Archer & Armstrong #6 ReviewJanuary 30, 2013
The Archer & Armstrong writers have a penchant for bringing deeply flawed characters to life.
Full disclosure: I don’t do comics. I used to. Comics, at one point, were like my crack, until I realized I’d have to take out a small loan just to keep up with all the spin-offs, off-shoots, crossovers and alternate universes/timelines. Just…no.
Obviously, I was a bit hesitant about picking up a comic book again, let alone reviewing one. That part of my inner geek lied tucked away in the recesses of my psyche, like some shriveled little malnourished child made to sleep under the stairs. But I took the plunge with Archer & Armstrong #6, and damn, am I glad I did.
So, for those unfamiliar, a little history about the comic Archer & Armstrong; Archer is an adorably naïve bible-thumper that also happens to be the best martial artist in the history of ever. Armstrong is an immortal man-whore with a tiny sense of responsibility hidden deep beneath layers of cynicism and beer gut blubber. At first they hated each other, with Archer as Armstrong’s assassin, only Army can’t die so, ya, waste of time. Archer learns his parents were evil Nazi 1%’ers (not a metaphor, that’s seriously the storyline), joins up with Armstrong, and one of the most unique and interesting duos is born. Like Batman & Robin, but more interesting and less emo; a comedic duo of ass-kickery.
Alright, now we’re all caught up. Archer & Armstrong #6 introduces a new and soon to be extremely important character to this universe, a jaded and internally frigid woman in desperate need of purpose. Fortunately for her, Armstrong’s equally immortal but less amusing brother is currently on a rampage after Archer technically kinda-sorta screwed up, leaving an opening in some fated position of cosmic power ruled over by a mystical monkey. This is following the prior issue’s semi-new storyline involving assassin Hitler monks and soul sucking. If after reading this paragraph you’re thinking to yourself, “What the f***?” consider yourself initiated.
That’s enough of a spoiler already so I’ll leave it there. Suffice it to say, things happen, as they tend to do around Archer and Armstrong. The only thing I could really complain about is the hell of a cliff-hanger Archer & Armstrong #6 left me on. Work faster, comic Gods, I demand you!
There’s more I want to say, really, but I don’t want to give too much away. What I can offer however, is how completely infatuated I now am with this comic series. I am madly in love with these characters and dammit, it needs to be a video game. Or a movie. Something interactive where the characters can move and be quirky in real time so I can stare with new-found love and affection at a universe I totally want to be a part of. The art style is beautiful, the colors are gorgeous and the setting is great, but what’s really nailing it for me is the chemistry Ar & Ar (har, har) have together.
It’s been a long time since something I’ve read has made me ‘lol’ like, for real, and not just in type. The Archer & Armstrong writers have a penchant for bringing deeply flawed characters to life and instilling a kind of humanity in them that’s neither heavy-handed nor cliché, so deeply immersing me in the storyline that I failed to notice all the stares I got as I squirmed and laughed in my own little corner of the room. Felt a bit like the old days of escaping to my room with a really good comic while all the cool kids threw footballs and burned calories. Good times.