This is a quick moving, high octane issue that leaves you craving more. This issue moves pretty quickly, but I never saw it as a bad thing since it was consistent and thrilling from start to finish. We're three issues into this new world and developing brilliantly. Each issue, we're getting this fantastic story with these two main characters with bits and pieces of thing to come. I love how this book is coming together.
The Valiant worlds are connected? Awesome! Well, at least we know X-O MANOWAR and ARCHER AND ARMSTRONG are. We get a little hint in this A&A issue that there's a very strong possibility that these two books take place in the same universe. Now, I'm waiting for an awesome crossover.
I'm very excited to see the next issue. It look like there may be a big battle between Archer and a few familiar faces to him. We get some great development for ideas we saw in the first issue of the series, and it reminds the reader that this book is a lot bigger than just what Archer and Armstrong are directly dealing with.
Writer Fred Van Lente is fantastic with everything from the dialogue to the over-arcing story. I love how this issue plays out with the bad guys thinking they're on top, by the end of the issue, but A&A always have a plan. The ending, however, is quite the curve-ball as we're introduced to another aspect of this world that has the potential to be bit more out there than anything else we've seen in this book up to this point.
Clayton Henry's art, with Matt Milla's colors, is dynamite once again, Month after month, this artist team proves that independent books can easily have better art than the vast majority of stuff coming out of the big two. I love the action sequences here as characters bust out of the panels as they fight each other. The panels were all unique and it never felt like the same static, medium shot plastered across the page.
Mary-Maria attacking Archer after Archer was explaining that Armstrong isn't a bad guy seemed to be a bit much. It felt like it escalated too quickly and Mary-Maria's reasoning for attacking Archer was over-the-top. All of her feelings and emotions boil over so quickly, even though she's so happy to see Archer.
On my second read-through, I was starting to notice all the disappearing backgrounds. It starts about halfway through the book and last 4 pages. I understand that the focus in the panel needs to be on the action, but over and over again, backgrounds just cease to exist. It's a bit overused in this issue.
ARCHER and ARMSTRONG continues to be one of my favorite on-going series currently on the shelves. The creative team on this book is fantastic, and they deliver an amazing series and issue here. As the story progresses here, we learn a bit more about the world Archer originally came from, and we get some fantastic fight sequences. The art is strong, the writing is strong, and this book is a ton of fun.
On the downside, I felt the fight between Archer and Mary escalated too quickly, and I found that the disappearing backgrounds to be a bit annoying.
Overall, I love this series, and I highly recommend this issue. You won't regret it.