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Review: A&A: The Adventures Of Archer And Armstrong #12

aa12Archer and Armstrong’s cross-country travels through the weird, the wild, and the downright wrong have all come down to this: One final showdown with their greatest enemies! As Ivan the Soviet scientist bear and his army of Florida Men unite with the One Percent to unleash the ultimate death trap, the Valiant Universe’s premier adventure duo are gonna need all the help they can get!

When you get your hands on the final issue in a series, especially one of your favourite series, the first question you’ll want answered upon picking it up is whether or not it’ll provide a satisfying conclusion to the story that you’ve been reading (and hopefully enjoying), or if it leaves us with a fizzle.

There’s no fizzle here.

If you’ve been reading the series so far, then you’ll probably be wondering how Rafer Roberts will wrap up his run on A&A: The Adventures Of Archer And Armstrong #12, and whether or not the loose ends he’s dangled before us will actually get resolved in this regular sized final issue. Well, the good news is that most of them are resolved at least enough so that this comic doesn’t fall into the same fate as many comics that were unfairly canceled; a sudden and almost random final issue that feels like a rushed mess. Instead, we get an issue that brings almost everything to a satisfying enough close. There was really only one plot point that wasn’t explored as much as I’d have liked, but seeing as how I didn’t notice that until I sat down to write this review, I’m not going to fault the comic for that in anyway (primarily because I honestly believe that was an intentional ploy to leave an avenue to be explored in a later series).

There weren’t many series like this one over the last year, and while I’ll miss the hell out of reading about the adventures of these two miscreants, Roberts definitely saved the best for last. This comic is funny, with more than one moment where the fourth wall is almost broken as a character gives voice to the thoughts that likely won’t be far off from your own (at least, they mirrored mine at any rate). Mike Norton‘s ability to capture the sheer chaotic nature of this comic without losing any detail is fantastic, and I hope he had as much fun drawing the comic as I did when reading it.

As a concluding issue, this really was everything I could have hoped for. The art was awesome, and the dialogue witty and on point. To say I’ll miss this series would be an understatement, but at least it ended with a great bloody bang.

 Story: Rafer Roberts Art: Mike Norton
Story: 8.75 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

old-man-logan-17Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Joe

Top Pick: Old Man Logan #17 (Marvel) – I am sad that Lemire is leaving the book after issue #24, but what a run he has had. Along with Sorrentino (who sadly hasn’t been doing the interiors on every issue lately), these creators have taken Logan through the ringer. Now we get an Aliens-like feel where Logan is in space against the Brood. I loved the last issue and cannot wait!

Batman #16 (DC Comics) – Tom King’s slow burn continues with the beginning of the “I Am Bane” arc. It looks like the muscle-bound villain is back on venom and bringing menace to Gotham once again as he seeks revenge on the dark knight. How far will Bane go? And who will he hurt that Batman loves? Hopefully, there will be no more broken backs this time around.

Blood Blister #1 (Aftershock) – This series is intriguing and Aftershock has been hitting it out of the park lately with Animosity, and more. I am excited to see what this series is really about and where it goes.

Moon Knight #11 (Marvel) – Another sad moment for me as Lemire announced the book will end at #14. You can see I’m a big Lemire fan, and along with Old Man Logan, this is another favorite of mine. Much like OML, he is really giving one hell of a run on this book and I want to see what happens or what is really going on with Marc Spector.

Star Wars: Darth Maul #1 (Marvel) – So far the Star Wars miniseries have been really good. From Leia to Lando to Chewbacca and Han Solo. I have enjoyed them all. Now we get a miniseries with a badass character who didn’t get enough screen time.

 

Alex

Top Pick: A&A: The Adventures Of Archer And Armstrong #12 (Valiant) – And so another unsung and underrated comic series comes to a close. I’ve heard some people say they preferred Fred Van Lente’s Archer & Armstrong to Rafer Roberts much lengthier titled run, but I honestly couldn’t pick a favorite; they’re different beasts, and my collection is all the stronger for having them both in it. That said, this is a very bittersweet issue for me as I really don’t want to see the series end. C’est la vie, though, I suppose.

Aquaman #16 (DC Comics) – If you’d have told me a year ago that I’d become such a fan of Aquaman – bloody fish talking, almost useless bloody Aquaman – then I’d have laughed until I was blue in the face. Imagine my surprise when the series turned out to be one of the best ongoings (and certainly the best bi-weekly series) DC are putting out post-Rebirth.

Faith #8 (Valiant) – Quite possibly one of the most entertaining series being published right now. You need to be reading this.

Midnighter and Apollo #5 (DC Comics) – I came to this series entirely because of Graphic Policy’s Rebirth Review feature, and it’s discovering comics such as this that’s one of the reasons I’m happy to read past some of the other… less than enjoyable comics. This is a brutally entertaining story about a man who’d walk through hell for the man he loves. There’s not enough comics like this.

Old Man Logan #17 (Marvel) – The old man is in space, and there’s a distinctly Alien feel to the story so far. I’m loving what Jeff Lemire is doing here. Absolutely loving it.

 

Paul

Top Pick: Champions #5 (Marvel) – This as been a fun book from the start, and I am really enjoying it.  This book lets superheroes be superheroes.  It’s nice to see the optimism and determination of these kids, and it really comes through in the colors of the art and the dialogue between them.  These kids are going to change the world, and they believe they can.

All-New X-Men #18 (Marvel)Inhumans vs. X-Men has been a great event and has delivered in the main issues, but these tie-ins have really been weaving into the story so well  (something not often seen with tie-ins).  This issue says that young Cyclops will learn the truth about the adult Cyclops’ mission to take down the Inhumans, and I don’t think young Scott is going to take it very well.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Hawkeye #3 (Marvel) – The first two issues were fantastic and this new series is a perfect successor to the Matt Fraction/David Aja run. This issue packs in so much, amazing writing, amazing art. Just beyond entertaining and a must get (plus the first two issues if you haven’t).

Baltimore: The Red Kingdom #1 (Dark Horse) – What if evil won? Sound familiar?

The Flintstones #8 (DC Comics) – The women are away so Fred and Barney have to take care of the kids. This comic has been amazing as to how much it takes on real world issues and this release does that in volumes. One of the most subversive and politically astute comics on the market.

The Unstoppable Wasp #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was absolutely fantastic with a fun story and a feminist message that was in your face. I expect more of that with this second issue and so much more awesomeness. This comic was fun with a positive message. More please!

The Walking Dead #163 (Image Comics/Skybound) – This is it… the 25 cents issue! I’m fascinated by this to see what is in store for a comic that’s sure to fly off of shelves for the price alone. This is a big opportunity and I’m fascinated to see what is done with it.

Preview: A&A: The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong #11

A&A: THE ADVENTURES OF ARCHER & ARMSTRONG #11

Written by RAFER ROBERTS
Art by MIKE NORTON and RYAN LEE
Cover A by KANO (NOV161961)
Cover B by MARC LAMING (NOV161962)
Variant Cover by DEAN HASPIEL (NOV161963)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale JANUARY 4 (FOC – 12/12/16)

Freaky fracas!

Obadiah Archer: Skilled marksmen, trained fighter, and…deranged circus freak?! Through the unfathomable forces of nature, Archer and Gub Gub – the pint-sized and deranged clone of Armstrong – have swapped minds! When Gub Gub’s body is kidnapped by nefarious forces, Armstrong and his long-lost wife, Andromeda, must race to save their friend and undo the horrendous merger of minds before the damage becomes permanent!

“ANDROMEDA ESTRANGED” goes mental as rising star Rafer Roberts (Harbinger Renegade) and acclaimed artists Mike Norton (Revival) and Joe Eisma (Inhuman) drag Valiant’s leading adventure duo through Hell – and also Florida – for the very soul of Archer (and, sure, maybe Gub Gub too)!

aa_011_cover-a_kano

Review: A&A: The Adventures of Archer And Armstrong #10

aa_010_cover-a_leeArmstrong’s surreal reunion with Andromeda, his long-lost wife, gets even weirder (if that’s possible) as a legion of bath salt “empowered” Florida Men unleash total mayhem! But that’s not the only trouble awaiting Valiant’s fearless-ish adventurers… Enemies from across the globe are descending on the Sunshine State to destroy Archer & Armstrong once and for all! But never fear, dear reader, in the darkest of hours a new hero will rise — and, by Gub Gub, he’s bringing prophetic visions of the future with him!

A&A: The Adventures of Archer And Armstrong #10 is one of those comics that needs a second reading. The first time through you’ll feel like there wasn’t too much that happened – that there was almost too few words for the art (no, this wasn’t a silent issue) – but the second time you read through it then you’ll begin to notice something. Even though relatively little happens in the story on the surface, Rafer Roberts uses the time to develop Armstrong’s relationship with Gub Gub through some surprisingly subtle ways.

Subtle, that is, because they take place in scenes where the focus isn’t on those two, and it’s down to Mike Norton‘s artwork to really bring the relationship building to your attention. It’s easy to gloss over the first time through because you’ll remember a particularly psychedelic scene involving Archer running through some increasingly whacky moments that allow the artist to flex some muscles that wouldn’t be amiss in one of those mind bender paintings. It’s a cool sequence that may drag for some, but didn’t quite seem long enough for me, and  at the end of the day that’s kinda how you’ll feel about the issue itself; I quite enjoyed the comic, but it’ll not be for everybody.

With only two more issues left Roberts doesn’t have to worry as much about attracting new readers, and instead gets to tell a pretty off the wall story that’s a breath of fresh air. It’ll be a shame when this series ends, but I’m going to cherish every issue till then.

Story: Rafer Roberts Art: Mike Norton Colours: Allen Passalaqua
Story: 8 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review.

Preview: A&A: The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong #10

A&A: THE ADVENTURES OF ARCHER & ARMSTRONG #10

Written by RAFER ROBERTS
Art by MIKE NORTON with RYAN LEE
Cover A by RYAN LEE (OCT162003)
Cover B by MIKE CHOI (OCT162004)
Variant Cover by DOUG PASKIEWICZ (OCT162006)
Valiant Cat Cosplay Cover Also Available (OCT162005)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale DECEMBER 7 (FOC – 11/14/16)

Beatdown in the bayou!

Armstrong’s surreal reunion with Andromeda, his long-lost wife, gets even weirder (if that’s possible) as a legion of bath salt “empowered” Florida Men unleash total mayhem! But that’s not the only trouble awaiting Valiant’s fearless-ish adventurers… Enemies from across the globe are descending on the Sunshine State to destroy Archer & Armstrong once and for all! But never fear, dear reader, in the darkest of hours a new hero will rise — and, by Gub Gub, he’s bringing prophetic visions of the future with him!

Harvey Award-nominated writer Rafer Roberts (HARBINGER RENEGADES) and Eisner Award-winning artist Mike Norton (Revival) are in one heck of a sticky situation as “ANDROMEDA ESTRANGED” continues!

aa_010_cat-cosplay-cover

Review: A&A: The Adventures of Archer And Armstrong #9

aa_009_cover-b_schkadeAt long last, Valiant’s gallant adventurers have finally located Armstrong’s long-missing wife…in that dreaded land that dare not speak its name: Florida! But after centuries of thinking that his near-immortal bride, Andromeda, was just a booze-induced hallucination, how will Armstrong make up for years of lies, losses, and infidelities? And, as if that wasn’t enough, a nefarious new force is about to release an army of bathsalt-using “Florida Men” to finish off Archer & Armstrong once and for all!

There’s a bit more of a retrospective slant to this story as Fred Van Lente delves a little into who Armstrong’s wife actually is, and why she’s still alive thousands of years after he left – and forgot about – her. Oh the life of an immortal.

As far as this issue of A&A goes, in comparison to previous issues, it falls a little short.

Mike Norton‘s art is, as ever fantastic, but it’s the slower pace to the comic that works against it. Now that’s not to say the issue is a bad one, it’s just not one I enjoyed as much as the previous eight issues – although with how much I expect from the series at this point, anything that doesn’t meet those probably unfair expectations will obviously be a slight disappointment.

Not the best comic in the series, but it’s still one I enjoyed more than most of the other comics I read this week. Take that however you want.

Story: Fred Van Lente Art: Mike Norton
Story: 6.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

the-paybacks-4Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Joe

Top Pick: Violent Love #1 (Image Comics) – Frank Barbiere and Victor Santos are two great talents, and it is exciting to see them on this book. Violent Love is a story of two notorious bank robbers who fell in love. The story takes places in the American Southwest, and is described as a pulp-infused criminal romance oozing with style and action. The art is fantastic, and I love the premise. Image has been putting out fantastic series for a while now, and we may just have another with this book. I will be picking this up and cannot wait to see how this book portrays these criminals and if it makes us root for the bad guy and girl.

Invincible Iron Man #1 (Marvel) – I really just want Civil War II to be done, and I am hoping for a good ending to fix my fatigue with the event that seems to be lasting forever. That doesn’t mean it will not give us good things, it already has with Champions, and Infamous Iron man, and now that trend continues with the debut of Riri William’s solo title. Riri has been around in Invincible Iron Man, but she is finally now stepping into the iron boots of the perhaps biggest legacy in the Marvel universe, Iron Man. There has been controversy over this book, but we can all finally read it and see where Bendis takes us. I for one am pretty excited to see what happens with Iron Heart.

Power Man and Iron Fist #10 (Marvel) – With the Civil War II tie-ins finally ending, we can get back to a more focused arc. Harlem Burns starts now, and it looks like our two favorite heroes for hire will be facing a lot of their enemies, as well as a new exciting one from Marvel’s past. David Walker and Sanford Greene have done an excellent job with this series, and I cannot wait to see Luke and Danny hero for hiring some more!

Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy #2 (Marvel) – I was pleasantly surprised by this series so far. Sure this is only the second issue, but the words clone and Spider-Man usually sent cringe chills down my spine, but the first book set up some big things that for the time being are at least intriguing. The art is also fantastic, and I love any Spider-Man book where all of his villains are after him. Like Batman, a Spidey book is at its best when all seems lost, and our hero’s back is against the wall.

Green Valley #2 (Skybound/Image Comics) – After the fantastic debut issue, I am excited to return to the world of Green Valley. The first issue took some interesting turns. Early on the book was a fun over the top fantasy story, but by the end of the book, things had turned pretty dark. It will be interesting to see where the second issue takes us. I loved the setting, the story, and the art, and I am excited to continue reading.

 

Alex

Top Pick: Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #13 (Valiant) – I’ve already read the review PDF, which I loved. I’m just looking forward to seeing the art of the page in my hands on Wednesday.

A&A: The Adventures Of Archer And Armstrong #9 (Valiant) – I’ve recently been reading the original Archer and Armstrong series from a few years ago (well, original this this iteration of Valiant), and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every issue. I can’t wait to add a new one to the long box.

All-Star Batman #4 (DC Comics) – The best Batman comic currently being published, hands down.

Brigands #1 (Action Lab: Danger Zone) – This is here because the cover look awesome. I have very little idea what the story is actually about, but it should be interesting.

The Paybacks #4 (Heavy Metal Comics) – I love this series, and if you give it a shot, I reckon you will too.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Black #2 (Black Mask Studios) – The first issue of this series really shook things up giving us a world where Black individuals are the only ones with power and there’s a grand conspiracy to keep the world in the dark about it. An interesting concept the second issue dives further into the politics of it all and a lot more action. Think X-Men, but with a political spin.

Invincible Iron Man #1 (Marvel) – I’ve read the first issue and it’s really solid giving us Riri Williams, a hero for a new modern age. But, what’s really impressive to me isn’t the fact she’s a teenage girl, African-American, or from Chicago. What stands out is this is a character who has some serious social issues. This is a character who retreats in her mind and doesn’t interact normally with people. With so many dealing with similar issues, that part transcends skin color and gender and may be the most revolutionary thing about the series.

Namesake #1 (BOOM! Studios) – The talented Steve Orlando’s original series! The concept sounds fascinating dealing with the world Ektae which for seven days it breaches Earth bringing magic to our world. Sounds interesting and with Orlando writing it’s one to check out.

The Paybacks #4 (Heavy Metal Comics) – One of the most entertaining comics on the market. Consistently gets me to laugh and I don’t hesitate at all recommending it. It just skewers the superhero genre and makes it fun and funny.

Violent Love #1 (Image Comics) – Frank Barbiere and Victor Santos gives us a crime comic that’s as great to read as it is to look at. Talented writer and a talented artist.

Around the Tubes

ultimates-11It’s new comic book day tomorrow! What is everyone looking forward to? Sound off in the comments below. We’ll have our picks in an hour.

While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

Kotaku – Batman, Resident Evil Appear To Be Timed PlayStation VR Exclusives – Who’s looking forward to this?

The Beat – NYCC ’16: Why fire marshals inspect comic cons – If you’ve ever ever wondered why…

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Attack – A&A: The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong #8

The Beat – Monster Pulse

Talking Comics – Ultimates #11

Preview: A&A: The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong #6

A&A: THE ADVENTURES OF ARCHER & ARMSTRONG #6 (NEW ARC! “NEXT STOP: CLOWNTOWN” – PART 1)

Written by RAFER ROBERTS
Art by MIKE NORTON
Cover A by DAVID LAFUENTE (JUN161890)
Cover B by KANO (JUN161891)
Cover C by DARICK ROBERTSON (JUN161892)
Valiant x CGC Replica Variant by PERE PÉREZ (JUN161893)
Variant Cover by RAFER ROBERTS (JUN161894)
Variant Cover by DIEGO LATORRE (JUN161895)
$3.99| 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale AUGUST 10 (FOC – 7/18/16)

ALL-NEW ARC! ALL-NEW JUMPING-ON POINT! Archer and Armstrong and Davey the Mackerel are joining the circus for “NEXT STOP CLOWNTOWN”!

Archer and Armstrong are on the hunt for Armstrong’s long-lost wife, and the clues have put them on the trail of America’s craziest traveling circus! But it’s not just clowns, carnies, and strongmen lurking under the big top… When the world’s premier adventure duo discover dozens of mutated Armstrong doppelgängers secretly running the show, all heck is bound to break loose! And it’s only going to get worse when Davey the Mackerel returns with a shocking new set of secrets about Armstrong’s bottomless satchel…and what else might be soon plotting its escape!

Mad science meets the midway when red-hot writer Rafer Roberts (Plastic Farm) and Eisner Award-nominated artist Mike Norton (Revival) toss Archer & Armstrong into the wildest show on Earth with a perfect new jumping-on point in “NEXT STOP CLOWNTOWN”!

A&A_006_COVER-A_LAFUENTE

Review: A&A: The Adventures Of Archer And Armstrong #5

A&A_005_COVER-B_LAFUENTEA&A’s whirlwind ongoing series is hitting the town with the one and only FAITH! With Armstrong on the road, Archer is taking some much-needed personal time…and bringing his long-distance Romance with Los Angeles’s number-one superhero off of FaceTime and into the real world! As these friends take their relationship to the next level, will romance conquer all?

There aren’t many comics coming out that are as fun as A&A: The Adventures of Archer And Armstrong these days, although Valiant did just debut another comic this week, coincidentally starring this month’s guest star: Faith #1.

This issue of A&A  has Armstrong  leaving Archer to his own devices for a few days for a legitimate story reason, although the slightly more jaded among us may see it as Rafer Roberts just setting up Archer as having the time to go to LA to meet his long distance girlfriend. But when the resultant story is this entertaining, who cares where Armstrong went?

This is the second comic featuring Faith  to hit the shelves this week, and although it’s certainly going to be receiving a lower profile than the debut of Faith #1 (that we reviewed here), A&A The Adventures Of Archer And Armstrong #5 centers around the first actual date between Obadiah Archer, the sheltered young ninja that could give Nightwing a run for his money, andFaith Herbert, the relentlessly upbeat hero known to the world at large as Zephyr. In a ridiculously charming series of events, we see the influence of Faith on the sheltered Archer as the evening progresses, and their talk of pop culture is interspersed with brief snippets of recent (and perhaps not so recent) adventures that took place in various different  series – but don’t think you’ll be lost if you’re oblivious of those adventures; the dialogue is so effortlessly done that the details we are given are more than enough to enjoy the scenes.

Actually, the story probably works better if you don’t know exactly what has happened in previous issues (although since that’s the boat I’m in, I may be biased), and just allow the comic to bring you along for the ride. This wouldn’t be an Archer and Armstrong comic if something wasn’t punched, and the build up to the inevitable confrontation is incredibly well done, and the resultant fight is genuinely funny; the art is fluid, smooth,  and very easy to follow throughout the issue, but it’s the text-planations of Archer‘s fighting abilities (among other things) that are the cherry on top. In an already fun comic, it was often these that had me laughing out loud.

A&A: The Adventures Of Archer And Armstrong #5 may not move the overall story along too much, but it’s an absolutely fantastic read. This is a comic that can easily be read as a one shot comic, so whether you’re just getting into Faith and want a double dose this week, or you’ve always wanted to jump into the series proper this is an ideal place to begin.

Pick this up before you leave your local comic shop next time you’re in. you’ll not regret it.

Writer: Rafer Roberts Penciller: Mike Norton Colourist: Allen Passalaqua
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review.

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