Written by: Alex De Campi
Art by: Fernando Ruiz
Colors by: Alex Millett
Over the past year books like After Life with Archie and Death of Archie have garnered attention from comic book readers who may have skipped past the iconic red head for years while in line at their local grocery store. Recently writers and artist have taken the iconic redhead in directions that many fans couldn’t have imagined possible. For most people Archie is similar to Mickey Mouse, everyone knows who the character is and what he represents but most people don’t get excited for a Mickey-centric Disney story. Well for the Archie, Jug head and the gang that is no longer case. Now that the Archie imprint has told a good zombie story, comes one of the craziest premises this year in comics. Can Archie and the gang handle an encounter with Predator on Spring Break?
Within the first issue writer Alex De Campi manages to not only tell a classic Archie story, but also a very strong Predator opening act. Based on the premise that the gang wins an exotic Spring Break trip to a tropical destination via a chip bag contest. The opening of the book revolves around classic Archie drama as the characters bask in the sun to escape from Riverdale. We have all the usual Archie, Betty, and Veronica high school drama that Archie readers can enjoy. However a lot of the implied comments by the gang seem a bit more PG-13 than the usual oh gee golly type of story telling people most commonly associate with Archie. This more mature humor works well here; after all they are a bunch of teens on Spring Break.
The art of Fernando Ruiz really shines on each page of the book providing all the vibrant Archie panels that readers of the line have come to expect. This combined with the flowery colors of Alex Millett really make you feel like you are enjoying the spring sun with the Riverdale gang. Then when it comes time for Predator, Ruiz’s subtle but popping use of blood and gore serves the savagery of the Predator character while never being so excessive that it takes you out of the book.
As fun as a premise this as this is, De Campi’s knowledge for the Predator character is on full display. Rather than throw the greatest hunter in pop culture directly in your face ripping out skull after skull, the character is slowly built up. Like the original 1987 film the fear of a Predator attack and his unparalleled tracking abilities are front and center, capturing the true essence of the character.
Whether you are reading the book for classic Predator action or the ever engaging Archie love triangle, this comic caters to all of its expected audiences and then some. Expect comic readers and general audiences to gravitate more toward this book as positive word of mouth spreads. After all what better way to spend the warm spring and summer days than seeing Predator decapitate the Archie gang.