Archie has had some strange (and rough) times in modern days. He's been shot to death, teamed with the Punisher, fought flesh-feasting zombies, wrestled the paranormal in an "X-Files" animated knock-off, and now he and the gang are up against one of the deadliest foes ever to touch Earth...a teenage Predator!!!
It all starts with a Costa Rica trip won by dear Jughead. The young Predator just happens to be scoping the vacation spot for a potential challenge, though doesn't find it among the guys, but rather in the cat-fighting Betty and Veronica. Still, one must wonder, is it the girls' physical finesse or their curvaceous attributes that attracts the beast?
The gang departs early, however, leaving the Predator to don his cloak of invisibility and follow them to Riverdale, where the "most dangerous game" then really heats up.
Though Betty and Veronica are initially unaware of the monster's motives (and attribute the carnage left in his path to a "Jaguar Curse"), they soon focus on their foe, thus granting him the confrontation he so desires.
The enveloping violence would make even H.G. Lewis cringe, and yes, some of our pals do bite the dust, but keep in mind, the mayhem occurs only within the confines of alternate reality...if that's any consolation.
The set-ups play like those of an ‘80s slasher film, with the persistent Predator standing in lieu of Freddy, Jason and Michael. However, as the panels progress, the exploitation also adapts a defined science-fiction ambiance, with egghead Dilton creating a “Robot Jox” Archie suit to combat their opponent. There’s also a strange, scientific twist at the story’s end, regarding Archie and the Predator, which I won’t reveal as not to spoil the surprise, but to say the least, it’s unique.
The story comes to us through the talented teaming of Alex de Campi, Fernando Ruiz, Rich Koslowski and Jason Millet, with all installments now contained in a Dark Horse hardback edition. This edition also includes extras linked to the comic’s making, as well as some sharp, full-page, variant illustrations and offshoot teases, like “Sabrina Meets Hellboy”.
“Archie vs Predator” is a bizarre blend, which despite its goofy premise, succeeds as a fast, sexy and vicious horror tale. If you’re thirsty for something different, yet with ingredients culled from familiar sources, this will surely be your eclectic cup of tea.