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Anarchy in the US
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I've said it before in my reviews of the other Valiant re-launch series and I'll say it again: Valiant Comics is where it is at. I've read every one of the newly launched series in deluxe edition format and have seen the light that is Valiant. X-O Manowar, Harbinger, Bloodshot, and now Archer & Armstrong join the ranks. So far, I have to say my new personal favorite series might just be A&A.
ARCHER & ARMSTRONG DELUXE EDITION VOL.1 collects the following:
Archer & Armstrong Volume 1: The Michelangelo Code TP (Issues #1-4)
Archer & Armstrong Volume 2: Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior (Issues #5-9)
Archer & Armstrong Volume 3: Far, Faraway (Issues #0, 10-13)
[Since each of the links above have far more detail per each book, please click on the links as I will not delve too much on the details.]
Obadiah Archer is a highly trained 17-year old soldier trained since birth for his mother and father and numerous other child agents. You see Archer's parents run a secret organization named The Sect that have done numerous things throughout human history and Archer is to find a man named Armstrong and assassinate him for some reason or the next. In a weird turn of events, Archer finds out the truth of his parents are using him for their own personal needs and Armstrong is a 10,000-year old immortal that is the key to finding The Boon, the device that made Armstrong immortal. Both characters have to save the world and set things right, even if things get a little whacky to get their like taking on Wall Street, trying to out run the Eternal Warrior, and traveling to places like ancient Sumeria, going to Area 51, and even other dimensions, all uncovering many hidden truths and mysteries of human history.
Of the many Valiant re-launches, A&A is one of the extreme few who drastically changed from the original series. Now this could be disappointing for old fans of the first series, but someone who is new to franchise, I adored this take on the Odd Couple of comics. Seeing as X-O Manowar is the summer blockbuster of Valiant, Harbinger is action-heavy with strong character development; Quantum & Woody is pure comedy, and Bloodshot is action series of a character trying to find out who he really is. So for me, why A&A is now my favorite title is because it strikes the perfect blend of all of Valiants series just right with just enough action to not be over-bearing, enough laughs to not take away from the fabulous globe-trotting story, and plenty of surprise twist and little nods to the entire Valiant Universe without readers needing to know what's going on in other series. So although most of the Valiant line is doing great things, for me, this might be my favorite of the bunch.
This is greatly do to writer Fred Van Lente making just the right amount ingredients for this series and showing it through the main characters. Archer being the uptight/straight man who is naïve of the world yet shows a great deal of respect and hope, while Armstrong is the 10,000 year old hedonist/poet who wants to enjoy life but wants to set things right for the world and the truths behind them. This not only makes for the perfect buddy comedy/adventure, but it does something that sets it apart from the other comics: history. A good deal of what makes this series enjoyable is Van Lente uses actual historical trivia in a fictional setting and it's played out nicely, especially since you start knowing just how much Armstrong had on numerous people and events throughout time. So I thoroughly enjoyed that aspect.
As with the other Valiant titles, a new artist comes on with each story arc, to which this series uses a simple-but-somewhat cartoony style to match the tone. Clayton Henry does majority of the art, with Emanuela Lupacchino and Pere Perez doing a fair share of back art. All three share a very similar art style and tone, so for 14-issues, the art style stays consistent.
This is the part of my reviews where I like to give my negatives or possible setbacks for readers, but for some reason, I am at a loss of words. I never found a real annoyance because I feel this series hits all aspects of a good comic series. I'm sure there will be someone who picks this up and trashes it and writes it all down, but for this review, I got nothing to say in that aspect.
So, ARCHER & ARMSTRONG DELUXE EDITION VOL.1 is a well-rounded series that is well worth your time trying out. Adventure, action, comedy, a strong plot, little Easter eggs for Valiant fans, and great usage of history make for another must-read from Valiant. This deluxe edition adds additional pages of concept art, story boards with scripts, and variant covers that are standards in DE's, but this series is solid even without the extras and for the price. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you haven't gotten on the Valiant bandwagon, these deluxe editions are great for that reason. This, X-O Manowar, and Harbinger are all big pickups from view point.