In his vast history, Archie has gotten into some bizarre situations like being hunted by The Punisher, meeting Kiss and, most recently, trying to survive a zombie apocalpyse but now he’s up against the galaxy’s greatest hunter in a cross over extravaganza from Dark Horse and Archie Comics.
It’s spring break in Riverdale and Jughead wins a trip from a bag of potato chips that allows the entire gang to head to the tropical paradise of Los Peridos. Engaging in some typical Archie hijinks, including a fashion contest to determine who will be the best dressed girl for the yearbook, Betty gets humiliated after a fight with Veronica and ends up in a mysterious temple that the alpha rich Riverdale couple of Cheryl and Jason were going to loot. Betty finds an ancient dagger and reunites with the group, but none of them notice that the Predator has arrived and has begun a new hunt, with Betty and Veronica as the newest targets after witnessing their scuffle.
This first issue is definitely more Archie than Predator, with the usual Archie gags of Jughead being constantly hungry, Archie flip flopping between Betty and Veronica, Veronica being a bitch, etc. Resident dick Reggie does quote Jesse Ventura at one point, but that’s the only overt reference so far. The art is also the usual cartoony Archie style and it’s fun to see the Predator done in that style but it’s a pleasant surprise that things aren’t watered down when it comes to the intergalactic hunter. He’s still ripping out spines and and hanging corpses, which the Archie gang is hilariously oblivious too. It seems like they are kind of easing into the whole Archie vs Predator angle and next issue, where the Predator comes home to Riverdale, should hopefully up the crazy level and maybe possibly see some of the main gang fall victim to the alien hunter. If you read Afterlife with Archie, you know that they did not not skimp on the gore or darker themes, as the first issue features a zombie Jughead violently attacking Archie.
As a bonus in the book, there’s also a one page backup that features a Sabrina meeting Hellboy.
If you’re in the weird middle ground of the venn diagram that includes both Archie and Predator fans, it’s probably worth checking out at least the first issue. If you’re in more for the Predator side of things, I would say maybe hold off until there’s a trade and you can hear just how much the book lives up to it’s title.
(Archie vs Predator #1 is available right now at comic shop near you or at https://digital.darkhorse.com/)