Another new book from Valiant, Archer & Armstrong hopes to grab your attention with tongue in cheek jabs at American culture, ancient history, and religious fanatics. A&A is written by Fred Van Lente, known mostly by me for his works on the Marvel Zombies one shots, and is drawn by Clayton Henry of Adventure Comics.
Archer & Armstrong begins at a rather amusing…amusement park called Promised Land that trains orphaned children to fight for “Their Lord and Savior”, and I mean really fight, like fists of fury, kung fu, karate-I’ll-kick-your-ass fighting. Obadiah Archer is their star pupil, who they send out into the “festering isle of corruption and criminality,” or New York to everyone else, to find and destroy He Who Shall Not Be Named. I’m going to spoil this a little for you, He Who Shall Not Be Named is actually Armstrong and Archer get’s a reality check about his precious Promise Land. In A&A, Wallstreet is a pagan cult who’s in charge of the worlds corruption and greed, oh, so really, this book is non-fiction. HAYO!
The Archer & Armstrong story is kind of cliche, super smart and talented pupil leaves into the real world set to do good, meets up with the man he was supposed to destroy, but sees the world he was told about was all a lie, and now has to team up with his enemy to fight what he once thought was the truth. Did you follow all of that? Good, because Fred Van Lente actually writes it pretty darn well. The interactions between the two characters show good chemistry, and even with the cliche storyline, he manages to put together some great action sequences and M. Night Shyamalan twists. Clayton Henry’s art is clean, is fluent during fights, and let’s the characters show some true emotions, and he has Armstrong puke on a guy in the middle of a fight, Lente and Henry are both winners for that one.
Valiant has done some strong work putting their books back in the relevant category of the comic book industry, Archer & Armstrong #1 is another shining example. Valiant’s books are noticeably different when you see them on the shelves, and when you open them up, they continue to read like nothing else you’ve seen. Pick up Archer & Armstrong #1 from Cosmic Comics! and be sure to try out the newest Bloodshot and Harbinger to #getyourfix.