Way back in Archer & Armstrong #1, Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry gives us a 5 page glimpse into the origin of Armstrong, a glimpse that left us asking more questions than giving us answers: The Anni-Padda Brothers; Aram ( Armstrong ), Gilad ( the Eternal Warrior ) and Ivar ( the TimeWalker ) are in ancient Mesopotamia. Freshly returned from a battle in land of Faraway, a battle which apparently killed Gilad, the Anni-Padda brothers have returned with The Boon. A seemingly alien artifact of immense power, a grieving Ivar wants to use the Boon to resurrect Gilad, a plan Aram is dead set against, and attempts to stop. Failing to stop the activation of the Boon, Aram, Gilad and Ivar were front and center for the ancient cataclysm it caused, nearly wiping humanity from the earth.
7,000 years later Armstrong is ready to tell the true tale of the Gilgamesh Epic, which apparently has been heavily edited from Armstrongs version, a first hand account. Evidently, everything we learned in high school was wrong, Gilgamesh wasn’t one guy, but the three Anni-Padda brothers. Aram the poet, Gilad the warrior and Ivar the engineer were the ones responsible for the stunning cultural, technological and military rise of the ancient city-state. Now the brothers have been given one last quest for glory by their king: Find the land of Faraway, its secret route revealed to them by a tortured cyborg scorpion-man found damaged on the banks of the Euphrates. The brothers embark excitedly, unbeknownst of whats to come.
Van Lente and Henry return to their beginnings on this book, finally showing how the Anni-Padda brothers gain their immortality. Van Lente’s buddy-adventure-comedy writing skills are at their peak; high adventure seems to be bountiful in the pages to come and the dialogue between three brothers, all of whose personalities conflict, is at its snarkiest. Henry captures both the high-tech futuristic designs as well as the city and geography of ancient Mesopotamia and its people with a dynamic crispness of line work. Every panel has a little treat for the fans of this book, old and new alike. Does the half man- half scorpion mech have anything to do with the Vine, the spider aliens over in X-O Manowar? Who does the Boon belong too? and what is its true purpose?.. only Timewalkers will tell.(groan, sorry!)
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