Saturday, November 17, 2012

Archer and Armstrong #4: Review

Oooh, this is my first Valiant review, awesome opossum. The recently reestablished and rebooted Valiant publishing company has been turning out some pretty high quality series for the past six months. "X-O Manowar", "Bloodshot", "Harbinger", and "Shadowman" are all great, but the series that takes the cake for me is "Archer & Armstrong". "Archer & Armstrong" follows the story of an immortal warrior and a former cult member/assassin as they try to prevent the recreation of the mystical device known as the Boon. The Boon is sought after by a group known as the Sect as it is said to grant immortal life even if the consequences  of immortality are severe. "Archer & Armstrong" is written by Fred Van Lente, with art by Clayton Henry and Matt Milla.

Issue #4 brings us to the conclusion of the first arc where Archer and Armstrong must deal with a completed Boon, a group of nazi monks, and Archer's sect following adopted parents. This issue concludes the initial search for the pieces of the Boon, but leaves many questions unanswered that promises many planned future arcs in the series; how did Archer become such a proficient pugilist, how exactly does the Boon work, and what are the total consequences of the Boon? Ultimately, "Archer & Armstrong" is a book about a veritable odd couple taking on all sorts of mystical threats and crazy cults. It is a lot of fun in the same way Saga is in the sense that "Archer & Armstrong" takes this big scifi concept and has fun with it without sacrificing character. I love the drunkard immortal Armstrong and his shenanigans are balanced off by his caring and his mission of preventing the Boon from coming back together. Likewise, Archer's drive and desire to be good balance of his naiveté that will lead to some good development as the story progresses. Props to Van Lente and handling the exposition well.

Additionally, the art and character design complements the story well. Armstrong stands as a large square shaped person to reflect his tough immortal persona, while Archer looks juvenile and serious to reflect his sheltered upbringing and deadly force. From the Vatican to the Himalayas  the art team jumps location well and they draw a pretty good nazi monk. "Archer & Armstrong" will be sticking around in my pull list for some time and I highly suggest taking a look at it if you are in the mood for something different than the standard hero book.

I give "Archer & Armstrong" #4 an 8.5/10