Review - Archer & Armstrong #4

If Archer and Armstrong were lead characters in a zany sitcom about college roommates, Archer & Armstrong #4 would be the one where Armstrong meets the parents. Spoiler alert: they don't buy him dinner.

The issue is written by Fred Van Lente, with illustrations by Clayton Henry and Pere Perez, colors by Matt Milla and letters by Dave Lanphear.

Archer and Armstong have made it to the La-Chen monastery, where they've come face-to-face with the nefarious mustachioed Nazi lamas, hellbent on protecting the Boon from anyone and everyone. Except for Archer's parents apparently, as they're cool to mess with it and unleash destruction upon the world once more.

What happens at the monastery is a good mix of combat, betrayal, heartbreak and bad parenting. Mary-Maria has an epiphany of sorts and realizes that maybe Archer was right afterall, while Archer's parents continue to be evangelist fanatics insistent on using the Boon for immortality.

The fourth issue completes the first arc for the title characters and if you think it's any less crazy than the previous three issues, you're sorely mistaken. Van Lente keeps the feel of the series going strong in this issue, right down to Archer relying on a variety of combat styles for fighting and Armstrong proving more than capable despite the white orbs that have replaced his eyes.

That's probably the best thing about the entire series so far: the relationship between Archer and Armstrong. They're pitched as an odd couple, but that's selling it extremely short. Instead, they're two halves of a whole who, when together, create an awesome team that can really stand up to anyone. Van Lente makes them both extremely likable in their own ways, making them stand out as characters.

The art continues to impress as well. A book with Nazi lamas and a Raiders of the Lost Ark style light blast could be daunting to some artists, but Henry and Perez hit the ground running here. Armstrong is a bear of man while Archer is slightly smaller and seemingly more fragile, but both show why they are who they are.

This is one of the funnest comics out there right now. Valiant Entertainment knows what works and really sticks with it in Archer & Armstrong #4, an issue that pulls no punches and makes no apologies. It's still early enough in where you can go back and check out the previous issues, as this is a series that's a joy to read whenever a new issue comes out.

Archer & Armstrong #4 is in stores tomorrow with interiors below.