Issue 5 of Archer & Armstrong, written by Fred Van Lente (The Silencers, Action Philosophers), with artwork by Emanuela Lupacchino, Guillermo Ortego and Matt Milla (X-Factor), marks the start of a brand new arc for Valiant’s ‘dynamic duo’. So far, this booked has been packed full of comedy, a take on the classic ‘buddy’ movie – think 48 Hours with Nick Notle and Eddie Murphy.
Last time out, The Sect tried to activate the Boon, the key to immortality, but in the last possible moment their plans were thwarted by our protagonists. Unfortunately, during the battle, the Geomancer, “a keeper of incredible mystic powers” and prisoner of the Sect, was killed.
This has somewhat dire consequences for Archer & Armstrong, as the Geomancer’s protector, The Eternal Warrior, a master tactician, a veteran of a 1000 battlefields and a force of nature, has sworn revenge, believing Archer responsible.
Will Archer and Armstrong be able to find the successor to the Geomancer before The Eternal Warrior catches them?
Van Lente’s script progresses the story effectively and doesn’t ‘shoehorn’ jokes at every available opportunity – humour is timely and delivered well (unlike Marvel NOW!’s Deadpool). Whilst the artistic team of Lupacchino, Ortego and Milla create characters which have personality beyond that which is written for them. The facial expressions in particular are a wonder, conveying gravity (unlike previous issues of Conan The Barbarian).
Valiant’s return has been one of my comic highlights this year and Archer & Armstrong my favourite title.
Archer and Armstrong #5 is scheduled for release this Wednesday, December 12th and is published by Valiant Entertainment.