
Author: Alex De Campi
Artist:  Fernando Ruiz, Rich Koslowski, Jason Millet, John Workman 
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Released: April 2015

Artwork 5/5
Layout 5/5
Writing 5/5
Characters 5/5
Total: 5 out of 5!


America's favorite teen meets the galaxy's fiercest hunter! Archie and friends hit Costa Rica for Spring Break, where party games and beach games are soon replaced by the Most Dangerous Game! What mysterious attraction does the gang hold for the trophy-collecting Predator, and will the kids even realize they're in danger before it claims them all?

All right folks, I am working my way back into the Honey Hustle, with a new comic review and some small changes to the writing style of this article, one being the change of the rating system and two, a much less rigid structure of writing. 

Now, I know some of you are rolling your eyes thinking back to the Archie Meets Punisher series in the 90s, however after reading about the success of Afterlife with Archie and the Sabrina horror comics, I was feeling confident about it.

And it did not disappoint!

Artwork & Layout
Firstly, I would have to commend the artists involved in this book: Fernando Ruiz (Pencils), Rich Koslowski (inks), John Workman (letters) and Jason Millet (colours) for successfully blending the art style of Archie into a much more dynamic layout/composition of mainstream comics.

The characters look exactly the same as the original comics, however the changes in background design and composition of the panels make the world feel larger - the best way to explain this is that in Archie comics, they have particular rules about how the comics are drawn (example: heads are always at a 3/4 view) but when they adjusted the artwork for a different style of comics, it looks fresh and new! The artists also keep one of the elements that worked in the original comics: the classic comic layout with square/rectangle panels, white gutters, and left to right lettering, without trying anything fancy with the page design. 

Believe me, with all of the over-the-top panel arrangements in comics - its feels really good to read something with a simple layout design that doesn't give you a headache.

Huge kudos go out to writer, Alex De Campi (creator of Dark Horse Grindhouse comics), who did a wonderful job keeping the campiness of the Archie universe, combining it with the horror tension of Predator and little bits of exploitation glee thrown in.

... and a surprising amount of dirty humor!

The story in the first issue is Archie and the Gang win a trip to a tropical resort where the usual antics of the comics play out: Betty and Veronica are fighting for Archie's attention, Jughead's food fetish, Reggie's douchebaggery, etc- but now combined with a horror movie setting, it works incredibly well. In fact, I am surprised that a slasher Archie comic wasn't done sooner considering how much the cast resemble Horror movie archetypes!

Otherwise, the writing for Archie vs. Predator flows very well and has great tension, similar to a horror movie, when writers are actually trying to make it good.

As I mentioned with the writing, the characters are (obviously) pulled straight out of the Archie comics. Featuring the familiar cast with their original motivations plus a little bit more of a modern sensibility, there was still no nudity or swearing. However, I was surprised to see sex in a speech balloon of an Archie character, considering for decades Archie comics was upholding the Comics Code. Even then, that wasn't even the dirtiest line in the issue!

Ooooh, Reggie needs some ice for that burn.
Even with the PG depictions of the Archie cast, Dark Horse does not fuck around with the Predator when he shows up. Everything about Predator is absolutely pitch perfect starting from when the spaceship arrives, to the first panel of his kills (Oh yes- they did NOT tone down the violence for this comic; in fact that panel is tame compared to what shows up in the next book!)

Archie vs. Predator could have been a complete disaster. However the creative crew assembled by Dark Horse and Archie comics did a great job at portraying both properties close to source material, while also making the crossover a goddamn fun one to read!

Seriously. I really enjoyed this book, and this is the first issue out of four to be released. Whether you are a Horror veteran, an Archie fan -or both- you will find something to love reading this comic. At the very least, go check it out for the adorable Sabrina Meets Hellboy short in the end.

What are you waiting for? RUN! GOOOO!