"Archie vs. Predator #4" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Written by Alex de Campi
Illustrated by Fernando Ruiz
2015, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on July 22nd, 2015
Riverdale is in ruins due to the epic battle between its residents and the fierce Predator. The dead bodies are now too numerous to count. So many spines have been ripped out. There has been so much blood. It's all led to this moment. The final standoff between the Predator and...Betty and Veronica? That's right, folks. Archie Andrews is sitting this one out. Instead of fighting over that red-headed dreamboat, the girls are joining forces to take on an unstoppable alien killer. It's actually kind of funny how useless Archie is in this issue. Even when he tries to help, he fails miserably.
Right off the bat, Archie vs. Predator delivers on so much gore and insanity. The second issue features a head exploding on the second page. This time around, the Predator eats the skin off a skull he's recently removed from its body. He does so with a loud “SCHLUK!” while Betty and Veronica yell, “EEEEEEEEEW!” in the background.
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The series finale is packed with crazy antics. The girls try to heal the injured Archie using a strange machine in the Lodge Mansion, creating another perfect homage to the original Predator movie in the process. That's not the only one in this book either, as we also get, “You are one ugly melon farmer!” (It's still an Archie book, kids.) I have to say, the twists and turns that the comic goes through are completely unexpected. Writer Alex de Campi brought her A game, delivering a horror book that rivals the best slashers and monster movies on the big screen.
No one was really safe through Archie vs. Predator. It's not all that surprising that the final three left standing at the beginning of this issue are Archie, Betty, and Veronica, but even their safety is in question. There are some gut-punching panels, as you see these beloved teen icons get stabbed, slashed, and put through the ringer. Artist Fernando Ruiz provides some great emotional beats to the book. Sure, it's a hilarious title and filled with ridiculous fun, but you can't help but get a little caught up in the moment when you see one of these characters impaled.
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On the other end of the spectrum, it's incredibly awesome to see them rush into battle. There's a great panel of Betty literally jumping into action with two swords in hand, ready to slice and dice the Predator. This book is packed with shots like that, as it's almost entirely made up of a fight scene. There's another head explosion and it's absolutely glorious. Ruiz can draw one amazing burst of blood, gore, and brain tissue. Oh, is that a tooth? It totally is.
Archie vs. Predator is a great comic for any fan of either franchise. I'm not fully up to speed on my Archie history. Fortunately, it's somewhat unnecessary to enjoy the comic. The characters aren't really cannon fodder, but they're also not delving into their extended histories. If you have any basic understanding as to who these people are, you'll be fine. At the very least, you can enjoy watching them literally get ripped to shreds by this alien warrior in increasingly elaborate and hilarious ways, leading up to an ending that's perfect in its strange nature.