Comic Review: Archie vs. Predator #4: Frenemies No More!

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“As casualties continue to mount, it’s up to Betty and Veronica to put aside their differences if the gang hopes to rid Riverdale of the Predator menace—but can the girls keep their claws out of each other long enough to keep the Predator’s claws out of everyone?!”

Last time, basically EVERYONE DIED except for Archie, Betty, and Veronica, which I was in no way expecting. The official summary is that Archie’s “down for the count after one of Dilton’s inventions malfunctioned. Most of his friends are dead,” and that Predator is “running out of room for all the trophies. But is anyone ever prepared for Betty and Veronica?” Here goes!

The predator has Betty and Veronica cowering at his feet, protecting the down-for-the count Archie. He removes his mask, holds up Dilton’s head and spine, AND SUCKS HIS FACE SKIN OFF SO HE CAN KEEP THE SKULL. Gross. Betty faints, and the predator offers the hilt of the dagger that started all this to Veronica. Crying, Veronica pleads for the Predator to leave them alone. The predator is confused, manages to say “Be-ty,” and shuffles away, prompting, “I’m Veronica, you twerp.” Hold on – can predators talk? Was this ever established in predator canon?!

Betty wakes up in what looks like Veronica’s house, saying she’s had the worst dream. There’s a picture of Veronica and the Punisher together?? How many other cool Archie crossovers are there? Betty realizes it wasn’t a dream and starts to ask how Archie is, but spies the dagger. Veronica explains that it still needs to take two lives, because two people were cursed initially, and the plan is to hide in Veronica’s dad’s panic room and “blow the predator to kingdom come.” Veronica has become absolutely determined to destroy the predator, even willing to sacrifice her house. Betty thinks this is a bad idea; Veronica shoots back with, “No, the bad idea was relying on boys to do things for us. Boys never do anything right, Betty.” To be 100% fair, they only got into this mess because of Betty in the first place.

The girls stabilize Archie, and Veronica takes Betty to change because she “simply can’t die in department store clothes. It lowers the tone.” Hahaha. Unfortunately, Veronica dialed up the machine keeping Archie alive to 11 when it says not to go past 4, and Archie begins mutating, his skin bubbling up horrifically. Meanwhile, Betty’s changing while Veronica arms herself – just in time, because the predator shows up at her door! Veronica and the predator begin to fight, and Betty falls off the balcony, strategically ripping her dress (Veronica’s is all ripped up too by this point. I know they’re supposed to be hot, but it’s a weird environment to sexualize them in, and the same goes for the gratuitous cover). Betty threatens the predator with her high heel, but Veronica drags her away to the panic room before that can happen (sadly). Betty loses her lucky hair scrunchie, which the predator hilariously uses to tie back his dreadlocks. Tentacles? I’m not sure about predator anatomy to be perfectly honest.

They make it to the panic room and start to slam the door on the predator’s arm, but Archie, newly Hulkified, shows up at the last second and punches him. The house is going to blow up in less than five minutes, and the predator and Archie get into an axe/mace fight. Of course. Veronica tries to stab the predator with the dagger, but he stabs her instead, this time using her proper name. It’s the little things. If you don’t want to know the ending of the comic, stop reading here. Suffice to say, it’s quite the ending, and if you’ve been following along with the miniseries you should definitely pick up the finale.

Spoilers!

The fight continues, Archie furiously punching the predator in response to Veronica getting stabbed. The predator gets the upper hand and explodes Archie’s head by punching him in a particularly gross panel. We see the predator look at Betty with hearts in his eyes, which is enough of a distraction for Veronica to crush his skull with a mace while Betty stabs him with the dagger. Betty drags Veronica to the panic room, healing them with the machine and re-engineering the predator to look exactly like Archie. Yep. I can’t even.

 

Writer: Alex de Campi
Penciller: Fernando Ruiz
Inker: Rich Koslowski
Colorist: Jason Millet
Cover Artist: Andrew Pepoy
Pages: 32

Get it from Dark Horse Comics for $3.99.

[Disclaimer: A review copy was provided for me to review this comic.]

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