Writer: Steve Foxe
Artist: Marcio Fiorito
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
WHAT IS IT?
A hilarious and supernatural riff on superheroes with a buddy cop feel.
Think Starsky & Hutch meets Deadpool.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
The martial arts master Archer and his immortal companion Armstrong have moved in together. Despite their dysfunctional relationship, they’ve been making it work.
During one of Armstrong’s typical drunken sprees, his satchel is stolen by garden tool-wielding vandals. After losing an ear, he and Archer manage to subdue and capture two of them while the third gets away. However, it’s no big deal since Armstrong’s wounds heal quickly.
At least, that’s what normally happens.
Why isn't it happening now?
Is the immortal jokester becoming...mortal?
Foxe’s dialogue is laden with puns and quippy one-liners that are sure to tickle any reader’s funny bone.
Clean lines and dynamic poses permeate Fiorito’s pencils. Each bit of action truly packs a punch.
Guimarães saves the colorful moments for the most dramatic beats, heightening the tension greatly in these panels.
Otsmane-Elhaou makes excellent use of different balloon shapes to convey distorted speech and even uses pictures instead of sound effects in one instance to convey bodily injury.
The team establishes Archer and Armstrong’s personalities and backstories without excessive info dumps. Readers new to the series can jump right in.
In addition to written humor, the comic features multiple visual gags and the creative use of repetitive panels for jokes.
The story excellently sets up interesting questions and will leave readers hungry for the rest of the series.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK
Content Warning: This book contains multiple displays of graphic violence and some suggestive nudity.
The majority of the book is action-packed with few moments of relief. A few more moments to vary the pacing would have helped in this regard.
There’s an emotional moment between Archer and Armstrong that could have used a little more breathing room so readers could better see their tried and tested relationship.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Even after 30 years of publication, Archer & Armstrong remains a funny and heartfelt series. Anyone looking for a fresh start to the series or wanting to take their first steps into the Valiant comics universe would not miss a beat with this book. The dynamic between the titular heroes and the style of the series overall is instantly established, demonstrating the team’s understanding of the franchise and excellent creative abilities.
Everything about this book is quick and punchy. The dialogue is brief and never skips a beat for a joke or quip. The art displays motion fluidly and makes the action feel big. Even the lettering gets in on the action through additional text that describes Archer’s martial arts and makes sure the reader is pointed in the right direction. Collectively, the book chugs along at a steady speed. In addition, bits of the book also suggest that there will be some quality emotional interactions between the main characters in the future as Archer has to face the idea of his once-immortal friend possibly dying.
Archer & Armstrong is perfect for anyone who wants an exciting and funny comic that is an easy read.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Party & Prey by Steve Orlando, Steve Foxe & Alex Sanchez
X-Men 92: House of XCII by Steve Foxe & Salva Espin
Crown & Anchor by Toben & Alaire Racicot
If you like the art:
Marvel Action Avengers by Matt Manning & Marcio Fiorito
Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris by Robert Place Napton & Marcio Fiorito
My Bad by Mark Russell et al.
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Steve Foxe (@steve_foxe) – Writer
Foxe has penned over 75 comics for publishers such as Marvel, Valiant, TKO Studios, Skybound, and AfterShock comics.
He is also a writer of children’s books having contributed to properties such as Pokemon, LEGO, and Baby Shark.
Foxe co-edits the horror magazine Razorblades with James Tynion IV.
Marcio Fiorito (@marciofiorito) – Artist
Fiorito has contributed multiple books to Marvel and Dynamite Entertainment.
He also does commissions of popular comic book characters.
Fiorito hails from Brazil.
Alex Guimarães (@alex_guim) – Colorist
A veteran creator, Guimarães has colored books for Marvel, DC, and Boom! Studios.
He hails from Brazil.
Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou (@hassanoe) – Letterer
With an established reputation for quality lettering, Otsmane-Elhaou has lettered books for nearly every major publisher.
Being multitalented, he is also the editor of the Eisner-winning magazine PanelxPanel and host of Stripped Panel Naked.
Otsmane-Elhaou hails from Algeria.
HOW DO I BUY IT?
The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.
All Archer & Armstrong: Forever characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright of Valiant Entertainment or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.