By Nolan P. Smith
(Victor Valley)—The most unusual duo in comics is back, and for their most bizarre adventure yet. One’s an immortal that has been drinking his way through the past 7,000 years, the other is a sheltered martial artists raised to destroy the devil incarnate- they are Archer and Armstrong, and they have just pulled out a brand new bag of tricks.
The new series for Valiant’s mismatched heroes comes from Rafer Roberts (Plastic Farm) and David Lafuente (Ultimate Spider-Man), and takes the two down a bizarre path. This issue kicks off with Armstrong searching for a bottle of booze… not surprisingly. But this bottle has a special meaning for a friend that passed away. The bottle is inside the immortal’s satchel- but it is no ordinary satchel. A never-ending doorway to what seems to be a whole world, Armstrong descends into his satchel, and his trusty, over polite friend Archer soon follows. A bizarre land filled with fish people and a lost god seeking revenge against the intoxicated adventurer.
Roberts delivers a story that stays true to the nature of both Armstrong and Archer, while delving into uncharted lands with the puzzling bag. Action, comedy, Davey the Mackerel- its all here, and Roberts charts the exploration to a T. Lafuente’s artwork has a very animated tone to it- almost like we are reading an animated feature. I wasn’t sold on the artwork when I first saw the previews, but after reading this first issue, I am all in.
This is a fantastic start to the latest series of A&A, admittedly my favorite of Valiant’s properties. This was an extremely fun read, and sets up the series for a rollercoaster of fights, betrayals and booze.