Archer & Armstrong #12 is out this week. If you haven’t been reading it, I strongly suggest you go out, pick this issue (and while you are at it, pick up the back issues or collected trades), some tasty snacks, maybe a fine malt beverage (as long as you’re of legal drinking age whereever you are from) and prepare yourself for a good time.

Fred Van Lente, the series writer, has created a blend of action, intrigue, and humor in Archer & Armstrong to create a comic that stands out on comic book store stands filled with spandex clad, angst driven “heroes“.  It may not seem like the sort of book that appeals to all readers, but it should.  Archer & Armstrong is a comic that has it all.  It’s a buddy story, matching the odd couple of the Falstaff-like Armstrong, and the naive, but erstwhile Archer.  It’s a road story, as our heroes search the world trying to stop the Sect, an evil cabal of secret societies from gaining the power of the Boon.  (The Boon is an all power ancient artifact that bestowed immortality on Armstrong, his brother, Gilad “The Eternal Warrior” Anni-Paddi, and their eldest sibling, Ivar, the Timewalker, while nearly wiping out all other life on the planet.)  It has aliens, lost worlds, dinosaurs, and crazy military officers and conspiracy theories.  It sounds like it should be too much, but amazingly, Van Lente makes it all work.  And it works very well.

Pere Perez has stepped up his game in every issue he has provide art for in Archer & Armstrong.  His fluid style, and strong character choices fit Van Lente’s story to a tee.  He finds that right balance between humor and serious storytelling.  He doesn’t overdo anything, allowing the story to not be overshadowed by art that is hyper rendered with the parts outweigh the whole.  Rather there is a very real world quality, helping make the characters and the story that much more engaging to us readers.

A year or so ago, when Valiant announced their new universe and their first handful of series, Archer & Armstrong was the cipher to me.  I didn’t know what to expect from it, but it has really impressed me. Keeping me coming back month after month.  It gives the other Valiant books (all of which are great) and the entire comics industry a new playing level in order to keep up with it.

[pullquote_right]It may not seem like the sort of book that appeals to all readers, but it should.  [/pullquote_right] Archer & Armstrong #12

Archer & Armstrong #12

A $3.99 Comic, 32 pgs
Rated T+
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Pere Perez
Cover Art by Emanuela Lupacchino
Variant Cover Art By Juan Doe
from Valiant Comics
On Sale 8/14/13