Graphic Novel Review 50/365: Archer & Armstrong – Valiant Comics Week!

Yesterday, I gave you a taste of the complex, sci-fi think piece Divinity.  Today, during Valiant Comics Week, you get the opposite.

Title: Archer & Armstrong 

Author(s): Fred Van Lente/Clayton Henry/Matt Milla

Publisher: Valiant Comics (2012)

Age Rating: 13+

Archer & Armstrong is the beat-em-up buddy team-up that we all love!  Archer is the master of all trades, butt-kicking young guy, raised by a crazy religious cult to use his training for the purposes of evil.  Armstrong is an immortal drunk that has become lazy and complacent, roaming the Earth sort of helping people.  But when forces bring these two together, it’s a hoot!

Filled with story lines of the occult, Archer & Armstrong has a Lethal Weapon meets Indiana Jones feel to it that makes the book hard to put down.  The art of Clayton Henry is good, and the panel layouts are fairly traditional.  Both of these items are par for the course with most Valiant books: the art is consistent and pages traditional.  I know you might read that like a bad thing, but the writing is what gives most of the Valiant books their readability.  The story here is fairly complex, and the words on the page are not simple.  Students that pick up Archer & Armstrong will learn a few new words.  The pages also vary in text length, so after Fred Van Lente overwhelms you with text, he’ll give you a rest with some smash-up action.

Which brings me to my two favorite parts of the Archer & Armstrong series: the action and the humor.  Armstrong might be my favorite character in the Valiant Universe: surly and sarcastic; the pages bleed with humor.  Archer’s naivete is the yin to Armstrong’s experience yang.  And it’s the experience of the old soldier in juxtaposition with the blind-to-the-world Archer that make for fun conversation on the battlefield as they whoop bad guys.

A small art gallery in the back of the book, lead by a variant #1 cover by David Aja, contains some cool other variants and page designs.

If you like fun linked to an interesting world history, mixed with punches and kicks to the face of occult members, then this book is for you.

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