Story: Alex de Campi
Art: Robert Hack
Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letterer: Jack Morelli
What They Say:
Our trios (new and old) are getting to know each other better-like Classic Betty and Veronica discovering that the newer versions of themselves actually AREN’T both trying to win over Archie’s affections. There’s a lot to take in in this brave, new world, but they’ve got a more pressing issue to deal with: Predator-Archie is quickly turning back into a Predator, and time is running out. Fortunately, the Riverdale Halloween Dance may be just the cover the gang(s) need.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With a fun opening issue, Alex de Campi set the stage well for what this sequel series would be like. What’s helped is the further of the diverse Archieverse with all the different timelines so they can do some creative projects like this and step through the timelines down Memory Lane. As much as I liked the first miniseries being done in the old school Archie style, I’m loving the way that Robert Hack is taking it all dark and serious here with the grim and gritty look. It works for both sides of the cast with what they look like and the action and setting elements come together well. Hack is definitely fantastic at bringing these characters to life and inserting the Predator here hasn’t hurt it in the slightest.
With the trio having come through to this new timeline where things are surprisingly normal, the bulk of the book is focused on the two versions of the trio interacting with each other. That may seem a little dull but it provides for a great deal of fun. The big bit that worked for me was in how neither Betty or Veronica from this timeline had an interest in Archie at all so they never fought over him. That’s hard for the other two to understand since they’re even protective of Archie-Predator even though he’s just wearing Archie’s face and body. Which, amusingly enough, starts to come off along the way here so that they expose more of his truth to the normals here. The disparity between the two timelines feels very basic but with some significant aspects. When Veronica whips out that flip phone, however, Jughead calls it correctly. They are from the darkest of timelines and you have to be careful around that.
The book is a little roundabout in getting to it but eventually, we get everyone at the school for the dance. The real reason is for the trio to hide out for a while but also to connect with Toni as she can identify the emoji-speak of Archie-Predator. This is what sets us up for what’s next as he’s panicked not about not going back to his homeworld but that his people will come looking for him. And that ship has just landed. It’s a lot of fun watching as Toni tries to figure out what he’s saying while also dealing with the absurdity of the Betty and Veronica she doesn’t know and playing that alongside the larger Predators of this timeline coming into the school, ready to just obliterate the place, is priceless. There’s a good setup for the action to come and the chaos that will result from familiar characters getting killed again, but also the potential for a weird Sliders team to form here.
I really enjoyed the first series for the absurdity of the Predator in the old style but I’m also loving seeing him brought under Robert Hack’s style here – as well as more of the usual gang in this form. It’s got the right drive-in horror movie feeling about it with the heavy lines, the dark colors, and just the tension that’s building from the story itself. I love the absurdity of Archie-Predator using emojis to talk and being able to do so with the more emoji-driven members of the group that we connect with. The various interactions between the two Betty’s and two Veronica’s is the real driver of humor and it hits the mark repeatedly and pretty dam accurately. Definitely a fun series and I can’t wait to see more of it.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Archie Comics
Release Date: September 18th, 2019