Four years ago, Archie Comics gave the world Archie Vs. Predator, an absolutely outrageous miniseries that sent the alien murderer to Riverdale and put him in the middle of a love triangle with Betty and Veronica. Written with subversive wit by Alex de Campi and drawn in the classic Archie style by Fernando Ruiz, the story was a brutal bloodbath mixed with deeply twisted romantic comedy, ending with Betty and Veronica as the sole survivors. They used Veronica’s father’s body-morphing technology to turn the Predator into a brainless facsimile of their shared red-headed paramour, but thankfully that wasn’t the end of their story. Next week sees the debut of Archie Vs. Predator II, teaming de Campi with The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina artist Robert Hack to take this tale in an even wilder direction.
“The best thing about working on AVP is the freedom I’ve been given,” says de Campi. “Archie is letting me do some truly astounding things with these characters that I think will bring amazement and delight to readers. I mean, it’s a teen slasher book, but it’s also a character-driven meta-commentary on... a whole bunch of stuff, and I can’t say more than that because it may spoil the (many) surprises. Honestly, I think there’s something that will make people scream (in a good way) every issue.”
This exclusive preview of Archie Vs. Predator II brings in those meta elements as the central trio makes it way through a post-apocalyptic city filled with stores named after Archie properties. They’re trying to get back to the old Riverdale by going to Memory Lane, but when they get there, they find out the way to their old world is blocked by new construction from Waid Enterprises. With this series, de Campi explores how Archie Comics drastically evolved in the past decade, and Hack played an integral role in that evolution with his creepy, atmospheric work on Sabrina. Hack’s linework is much more realistic than the cartoony art on the first AVP series, but there’s still an element of exaggeration in the visuals thanks to Kelly Fitzpatrick’s bold coloring and Jack Morelli’s lettering, which makes especially great use of emojis.
“Robert and Kelly are doing the work of their lives on this,” says de Campi. “I feel my work has been getting more and more documentary in nature, and I have to be careful with artist choices because my scripts require so many small acting moments, but Robert and Kelly are completely nailing it. This isn’t an easy script to draw, for many, many reasons, but Robert is making it look effortless and that’s the highest compliment I can give.”
“This has been an amazing book to be a part of,” says Hack. “Alex is taking this story to some brilliantly unexpected places. If you think you know what this book will be... you are already unequivocally wrong. This is next level bonkers and I can’t believe I get to be a part of it. I’ve worked with the entire team before on separate projects, and I am beyond thrilled to have us all team up on AVP2. Alex, Kelly and Jack are all thoroughly brilliant and shine on this book. My favorite thing about the book has been the unexpected directions the story goes in. It would be simple to follow the formula set by the first hit AVP, but Alex has brought something unique and brilliant to this sequel. I can’t wait for folks to read it.”