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I am usually loath to call anything a “masterpiece”, as it it is such a word that can only be used sparingly, and only with the utmost confidence and conviction. Yet it is in the case of Archie vs. Predator #1 – that I can’t really say it here either. Although I must say that if any new series could tempt me, it would definitely be this one without a doubt.
I will try to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, but if you don’t want to stick around for the whole shebang then here’s the low down right now. If you want nothing more out of a crossover that mashes up Archie and Predator then you’re not going need to look any further than this. The creative team has done the impossible, much like Archie has always found a way to do, and created a story that can really be enjoyed by both fanbases.
Fernando Ruiz’ art is something that I have always been iffy on when it comes to mainline Archie. He has the same penchant for the house style, but usually it comes off flatter than it should. The characters seeming natural, but also oddly off-putting when placed under closer inspection. This was really a sore spot when it came to Life with Archie, but Ruiz has really found his groove with this mini.
There is real effort and time put into this whole endeavour and it shows. It’s very pleasing to the eye and let’s face it, it’s what we never could have guessed, they made the Predator actually work within the confines of the Archie house style. He’s clean looking enough to not break the mold, but there is still the necessary air of menace and horror. It’s quite appreciated and it’s the lynchpin to the entire series, what they needed to get right.
The script by Alex De Campi is also top notch. I know that Archie has gained new recognition from the mainstream by showcasing “twisted” and “skewed” versions of the characters. Stuff like Afterlife or Sabrina. It’ fun and it’s popular, but it’s also nice to see the more traditional characters be placed into these crazy situations. Archie, Reggie, Betty, and even Jughead are all on good form here. Especially Jughead, who is a riot.
Don’t let this fool you, however, the Predator is also on good form here. He’s not toned down in the least, no matter how goofy he might appear. This is an Archie comic, but let’s just say don’t go in thinking everyone will get out alive. This issue hits the reader with it from the get-go and it swerves into a deliciously unnerving and frightening tangent by the end. A better balance than Afterlife, I believe.
All in all, one of the better minis that should be coming out this year without a doubt. Archie is continuing in its upswing and this is something that will not break its streak. Kudos to Ruiz and De Campi for creating something that two wholly different fanbases can really enjoy. I cannot wait for the second issue and eventually the rest of the series as a whole.