Archer, Armstrong, and Mary Maria are all trapped in the Faraway, in one of the wackiest and weirdest issues yet.
Alright, this book opens... OPENS with Armstrong punching out a T-Rex. I can finally die happy. All I really wanted out of this book was for someone to punch a dinosaur, and dag-nab-it, we got it. Writer Fred Van Lente and artist Pere Perez deserve an 80s-style, slow applause break for this opening page.
It's part-two to a brand new story here, and if you're still interested in this book, but hadn't gotten a chance to jump on, you can still do so here. You may be a tad confused, but the story really kicks up in this issue and everything you really need to know is explained within the story here. It has a very solid flow to the story, and it's one that's very hard to put down once you start reading it.
This was a very fun adventure story. It reminded me a lot of all those fun, but extremely weird, 80s adventure films will the absurd becomes reality. The Faraway, itself, is a pretty backwards place, where the water is made of liquid metal and the trees are made of glass, so throwing in dinosaurs, aliens, cowboys, and Native Americans into the mix may seem strange, but it all works together well in this weird mish-mash stew of awesome.
I'm a huge fan of General Redacted. He's a bit of a nutball, and really stuck on the fact the communists are going to, or have, take over the United States. I love his one-man war against everything in the Faraway as well. I wouldn't say he's a formidable villain for A&A, but he is an interesting one. And while he may be a Pluto short of a Disney Cruise line, he's incredibly commanding and has this weird power to make character listen to his inane, cuss-filled ramblings. That's probably what I love best about him.
As always, Pere Perez provides some fantastic art. His style really fits the book well and mashes together with Van Lente's more comical writing wonderfully. I love the facial expressions he puts on his characters, mainly Armstrong. They're over-exaggerated, and he captures this character's personality extremely well panel-to-panel.
What's up with this ending? Whoa! The reveal page brings up quite a few questions as Archer is confronted with a group of people with one thing in common. I'm not going to spoil it, but from the title of the next issue alone, I am incredibly excited to see where this is headed.
My only minor complaint is the this book has changed a lot from the last arc to this one. The last arc, the team had a task and focus. While here, this is more of a haphazard adventure than anything else. It fits with the tone of the book, but it's a bit weird to see a story without a clear goal. The story is not bad at all, nor is the storytelling itself, it's just a different feel to this issue.
ARCHER & ARMSTRONG #11 is the perfect mixture of adventure and humor. There's a reason so many reviewers around the net are giving this book (as well as many of Valiant's other titles) so much praise: It's that damn good. The art and the writing are top notch, and it's one of the handful of books I cannot wait to read. I get excited and impatient for the next issue. I'm not just blowing smoke. This book is fun and worth your time and money. Or you can continue buying comics that make you feel dead inside just because your favorite character is on the cover. Your choice.