What are you still reading my review for? Go pick up this book, if you haven’t already!
You’re still here? Alright, alright… you deserve a full review. Point taken! Last month you may have caught our review of issue #2 with a handy recap of issue #1. In short, the start of this series left a lot to be desired. There was a decided lack of subtlety or wit. The second issue picks up the slack and gets rolling with a lot more fun banter and relationship between the titular Obadiah Archer and the immortal Armstrong, despite continuing to not ask much of the reader’s intelligence or imagination. This third issue from writer Fred Van Lente and artist Clayton Henry continues to bring the fun and even begins to add some depth to the story. Yes, it’s fair to say Archer and Armstrong has finally squeezed it’s way into my cold jaded heart.
Picking up where we left off last month our unlikely duo are cornered by the Sisters of Perpetual Darkness, or as Armstrong refers to them, Nunjas. Unbeknownst to Archer, his sister Mary-Maria has infiltrated the sisters to acquire one of the Boon pieces for her parents. Talk about awkward…after killing evil nuns, poor Archer is suddenly tasked with explaining to his sister that their parents are evil and he’s actually there to collect the same piece… to prevent the Dominion from getting the full Boon. Sister Thomas Aquinas (not an evil nun), an old friend of Armstrong’s, has helped them seek out the nearby piece of their quest. The issue brings steady action and equal humor. Armstrong getting drunk on Ninja Nun wine, and drunk enough to quote poetry even, was classic. The homage to famous X-Men maneuver, the fastball special, was amusing as well. Sure the name was changed to “cannonball special” to protect the innocent, but it was definitely a nod to Colossus and Wolverine.
The art was just as great as you’d expect from Henry. What really surprised me about issue 3 was the story. The characters are all stretched this time around. Archer has the aforementioned crisis of character in regards to his family and his new found friend Armstrong, not to mention his newly enlightened commitment to the truth. He’s young, naive and also fiercely passionate. Despite being lied to and brainwashed, his commitment to righteousness is stable. Armstrong being old, apathetic, and hedonistic, is every bit Archer’s opposite. Even his resolve is pushed to the edge when his dear friend, Sister Aquinas, is murdered in this issue’s struggle. This tired giant has been stirred. The character development made this issue worth it for me. There’s a lot of promise from this point on in the series. The relationship between A&A will certainly change them both before their mission is over. Somehow I went from virtually not caring in issue one to being upset about waiting a month between issues. Definitely check this book out when you’re at your LCS this week!