For those who feel as if they know how sequels go, prepare to be surprised. Four years after the two properties first enjoyed their unexpected crossover in Archie vs. Predator, it’s time for a rematch between Riverdale and alien hunters looking for the ultimate trophy — but any potential second encounter is just part of what’s going on in the upcoming five-issue comic book miniseries Archie vs. Predator 2.
“The first question people are going to be asking is, ‘But…how?’ and, for my money, that’s the best mind-set to have when you’re talking crossovers,” Archie Comics co-president Alex Segura told The Hollywood Reporter. “Alex de Campi wrote an iconic, legendary mashup — but, I have to tell you, her idea for the sequel goes above and beyond. The fact that we got superstar Robert Hack to bring it to life is sure to make the end result one of the most bonkers, visceral and off-the-wall events in comic book history. Strap in. This is gonna be fun as hell.”
Mike Richardson, president and co-founder of Predator publisher Dark Horse, added, “We at Dark Horse are excited to be teaming up once again with our friends at Archie. Archie and his friends will have to deal with that pesky Predator again, and readers will have a blast finding out what we have in store for them.”
The second Archie vs. Predator mini will follow on directly from the first — and those who’ve read the original know just how unlikely that might be. “All I’m going to say is that it’s a meta-commentary on corporate franchise reboots, given that Archie was rebooted right after [the first Archie vs. Predator] was released, and the Predator franchise got its reboot with last year’s The Predator film,” de Campi said.
“As usual with my work, you’ll be able to read it as that if you want to, but it’s mostly going to be a lot of teenagers dying in increasingly creative and sudden ways, and also jokes. Entertaining the reader comes first. The other stuff, the formalist obstacle course I set myself, I do because it entertains me.”
She went on, “I think as anyone who read the first AvP knows, I’m a huge fan of both franchises, and it’s massively important to me that both Archie and Predator fans feel like I’m handling their babies with love and respect and knowledge. My goal is always to deliver a great Archie comic — with the humor, teen drama and romance we love from Riverdale’s finest — as well as a great Predator comic, with the scares and violence you want from the galaxy’s most dangerous hunters.”
“There’s so much to love about playing in this iconic universe, but key to me is the humor of it all,” said Hack, who co-created The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comic book that inspired the current Netflix series. “That’s something I’ve tried to add, even in my covers, and frequently in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. And, of course, a book like AVP2 definitely appeals to that subversive streak in me that wants to take the humor and the horror just that little bit too far.”
The pairing of de Campi and Hack has resulted in a series in which Riverdale’s destruction — and the fact that almost all of the familiar characters from Archie stories are dead, including Archie himself — means that Betty and Veronica will have to take drastic measures to return everything to normal…if that’s even possible. Expect to see alternate takes on beloved characters as B&V come face-to-face with newer incarnations of Archie’s Pals & Gals — including themselves. (Oh, and there are Predators preparing to attack, as well.)
“There are a lot of characters in the Archie Universe I haven’t drawn yet — Ethel, Kevin, Dilton, Moose, Midge, etc.,” Hack said, offering glimpses into who is likely to appear in the new series. “I’m looking forward to getting a chance to finally draw them…and then kill them all in unfathomably horrific ways.”
Archie vs. Predator 2 launches July 24 in comic book stores and digitally. Below, the variant covers for the first issue, by Rick Burchett and Rosario “Tito” Peña, Derek Charm, Francesco Francavilla, Dan Parent and Billy Tucci with Wes Hartman.