Writer: Rafer Roberts
Artist: David Lafuente
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Archer & Armstrong are a high concept duo who are complete opposites when it comes to their personality but mesh together in dynamic ways. They are typically very comedic by circumstance but circumstance always tends to put them in strange situations as well. This book starts with Armstrong (Aram the immortal hedonist hobo) doing a heist with a friend of his and we see Armstrong stealing crates of rare old whiskey and putting them into his infinity bottomless satchel as they are confronted by mafia and escape with their lives. Cut to years later when he has teamed up with Obediah Archer (a sheltered kid-assasin yet a gifted ‘psiot’ who can easily master new languages, fighting styles and various skills) and Armstrong wakes up in a rush realizing he has lost something deep in his endless satchel to the point that he must go inside to retrieve it himself. Obie then walks into Armstrong’s room where he finds a couple of lizard monsters roaming around with Armstrongs bag wide open with a rope going inside leaving Archer frustrated and conflicted between what he should do. Without ruining the rest of the book, we find that there’s a whole other world with gears in motion inside of his satchel and that allows this book to have a no-holds barred approach to its story telling which means that anything can happen and that this adventure is wide open to tell a wacky story in great Archer & Armstrong fashion (such as the fighting off of the 1% wealthy people of the world pulling the strings or teaming up with the even wackier team of Quantum & Woody).
This book was a fun ride and for any comic book reader that likes light wacky comedy and adventure with a side of mystery for their Wednesday (New Comic Books Day #NCBD) dinner this book is for you. Valiant has made huge strides since rebooting their universe in 2013 and while they have many serious titles at the moment that are telling epic stories, it must not go without mentioning their great line of comedic books. Quantum & Woody goes even wackier and beyond anything remotely serious in their series, with great writing and great action that it almost feels like it does not exist in the serious Valiant universe. On the other side of Valiant’s humour spectrum Archer & Armstrong not only has a direct connection to the serious side of things with Aram Anni-Paddi of the 3 eternal brothers but feels like a bridge of sorts to connect the not-so serious books with the serious books. Rafer Roberts was a great person to hand the A&A series to write while the art feels a little more cartoony than usual with A&A but brings more dynamic colour to the book, and the art has a feeling to the wackiness that is strong and concise when in Armstrong’s satchel. I do have to say one final thing… Good luck picking up a 1st print of this book as it seems they have released 2nd print at the same time which is a trend I have been seeing more and more with Valiant and their books and I am still confused as to why they are doing this with more frequency these days. Either way, read this great book and delve into Armstrong’s bag of adventures!
~ T.J Head