THE TURNAROUND BLOG

Graphic Novel Spotlight: Archie vs Predator

9781616558055

Believe it or not, Archie Andrews has had his fair number of crossovers with unlikely universes including The Punisher, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Glee and even Sharknado. However, nothing can prepare Archie and his friends for the horrors that await them when they find themselves hunted by one of film’s most famous monsters.

When Archie and friends hit Costa Rica for Spring Break, party games and beach games are soon replaced by the Most Dangerous Game! Lured by the challenge of Betty and Veronica’s unparalleled fierceness, a teenaged Predator from the stars follows the gang back to Riverdale, where it prepares for its most bizarre hunt ever, but will the kids even realize they’re in danger before they end up in the creature’s horrifying trophy case?!

This isn’t the first time readers have been exposed to a darker variety of Archie. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla have been successfully unleashing the zombie apocalypse on Riverdale since 2013. However, one of the main draws of Afterlife with Archie is Francavilla’s dark and gritty art style which provided a truly unique interpretation of Riverdale’s residents. Archie vs Predator on the other hand is depicted in a truly traditional Archie art style by long-time Archie artist Fernando Ruiz. It therefore might seem a bit jarring early on in the Costa Rica holiday when Veronica accidentally breaks Betty’s nose, and the normally clean style clashes with a heavy nose bleed. This is nothing however compared to what follows as Archie’s school friends and acquaintances are systematically slaughtered by the Predator and the traditional clean Archie style is suddenly drenched in blood, severed spines and dismembered limbs all whilst maintaining that traditional Archie style.

It can’t be said that writer Alex de Campi solely relies on gore however as in all the chaos, Archie vs Predator manages to maintain the Archie spirit and humour. It is also surprisingly suspenseful, especially in the latter stages as Archie and friends find themselves trapped at the school with the Predator slowly picking them off one by one to the point where it looks unlikely any of them will survive. Extra points for the insane ending which I will not spoil, but has to be seen to be believed!

Archie fans may find Archie vs Predator a little more intense than traditional Archie offerings, but de Campi stays faithful to the original characters whilst putting them in a horrifying situation. Any fans of the Predator franchise will find plenty to enjoy as the alien-killer does what it does best.

Archie vs Predator is published 17 November by Dark Horse.

Post by Leo Sutherland

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