Comic BooksSDCC '15

SDCC 2015: Archie vs. Predator Writer Alex de Campi on the Onslaught in Riverdale

Michael Moccio ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Editor-in-Chief

If there’s one comic book company that needs no further proof of its timelessness and relevancy, it’s Archie Comics; and if there’s one comic book company known for pushing the boundaries of the horror and alternative comics, it’s Dark Horse. When the two of them announced a team up during New York Comic Con 2014, we knew that it was going to be something to watch. Archie vs. Predator has more than delivered, which is why we were excited to sit down with writer Alex de Campi at San Diego Comic Con before the final issue of the miniseries came out.

“One of the best things has been trying to top each issue of Archie vs. Predator,” de Campi confessed as she talked about what she enjoyed the most about writing the series. “The first issue was a lot of establishing the Archie stuff going on. Two was crazy and three is even darker and crazier! Four is all about sticking the landing: there were about three ways it could end and we chose the fourth. It won’t end the way you think. That’s exciting for us, because you can do a great series and if you don’t nail the ending, then you lose the reader.”

The entire premise of the story centers around a teenage Predator pursuing the group. One of the main questions we had was why a teenage Predator? Kevin’s father established that the US Government has encountered full-fledged Predators in the past as well. “Everyone would die on the first page if it was an adult Predator,” said de Campi. “Or the Predator might not deem it worth his time. So we had to find a reason why he would actually want to hunt down the citizens of Riverdale for Archie vs. Predator. They’re fundamentally not targets. Predators go after the most dangerous of the species; they aim high. Sorry, but Archie Andrews isn’t high on that list. Betty and Veronica are because they’re the most dangerous people in Riverdale!”

The entirety of the Riverdale Gang didn’t seem capable of fighting back. At least, everyone except for Sabrina the Teenage Witch. “I wanted to reverse people’s expectations with Sabrina,” de Campi said, acknowledging that Sabrina’s magic would be an asset in fighting the Predator “The obvious expectation would be that Sabrina would battle the predator. But then there’s the unexpected reversal that Sabrina faces. We were even able to put in an Afterlife with Archie joke!”

When talking about the Archie vs. Predator narrative evolving throughout the writing process, de Campi talked about how Dilton took on a more prominent role. “There was a lot of the stuff with Dilton in issue three that started off superficial and then became a very big deal for Dilton’s character,” de Campi said. “Dilton is the character that invents machines that go horribly wrong, and so he doesn’t really get explored as anything other than this boy genius who builds thing. I got to do some character building that I don’t think anyone else has ever done. He’s very different from the other characters in a specific way: he’s never given a dating storyline.”

As for characters de Campi wished could have lived a little longer in Archie vs. Predator, that would be none other than Reggie. “I wish I had kept Reggie around a little bit longer,” confessed de Campi. “He’s a total tool and so fun. The total tool usually last longer in teen slasher films—they’re usually the second to last one to go. But I didn’t want my last three to be Reggie, Archie, and one of the girls. It had to be Archie and both of the girls. If there’s anything you have to respect in Archie, it’s the love triangle!”

The final issue of Archie vs. Predator comes out July 22nd and, as de Campi asked at the end of her interview: “Who will live? Who will die?” You’ll just have to read on to find out!

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