Comic Name: Archer & Armstrong (Volume 2)
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Pere Pérez/Clayton Henry
# of Issues: 5
Release Date: 2013
Reprints Archer & Armstrong (2) #0, 10-13 (May 2013-September 2013). Archer and Armstrong are after Archer’s origins and it means breaking into Project Rising Spirit’s computers in the legendary Area 51. Area 51 is a home to secrets beyond belief and Archer, Armstrong, and Mary-Maria find themselves pulled into the world of Faraway where they find themselves under attack from military and alien forces. Archer gleams information about his future, and Armstrong finds he might betray his friend and ally.
Written by Fred Van Lente and illustrated by Pere Pérez and Clayton Henry, Archer & Armstrong 3: The Far Faraway follows Archer & Armstrong 2: Wrath of the Eternal Warrior. This collection is also included in the Archer & Armstrong Deluxe Edition Volume 1.
I love Archer & Armstrong. The series is fun and has enough action to get that comic book feel but almost with a wink to the reader while doing it. Fred Van Lente nails the tone in this comic and Archer & Armstrong 3: The Far Faraway has some of the best of this series.
I like the kick off issue of the comic which shows Armstrong’s ties to the legendary story of Gilgamesh. Not only does the story show more interaction between Armstrong and his brothers, but it shows how the Boon came into their possession while setting up the Faraway for the future issues.
I like the ’50s sci-fi nature to this story. You get the Area 51 stuff (far more fun than Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) and you get the Faraway filled with dinosaurs, aliens, Amelia Earhart, Ambrose Bierce, and a dodo. It is weird and fun at the same time but not so off the wall that it falls into “wacky” territory (I’m not a fan of wacky).
In this volume, a big change comes at the end that affects the next volume. Armstrong “betrays” Archer by sleeping with Mary-Maria. Though it does seem like a callous thing to do, it does raise some interesting questions about how Armstrong views the world since he is for the most part immortal and you can question if Armstrong is fully responsible since Mary-Maria is possessed by Archer’s parents…which is kind of gross in itself.
Archer & Armstrong continues to be one of the best titles out there now and for being one of the best titles, probably one of least read. I always worry about the comic manufacturers that aren’t Marvel, DC, and Image and worry that I’ll wake up and find them gone with no resolutions or good conclusions to their stories (like CrossGen). Hopefully the rebirth of Valiant won’t end like the first Valiant, and Archer & Armstrong will have a nice long run. Archer & Armstrong 3: Far Faraway is followed by Archer & Armstrong 4: Sect Civil War.