Story: Alex de Campi
Art: Robert Hack
Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letterer: Jack Morelli
What They Say:
Betty, Veronica, and Predator-Archie have been left in the wreckage of their town, all their friends dead. Normally, they’d just go down Memory Lane and get home again where everything’s okay, but that’s no longer an option. It isn’t until they find an undamaged car and drive it down a different road where they can finally return to Riverdale—but their hometown feels different. And it’s made even more bizarre when they come face-to-face with a few people they’d never expect: themselves. Only different, newer versions. Little do they know, Predators on Mars are watching them—planning their next attack.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The original Archie Vs. Predator series was a delight and I really enjoyed the way it managed to blend the properties, the humor, the seriousness, and just run with it. With this series, a lot has changed in Archie Comics since then and the “multiverse” aspect of it is well-handled so that we can get odd projects like this. Alex de Campi isn’t a writer I get to see a lot of work from but she puts in a great book that’s sharp as hell and a whole lot of fun here so that it works even if you hadn’t read the first series. Robert Hack is brilliant as always when it comes to the artwork and I really loved what Kelly Fitzpatrick brought to the page with her color designs, giving it a wonderful end of world feeling on top of the details that Hack puts in his work. And, thankfully, there aren’t any really wonky fonts in this outside of the hilarious emoji aspect we get which means Jack Morelli delivered a very easy to access book.
The design of the Archie books, loosely, is that there’s a multiverse that allows for all kinds of crazy stories and crossovers but it all goes back to the original with Betty and Veronica walking down literal Memory Lane. This Riverdale has ended after the previous miniseries with it in ruins and everyone dead. Archie’s here but he’s actually a Predator of some sort that speaks in emojis, though that doesn’t stop Veronica from using her femininity to get what she wants from him – which creeps Betty out. But the trio know that they just need to get to Memory Lane and they can get back to where they need to be. The problem is that Waid Industries has demolished that road here in favor of some future commercialism. That has everyone stuck in this world with only the slimmest of hopes that there may be an access point in Greendale even with Sabrina dead.
What ensues is a really good look at how both of the young women handle the idea that this may be the end of their lives but also their otherly adventures, which means that people would forget about them. Veronica takes it a bit more seriously but Betty is just exhausted and falls asleep, instead having a dram about Dilton where he’s getting ready for a dance and is pretty damn fit. That Betty dreams them into this reality is no surprise as it offers a way to work things out for the run but I love that at the same time we see a new group of Predators making their way to Earth with a stopover on Mars. Alex de Campi has some amusing humor mixed into that element of it that works nicely and it sets us up for the action that’s to come, though one may expect a twist or two along the way. But what she does is set up a strong foundation here so that we get the basics, we know the ties that bind this trio, and some new stakes are laid out with a sliver of a different part of the multiverse now arriving.
While I’m not reading all the different books that are being produced out of the Archie Comics world with the new imaginings, there are a bunch referenced here that are fun and this one itself is just a delight. The setup is solid and I really like de Campi’s take on the characters and how they handle this situation. I’m eager to see where she’s going to go with it and what the incoming group of both Predators and Riverdalians are all about. The big win for me was just getting a whole new book of Robert Hack artwork with beautiful colors from Kelly Fitzpatrick to enjoy. I’m going to enjoy the story but the artwork here is going to take it to a whole other level and I can’t wait to see what this team has in store.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Archie Comics
Release Date: July 24th, 2019