Valiant Hero Of The Week: Archer & Armstrong
Every Monday for the next few weeks, Valiant Entertainment is running a poll on Twitter to provide fans with some escapism while new comics are in short supply. The poll allows Valiant fans the opportunity to select the “Hero Of The Week” from four choices. That week’s hero will then be the focus of free pdfs featuring the character, videos from Valiant staff, giveaways, and more. This week, the poll featured Eternal Warrior, Livewire, Doctor Mirage and Archer & Armstrong
This week’s winner was…
Archer & Armstrong
Who are they? Archer has been trained since birth in a wide variety of martial arts and weapon skills to take out the devil by his ultra rich, ultra religious parents.
What should you read?
The Michaelangelo Code
It’s history in the breaking!
After years of meditation and training, 18-year-old Obadiah Archer has been dispatched to New York City to carry out the sacred mission of his family’s sect – locate and kill the fun-loving, hard-drinking immortal known as Armstrong! But as this naive teenage assassin stalks his prey, he’ll soon find that both hunter and hunted are just pawns in a centuries-old conspiracy that stretches from the catacombs beneath Wall Street to the heights of the Himalayas. And Archer & Armstrong will have to work together if the future is to stand any chance of surviving the past’s greatest threat!
If you want to start reading from the very beginning of the modern series, then this is your gateway. You can’t go wrong with this trade. Fred Van Lente weaves a tale that’s reminiscent of one of Dan Brown’s novels featuring a man who was there during the history (but may have been too drunk to remember). There’s a lot of laughs to be had along the way, but this book is like Raiders Of The Lost Ark when it comes to it’s comedy; it’s there, but it isn’t the focus. Utterly fantastic all around, the full 25 issue run (or five trades) is well worth checking out, and it all begins here.
Quantum and Woody are the world’s worst superhero team. Archer & Armstrong are a mismatched pair of conspiracy-busting adventurers. When a mysterious force collides these ill-suited and irresponsible “heroes” for a cross-country race through the darkest corners of American mythology, all hell is bound to break loose. Can two busted pairs become four of a kind in time to defeat the Hobo King, save the day, and make it back home in time for happy hour? Let’s hope so…’cause these guys make a really, really bad team. (And you don’t even want to know about the goat.)
This miniseries staring Valiant’s two most popular duos is probably one of the most entertaining stories you’ll find with this foursome. It’s an off the wall comedy that delves into the secret network of hobos from the golden age of rail travel with a tongue firmly planted in cheek. Lighthearted, and amazing.
In The Bag
Meet Armstrong: Since the ancient city of Ur, this immortal adventurer has spent the last 7,000 years drinking and carousing his way through history alongside some of the greatest merrymakers the world has ever known.
Meet Archer: A sheltered teenage martial arts master and expert marksman that was raised for a single purpose – to kill the devil incarnate. Little did he know that this undying evil was actually Armstrong (he’s actually a pretty good guy…once you get to know him) and, since hitting the road together, the two have become great friends and even better partners.
Now: Archer is about to set off on his most dangerous mission yet – a quest into the mystic reaches of Armstrong’s bottomless satchel to liberate his friend and comrade from the clutches of the mad god Bacchus! (Okay, so, Armstrong went into the satchel himself to get a bottle of whiskey that he kinda misplaced and got stuck. It’s like the Amazon warehouse of arcane treasures in there…and he doesn’t exactly have a maid service.)
Imprisoned in Armstrong’s satchel for centuries, Bacchus now commands a legion of monsters, goblins and golems bent on escaping back into the world of man and enacting revenge on their captor… Can Archer single-handedly combat the godly embodiment of intoxication himself – and rescue his best buddy – without becoming lost amongst Armstrong’s endless repository of bizarre artifacts and historical oddities in the process?
This is the first volume of the second series featuring these two, A&A: The Adventures Of Archer And Armstrong. It isn’t as critically acclaimed as the first series, but I enjoyed it just as much as the first (I also read it first). Rafer Roberts leans more into the comedic elements of the duo than Van Lente did, and it worked well for what I wanted out of the book.
It’s worth noting that you can get Deluxe Editions of many of these stories that collect what amounts to three trades in a hardcover. They are comparatively better valued, but present a higher initial cost (based on standard retail pricing not including sales and discounts). They’re my personal preference.
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