Murdering a bunch of Riverdale’s finest during the events of Archie vs. Predator, one of the most delectably silly crossovers in Archie Comics history? Fine, comes with the vs. Predator territory. But going after the Opportunity rover!? A line must be drawn!
Gizmodo can exclusively reveal a first look at Alex de Campi, Robert Hack, Kelly Fitzpatrick, and Jack Morelli’s brand new five-part miniseries continuation of the Archie/Dark Horse collabo that gave us Archie vs. Predator back in 2015.
Set in the immediate aftermath of that story, Archie vs. Predator 2 picks up with the surviving Betty, Archie, and Veronica, as they try to shake off the slaughter and head on back home to Riverdale, anxious for their nightmarish run-in with the galaxy’s most lethal hunters to be over. But the kids soon find that new dangers are afoot: They’ve been replaced in their own hometown, and the threat of the Predators still lingers... all the way from Mars, as you can see in this exclusive first look at the interior art, below!
Image: Robert Hack, Kelly Fitzpatrick, and Jack Morelli, Archie Comics
I can’t believe I’m about to type this: that Predator dog just peed on the Opportunity rover. In an Archie Comics comic. I’m cackling.
And so is Archie vs. Predator writer Alex de Campi, returning once more to pen round two of this ultimate crossover. “I’m a giant Archie nerd so part of the joy of Archie vs Predator 2 was to take a really deep dive into classic Archie continuity,” de Campi told Gizmodo over email.
“Old Archie comics are NUTS, you realise. Completely bonkers. I’ve had so much fun taking some of that classic craziness and putting it in the more sedate world of Mark Waid’s rebooted Riverdale. Given how much the TV Riverdale is basically a gonzo telenovela, I have a weird feeling that AvP 2 might actually be the perfect intro comic for folks who love the TV series but don’t know where to begin in printed media.”
Although de Campi is returning, she’s joined by a new art team for AvP 2 in the form of Robert Hack and Kelly Fitzpatrick, who’ve made names for themselves on other Archie titles like Archie 1941 and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
“Robert and Kelly are delights to work with - I know both of them from other projects, and it’s less of a collaboration than a cabal,” de Campi joked. “And I was tempted into my first actual Archie book (AvP was edited by Dark Horse) because of editor Alex Segura. I’m very selective about my work for hire, and I pretty much only take things when I know and trust the editor, and they reach out to me. Alex is quietly one of the best editors in comics and incredibly supportive of our shenanigans.”
Image: Robert Hack and Kelly Fitzpatrick, Archie Comics
Image: Rick Burchett, Archie Comics
Image: Derek Charm, Archie Comics
Image: Francesco Francavilla, Archie Comics
Image: Dan Parent, Archie Comics
Image: Billy Tucci, Archie Comics
Aside from bringing back the murderous monster mayhem, the blood-soaked sequel has plans to provide a bit of a meta-commentary on changes both the Predator and Archie have gone through as iconic characters since they last squared off. “Archie vs Predator 2 is, of course, about teenagers fighting the galaxy’s greatest hunters and, mostly, losing terribly. Lotta kids die,” de Campi continued.
“It’s also about corporate reboots, since both the main Archie title and the Predator franchise were rebooted after AvP 1 was released. So not only are the survivors of Archie vs Predator 1 fighting the new, improved version of the galaxy’s greatest hunters, they’re also fighting against their own obsolescence.”
It’s not all gore and guts though, according to the writer. “I’m really pleased with some of the character work in this. The Predator kills are horrific and sudden enough that it should please fans of everyone’s favourite space-horror franchise,” de Campi added. “But there’s some stuff with the Archie kids in this miniseries that people will be screaming about for a long time. That’s all I can say. Pick this up in singles because the internet is going to be shouting about each issue and you don’t want to miss out, trust me.”
If it’s more things like peeing Predator pups, we’re inclined to agree, honestly. Archie vs. Predator 2 #1 hits shelves July 25.
Do it. For Opportunity, if nothing else.