I'm a well read grad student who's bluntly honest about all things, although I try to be most honest about myself.
It's an incomprehensible crossover, the one that makes even less sense than Archie Vs. Punisher. Except as soon as the first issue came out, the critical acclaim started pouring in. My response was, understandably, what the hell? Except as soon as I read those articles, I started understanding that this was far more clever than I first expected.
Not nearly clever enough for me to pay for it, not with how I feel about Archie. Cyber Monday saw it at three dollars this year. I not only purchased it, I got to reading it pretty immediately. And I'm glad I did.
It's twisted in a whole bunch of ways.
This is one of the panels that everyone was cooing about: it's dark, it cuts to the heart of matters between the wealthy and the working class, and it's not something you'd expect from Archie. Far grittier than expected, and even knowing this was in here somewhere, the unexpectedness of the placement made me laugh out loud.
Everyone wants something. A nice vacation, Archie, and death of the working class. That's quite a list there, not including what the other characters are hoping for.
In addition to this, there's an actually story involved. Archie meeting Predator will never make absolute sense; even when the explanation of how it happened at the end made me raise my eyebrows, and I found I preferred it when it wasn't fully explained. Just let us take in that sense of disbelief, because I could roll with that. But they don't just drop in the Predator. They show him arriving. Why? How? It didn't really matter. These friends were faced with a horror beyond their imagining and were scrambling to find some way to survive. That was all I needed to know.
Furthermore, much has been made of drawing this in the traditional Archie style and how that's a stroke of brilliance. It really is. It makes the violence and gore more perverse. It gives you this sickly-sweet feel, and then turns it on its head.
I've also read about the fact that Predator's think in emojis. They do. And I can't get a lot of what they're saying.
Clearly, as articles have pointed out, even Predators like catfights. He's in love, it's good, it's one hundred good, right on target, rocket ship. Does he just like rocket ships? Are rocket ships like the most orgasmic thing he can think of? Why, Predator? Why is the culmination of your lust a rocket ship?
As far as I understand this, he's going to take a shot at killing her, and he will totally win that. But I feel like there's no rocket ship, so he's not really that into it.
Just a popular culture reference that made me laugh out loud.
One thing bothered me, enough to knock down one star:
Life. It's not worth it without Archie? I can't even. I was so bothered by this message that I knocked down half a star, but mostly for spoiler-y reasons. I refuse to spoil this for anyone, but this bothered me because it comes back at the end, the end which I thought I had figured out. I hadn't. The ending was far, far more twisted than anything I thought I saw coming.
Then there are some bonus crossovers in the end, as well as a variant cover gallery. A lot of fun.