The spoiled, rich, annoying-little-bastard kids of the One Percent rock the boat of the Valiant Universe’s most arrogant and powerful sect in Archer & Armstrong: The One Percent #1.
Ray Fawkes handles writing duties on this one and he does a great job capturing the arrogance of the One Percent that readers know and love from Archer & Armstrong. They are so over the top and ridiculous in their evil and contempt for lesser beings that you can’t help but laugh, and in a perverse way, root for these maniacs. Root may be going too far, but any page with the One Percent on it is better than one without, so needless to say there is a lot to enjoy in this comic. Fawkes really zeros in on what the children of the One Percent would be like and channels their narcissism and spoiled-brat attitude into some entertaining dialogue. These kids are like the reborn Hellfire Club at Marvel but with even fewer morals and that makes them a fun force to have at play in the Valiant Universe. This faction is going to be making some noise for a fair while to come and Fawkes brings these characters into the play with one hell of a bang. They are malicious, cunning, spoiled and awful….and Fawkes makes them entertaining. They will be fabulous foils for the heroes of the Valiant U for some time to come and it is great to see these characters right at the start of their adventure.
Joe Eisma’s artwork conveys the smug nature of this crew well and keeps the issue pretty visually dynamic for a bunch of talking suits. Sure, there’s some action and mayhem here, which Eisma handles just fine, but the real crux of the issue happens while characters are suited up and wearing their ridiculous masks and Eisma still keeps them looking powerful. All it takes is a single glance to see how entitled and maniacal these characters are, which is a real pro of Eisma’s artwork. I do feel there were some colouring choices by Ulises Arreola that weren’t fully thought out, as much of the issue is coloured in washed out tones that diminish some of the power in the pencils. The One Percent are bold, strong characters and to colour them with washed out tones strips some of their authority. These are characters that exist in the world of over stuffed ridiculously expensive leather chairs and dark wood infested cigar clubs, and the colours didn’t capture that feel for me. If anything, they took away some of the brashness of the characters and some of their rich, authoritative presence. To me, the One Percent are as bold as it gets and the fact that the colour work muted some of the pencils and kept them from leaping off the page and grabbing me was a disappointment.
Archer & Armstrong fans will find a ton of things to love in Archer & Armstrong: The One Percent #1. This comic sets up an interesting organization to muck things up in the Valiant U going forward, and Fawkes & Eisma did a solid job capturing the spoiled-brat nature of these characters…and then added in a homicidal streak for fun. I’d recommend any Valiant fans give this one a read, you will be entertained.
The Verdict: 7.5/10