ARCHER & ARMSTRONG #16
Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Khari Evans
Published by Valiant Entertainment
Release Date: December 11, 2013
Fred Van Lente pens the most enjoyable Civil War in history with this laugh-a-minute action adventure that is one of the most entertaining historical-fantastical-fiction stories ever. Van Lente’s use of humour is brilliant and his clever methods of integrating Armstrong into history lead to some wildly entertaining situations. This book is by no means a joke, with a solid plot running through it and straight-man Archer keeping the story grounded and moving. This is action adventure at it’s finest, and Van Lente is doing an absolutely fantastic job with the relationship between our primary duo. It is a complex relationship with a huge amount of baggage, but a ton of heart and warmth as well. I want to see these two on the page together. When they are, it’s like fireworks and there is an energy in the book unlike anywhere else in the Valiant U. The Sects themselves add in an entertaining element as well with Van Lente really going wild with the influence and plans of these nefarious organizations. They are powerful and outlandish (a brilliant combination) and their exploits against each other have been a lot of fun to read. Van Lente really has a strong story rolling here and as this Sect Civil War drives forward I am impressed with how well he is writing this title. The dialogue is brilliant & the story is superb.
Khari Evans & ChrisCross brins solid work to the artistic half of the A&A coin. Their art tells the story well, though there are moments that are somewhat sloppy & appear rushed. The story is not heavily affected, however, and the spirit of the characters shine through. There is a lot of energy leaping from the page and the pacing, especially with respect to the Sects. Each Sect has a distinct look and feel which makes this issue easy to follow and gives the Sect Civil War a lot of life. The colour work by David Baron & Allen Passalaqua is strong and their vivid palette keeps the tone of the issue light and jovial, setting a the perfect tone for the humour throughout.
The Sect War is a riot and Archer & Armstrong #16 is a great read. The story Van Lente is telling is action packed and Evans backs it up with solid artwork that brings the Sect War to life. This is a solid chapter to what has been a strong arc in the best series Valiant has put out to date.
The Verdict: 8.5/10