There’s something endearing about Archer and Armstrong. The two polar opposite characters have a friendship that doesn’t need explaining (although it is worth noting that Archer was hired to kill the immortal Armstrong), and the comic opens with a brilliant sequence that will tell new readers all they need to know about the pair: Armstrong farts in Archer‘s face while Archer is meditating.
It’s an absolutely hilariously juvenile moment made even better by the way that Mike Norton‘s art and Allen Passalaqua‘s colours come together to create the visuals for the sequence.
Rafer Roberts seems to delight in having the two title characters poke fun at existing comic book tropes, before knowingly going along with them leading to some fantastic self-aware moments between the two. I’ve said many times before that this series is one of the most entertaining comics from any publisher, and it’s certainly one of Valiant‘s best comics, but when you see Archer ask he and Armstrong can’t try and talk their way out of the next scrap that will inevitably come their way only to be met with “our enemies are a bunch of idiots. You can’t reason with stupid,” you just know what’s coming.
The entire issue is a fantastic middle finger to the type of by the numbers story telling that can be commonplace in comics, but it’s a bird that’s flipped with love – and I enjoyed every page.
Writer: Rafer Roberts Art Mike Norton Colourist: Allen Passalaqua
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review.