Review – The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong #1

The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong #1 – 
Valiant Entertaiment
Written by Rafer Roberts
Pencils by David Lafuente
Inks by Ryan Winn
Colors by Brian Reber
Letters by Dave Lanphear
One of the more celebrated teams and duos of the Valiant Universe are finally back with a new story.  Archer & Armstrong are already part of the film slate set to appear from Valiant in the coming years, so it only makes sense to get readers familiar with them now.  For those who may not know, here’s a brief description.  Archer is a martial arts expert and marksman, but also a high strung teenager who was raised to kill the devil.  Little did he know that devil was Armstrong, an immortal adventurer who has never met a bottle of booze he didn’t drink.  Once they became friends, their story took off from there with a whole other cast of characters.  Let’s see where this one stacks up.
First, you should probably know that Armstrong has this bag that pretty much has unlimited space in it.  Picture a messenger bag you could actually put a messenger in.  We see something that happens to Armstrong with another partner in the past that prompts him to go into his own bag.  Archer has no idea what’s going on and decides to go find his friend, with his sister keeping watch.  This leads to a whole other world, and an “ancient evil” that Archer fears may have captured his friend.  We find out what that is near the end of the issue, but the real problems may be back in the real world.
This book did have sort of a naive charm to it.  Archer has a real teenage Ned Flanders vibe to him, but without the church.  Armstrong is pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a booze loving, immortal adventurer (because who DOESN’T have one of those in their life?)  Still, this book fell a bit flat to me.  The humor felt a little dated, especially with Archer’s straight from the 50s dialogue.  I did laugh at some parts, but even the random characters from the bag lacked the humor and charm of characters from “I Hate Fairyland” from Skottie Young.  The art by Lafuente and Winn is very good, and probably the best part about this book.  Not being familiar with Archer & Armstrong, I will press on at least one more issue, but with extreme caution.

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