Review - Archer & Armstrong #1

It's a hot season, rife with soaring temperatures and the Summer of Valiant. The last entrant into the publisher's rebirth is Archer & Armstrong #1 and it's quite the ride.

It's written by Fred Van Lente, illustrated by Clayton Henry, colored by Matt Milla and lettered by Dave Lanphear.

Obediah Archer is the son of a preacher man (and woman), tasked with seeking out a target who they refuse to name. He's given an artifact called the Fulcrum that will point him in the right direction. Needless to say, the actual person it points out is slightly surprising to Archer.

Armstrong steps in later in the issue, keen to let Archer know he really doesn't know anything. Armstrong has been around the block a few times and knows that Archer is really just being used for something so much bigger. That bigger does involve the 1%, so hopefully you're still ok with that storyline.

Archer is the typical naieve badass who doesn't know about the grander plan. Armstrong is the more reserved bruiser who's seen enough to know things aren't what they seem. Van Lente manages to present them both rather effortlessly, allowing for their interaction to be fantastic.

Both are heavily trained in combat and can hold their own in a fight. Van Lente is setting up sort of a master-apprentice relationship between the two and it's one that will pay dividends throughout the series. The story itself moves along fairly slowly, but by the end of the issue it's an avalanche of revelations and plot details.

Henry's art is very strong in Archer & Armstrong #1. Armstrong especially has an imposing look, while Archer conveys more of the determined grit of youth. These are two guys proficient at fighting and Henry handles the fight scenes very well. In fact, the entire series looks to be a lot of brawling, so here's hoping he can keep the scenes fresh.

Point blank, Archer & Armstrong #1 starts a little too serious, but by the end it's a lot more enjoyable. Again, the interplay between the two title characters is what's going to carry the book more than anything, but it's definitely capable of doing so.

Archer & Armstrong #1 is in stores now.