Story: Alex de Campi
Art: Robert Hack
Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letterer: Jack Morelli
What They Say:
Riverdale High is on lockdown while a group of new Predators and Predadogs menace the halls during the Halloween Dance. They’re on the search for Archie-Predator and they don’t care who stands in their way. It’s up to Archie and his pals (both new and old) to stand up to this terrifying threat-but do they have what it takes?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
We reach the midway point of the series with this installment and things begin to get pretty bleak for the residents of Riverdale, whether they’re from this timeline or not. Alex de Campi is having a whole lot of fun with this while reminding us that it’s not in continuity, not that it matters, and it’s an infectious bit of fun for the reader. Robert Hack has had a lot of fun with it as well and this installment seems even grimmer and grimier than before thanks to Kelly Fitzpatrick’s color design for it. It fits really well with the kind of darkness that’s spreading as the Halloween dance becomes a place to count actual dead bodies instead of enjoying a bit of punch.
The arrival of a new round of Predator’s that are separate from the Archie-Predator makes for a dangerous time as they’re just stalking through the stack of people that are all over the school. It’s sent everyone into a panic where there’s a sense from some that this is definitely the end. Archie-Predator at least takes this timeline’s Archie up into the rafters to keep him quiet but it’s mostly because he knows Betty and Veronica would want that. He’s not looking to get involved beyond that point, however, as he goes invisible and just sits and waits this out. That’s not going to help anyone else and even Archie gets kind of pissed about it. The fact that his getting pissed leads to directing the other Predators up to where they are is not the best of plans, however.
On the floor of the gymnasium, we mostly see how everyone is reacting and a few deaths, including one of them having their head and spine yanked out of their bodies. The Predators are very casual as there are no real threats about but they’re taking a look at what they can play with. What I like is that the plans that Betty and Veronica come up with keep falling apart until Veronica gets a bit more desperate. The idea of sending Cheryl and Jason into the Predator’s ship to get weapons is a mixed thing when you really think it through, but it has the right potential. Betty summoning Mr. Inferno? Uh oh. I do like that B and V end up on their own a bit later and things get pleasantly serious between them as they start to really come to certain truths and I hope that gets explored even just a little bit more.
As we’ve said before, this is a series that should not work but thankfully works beautifully. The halfway mark of this miniseries puts us in a place where it’s ready to move on to the next phase of it but we have to get through a few deaths and set things in motion to arm up our human characters. There’s a lot of tension building in this installment and some really good character material at the end that I hope Alex de Campi is allowed to capitalize on. If we’re going to have a multiverse for the Archie Comics world, let’s really start exploring some new character dynamics like we’re being teased with here.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Archie Comics
Release Date: October 23rd, 2019