The penultimate issue of Archie vs. Predator didn't spare the gore but did bring to mind how on earth is Archie and the gang going to stop such a brutal killing machine. So far some of Riverdale's most beloved and not so beloved characters have lost their lives in this unexpected crossover that reads like a monster movie from the '50s. The devilishly clever and suspenseful tale by Alex de Campi and Fernando Ruiz bring the best of two genres to life.
Is there a morbid curiosity and hidden glee in seeing the Riverdale kids getting their spines severed? I have to admit there is and it's not a guilty pleasure. De Campi has done an amazing job of balancing the familiar saccharin world of Archie with the gory violence of the Predator movies. Is it unnerving to see these classic characters brutally murdered? You betcha and that's kind of the point. It's true to both worlds.
Seeing the Archie house style art of Fernando Ruiz and Rich Koslowski and the unspeakable things done to Jughead and Dilton is a tribute to their versatility and talent. They can make an impalement as vivid and bright as a picnic between Archie, Betty, and Veronica. They still hold true to what makes the gang so endearing and charming. The bickering can give way to moments of mutual love and concern and Ruiz and Koslowski can convey that better than anyone.
Archie vs. Predator is the comedy horror book you didn't know you needed or wanted, but it's worth the ride.