This truly is “The Summer of Valiant”! I haven’t been keeping up with all the titles, but so far I’ve enjoyed X-O Manowar, Harbinger, Bloodshot, and now Archer and Armstrong. Wait that is all the titles they’ve released.. Hmm guess they got me, so far.
Religious zealotry is always a touchy subject. Making someone a willing martyr for a cause and still making them sympathetic isn’t easy. I feel Fred Van Lente has achieved a good balance with Archer. He’s been raised to be an extremist, a terrorist in fact, but you get the feeling he’ll rise above that upbringing. Trained since birth to complete the “sacred plan” of The Dominion Obidiah is prolific in multiple martial arts and seems very well educated (for having been raised by a crazy religious order). But when he is sent to New York to complete his “mission” he immediately runs into some trouble.
That spot of trouble is named Armstrong, at least 10,000 years old immensely strong and quite intelligent, with and eye for the ladies and a taste for the drink, he seems to know more about Archer’s “mission” and the conspiracy surrounding it than Archer does. Now if the boy will stop trying to kill him maybe he’ll get to explain.
By the end of the first issue you’re totally on-board with the story, the boy is disillusioned, Armstrong is willing to help and thus a partnership is born. Formulaic? Sure, but in a good way. The 10,000 year plot and the conspiracy of covert world ending organizations involved in it make up for the simplicity of our heroes meeting and bonding.
It’s an interesting concept, Archer isn’t your average super-teen and Armstrong definitely isn’t your run of the mill immortal, it should make for some interesting reading. So what’s my final take on this the fourth issue one offering in the “Summer of Valiant”?
Archer and Armstrong #1 is a fast paced fun mix of some really interesting concepts and characters, a definite addition to my pull list. I give it 4.5 out of 5.
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Penciler: Clayton Henry
Cover Artist: Mico Suayan, Clayton Henry, David Aja & Neal Adams
Editor: Warren Simons
On Sale: August 8, 2012