REVIEW: A&A: The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong #1

While Capital One persists with asking people “What’s in your wallet?”, on March 16th, Valiant will demonstrate how to appropriately respond to the age old question of “What’s in your satchel?”, with their new and highly anticipated ongoing series, A&A: The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong. Yes indeed, this first issue will mark the return of the Anomalous Duo in their own run. But, whatever you do…

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Don’t call it a comeback,

no relaunches here,

A&A will be rocking their peers,

puttin’ others in fear,

makin’ the beer rain down like a monsoon,

Armstrong’s bottle goes BOOM,

explosions, overpowerin’,

Archer’s competition will be cowerin’,

comic shops listen when I write these lyrics

that’ll make you call the cops,

don’t you dare stare, you better move,

when issue 2 draws near,

cuz if it’s a test of A+A gettin’ sliced or diced,

Bacchus will pay the price

Now that my homage to LL Cool J has been completed and checked off of my bucket list, I can focus on providing you with ample reasons for why A&A: The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong will make your weekly pull list even stronger.

Rafer Roberts continues with the fine tradition Valiant is firmly establishing; that being the ability to supply a plot that welcomes in retainable readership while concurrently satisfying tenured followers of Archer and Armstrong – WITHOUT REBOOTING THE CHARACTERS OR THE UNIVERSE THEY ORIGINATE FROM! The pairing of an inebriated immortal with an unpretentious adolescent who possesses the martial arts skills to have given Wing Chun grand-master Ip Man a run for his money, is not only unlikely, it’s hands down hilarious. Rafer Robert’s script in this issue was top-notch and loaded with plenty of subtle and obvious humor. As with all good scripts, expressing sentiment is key, particularly during moments when the story goes from somber to humorous, or when its morphed into dire situations.

Assisting Mr. Roberts with this latest edition of Archer and Armstrong, is penciler David Lafuente, who’s previous works could be seen across several issues of Marvel’s X-Men, New Mutants, Hellcat and Ultimate Spider-Man, as well as a couple of issues of DC’s Batman Eternal. Although I heavily favor realistic art styles, I can’t say that I was totally disappointed with the artwork showcased in this book. My qualms lie with a number of panels that lacked background depth and with unfinished pencils in scenes where characters shifted from close to long range. It could easily be perceived as viewing a story through the eyes of someone who’s near-sighted; decent detail up close, blurry from far away. However, given the context of the story, the art fits the script to a tee. It’s not meant to be realistic. It’s meant to be an added element to what is already a great story in the making.

The coloring skills of Brian Reber, once again, are right on the money. I’ve already lost count of how many times his coloring work has graced the pages of comic books. The application and clever variety of ingredients behind his color choices, manages to blend in nicely with almost any art style the industry has to offer. Simply put, I view him as a Master Chef of coloring comic books.

So, mark your calendars Crusaders, for A&A: The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong #1, is scheduled to arrive at your local comic book shop on March 16th! Don’t miss out on the newest exploits of two of Valiant’s most coveted characters embarking on a journey inside the supernatural shoulder bag of Aram Anni-Padda and meeting up with someone who’s been for waiting for them for three millennia! The big, the bad…the bitter – Bacchus!

Are you sure you’re ready for this Archer?

Until next time Crusaders!

A&A: The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong #1
Writer: Rafer Roberts
Penciler: David Lafuente
Inker: Ryan Winn
Colorist: Brian Reber
Published by Valiant Entertainment LLC.

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