Well, now it’s official: I’ve tried every single comic series Valiant comics produces. Though Archer & Armstrong didn’t initially appeal to me in concept, I decided to give it a chance with Issue #0. That one issue alone blew me away and this series has quickly climbed towards the top of my reading pile. Month after month, the title succeeds in something few comics can: actually making me laugh. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the latest installment in the series, Archer & Armstrong #12.
Archer & Armstrong #12 returns to our heroes who are trapped in the mystical realm of The Faraway. While Armstrong attempts to convince Mary-Maria to help the Roanoke tribe fight off General Redacted’s abnormal alien airforce, Archer struggles with a cult from the future who follows a tome he’ll write sometime down the line. What chance do they have againsta UFO assault when they’re armed with only primitive weaponry, their fists, and a wry sense of humor?
If I met Fred Van Lente, I’d clap the man on the back and offer to buy him a drink. As I mentioned earlier, Archer & Armstrong is the only comic I read that makes me laugh out loud with each new issue. The jokes are legitimately funny, especially given the combination of lampshade hanging of common tropes, digs at modern society, and good old fashioned slapstick. Van Lente’s comedic timing is perfect, placing jokes at just the right moment for full effect. That’s not to say the plot is all humor, however: there are a surprising number of deeper philosophical moments, especially concerning Archer’s followers and the debate they have with him. All the characters are great as well, with wild personalities that are so ridiculous and over-the-top that it hearkens back to the idea that comics should be fun! There’s really nothing about the writing I can complain about.
Pere Perez, David Baron, and Emanuela Lupacchino also deserve high praise for their work on the art for Archer & Armstrong #12. Perez, as penciller, gives us wild scenes that perfectly supplement Van Lente’s comedic style. Perez proves he can draw everything from people to flying saucers to dodo birds with style and skill. Baron’s coloring work is vibrant and accentuates Perez’s pencils, giving us a palette that makes this light-hearted comic even more enjoyable. Finally, Lupacchino’s cover, pictured at the top of this article, is great fun and gives perfect sense of what to expect within the comic. As with the writing, the art is top notch and I cannot fault it.
Archer & Armstrong #12 is arguably the best comic I’ve read over the last month. The writing and art are both flawless for this type of series. It’s good that in a market overcrowded with “grim and gritty” titles that there’s something like this which doesn’t take itself too seriously and can make the reader smile. Best of all, Archer & Armstrong, while containing an overarching plot, is easy enough to follow that one can dive into almost any issue and follow along with the story. If you hate enjoying yourself, don’t read this comic; otherwise, get thee to a comic shop (or comixology) and read it right now!
-hilarious moment after hilarious moment
-story is surprisingly thought-provoking
-new reader friendly
-I have to wait a month for the next issue
Brett Simon is a twenty-three year old comic enthusiast. He loved Ivar’s implication that Archer is going to fight Bloodshot.