Review: Archer & Armstrong #18
“Mission: Improbable Part One”
Published by Valiant Entertainment
Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Pere Perez
Coloured by David Baron
At Project Rising Spirit, Bloodshot is meeting with Kovol over the “threat” of Archer who is now in charge after the Sect War. They determine Archer and Armstrong’s whereabouts and decide on an effective way to attack and bring Archer in dead or alive. Meanwhile at the Detroit Masonic Temple, Armstrong is not allowed to enter the building. Archer is ready to dispute it, but Armstrong decides to go to a bar instead. Along the way he picks up a “vagabond” and there is some additional company that is waiting for him at the bar. At the temple, Archer has to participate in an interesting vow ceremony. Archer wants to see the Wheel of Aten, but he is ambushed by Bloodshot. After a brief battle, Bloodshot tries to come up with an alternative plan for Archer, but then they are forced to temporarily join forces. The battle between Archer and Bloodshot continues once again at a fast pace until Bloodshot becomes momentarily distracted. Archer takes advantage of the situation, but with no knowledge of Bloodshot’s abilities he is eventually taken by surprise.
I fell a bit behind on this series because of various real-life responsibilities (my mom making me cook my own spagettios and talking to this girl online for months only to find out she was a dude) and after reading this issue, I won’t be falling behind on it again. I really enjoy the humour in this title and I really like how it never feels forced. I laughed out loud at the whole scene with Archer having to recite the vow. I enjoyed the misdirection on that part. The scene with the doves near the end of the book also made me laugh a bit. The new status quo with Archer is going to make for some good plots down the road as he now runs the Sect and the reveal that he is an extremely powerful psiot. The action sequence with Archer and Bloodshot was extremely well done. The fight had a fast and epic feel to it. A lot of credit goes to Pere Perez for that as well. Another aspect of Archer’s fighting sequences I’ve always liked in this series is when he utilizes a skill and it’s identified and defined in a caption box. One of them in this issue was gun fu. I had a couple questions about Bloodshot’s flashback with the doves as I’m very behind on that title. The cliffhanger has me looking forward to next month’s issue. Valiant did it right by firmly establishing each title first. It feels more exciting to have characters from each title slowly interact with one another as a result. We knew it was all a connected universe, but Valiant did a good job by taking their time. I’m really glad I jumped back onto this title.
Archer almost seems too powerful with his recently-defined psiot abilities. I have faith in the creative team, but it was initially a concern to me. Other than that, no complaints on this issue.
Buy It, Borrow It, Shelf Read It, or Ignore It?
Buy It. This book was well worth venturing out of my mother’s basement for. I’m really liking the crossovers right now because they feel so fresh. Also, Bloodshot’s recent history (with the Harbinger Wars) is acknowledged and his character is done well by the A and A creative team. This makes it more enjoyable because of how often crossovers fail to get this type of information straight. This is a consistently good read and I haven’t read a bad issue yet. Archer & Armstrong has the perfect combination of humor, action, and great storytelling.
Tags: Archer & Armstrong, Fred Van Lente, Pere Perez, Reviews, Valiant