Archer & Armstrong
#7 opens like an old issue of Valiant 1.0's Eternal Warrior
would have (and you can't image how cool this is to a huge Eternal Warrior
fan). Gilad Anni-Padda/The Eternal Warrior is attempting to save the life of , while recruiting the aid of, Archimedes (yes, THE Archimedes) during the Roman occupation of Syracuse, Sicily in 212 BC. Gilad has been tasked by the Geomancer of 212 BC to enlist Archimedes in the battle against The Null (the newest evil conspiracy organization bent on world destruction to be introduced by Van Lente). Only Archimedes can help keep them from using the power of the concept of zero to end of all creation (Van Lente beautifully weaves mathematical history
into his historically accurate tale). Things don't go as planned, but Gilad will get another crack at The Null (and The Sect) with the help of his brother Aram/Armstrong, his new companion Archer, and the new Geomancer named Kay McHenry.
Weaving yet another brilliant, action packed, and strategically humorous issue of Archer & Armstrong
, writer Fred Van Lente takes us on a journey from ancient Sicily, to 1950 Mod England, to the present day while showing us just how cool it would be to be a Geomancer. Apparently Geomancers see the world kind of like Neo in The Matrix
does, making them not only incredibly cool, but perhaps even cooler than Gilad himself (even if Archer thinks he's the coolest...). Van Lente also introduces a smart variation on Darkseid's Anti-Life Equation by introducing The Null's "Null World Equation." It's a smarter version of the sci-fi Anti-Life thing...but pays great homage to it. Van Lente also begins to bring the Valiant U closer together by hinting at a tie between Archer and one of the big players in the Valiant U, one that is currently battling with a certain pale, red dot chested hero...oh, and there's some great sibling rivalry and humor on display between Armstrong and Gilad the whole issue through which serves to forward much of the smart humor in the issue. Finally, Van Lente slyly introduces one of Gilad's most legendary "immortal enemies," whom we are sure to see more of next issue (and made this long suffering Valiant/Eternal Warrior fan almost swoon...well, maybe just a little).
Emanuela Luppachino continues to deliver some of the best pencil work in the sequential art mainstream world by vividly bringing to life several different historical eras, fighting gear, and vehicles in a strikingly beautiful way. Her artwork is nothing short of perfect for Van Lente's style of storytelling and the wide range of subject (and time period) that Archer & Armstrong
Archer and Armstrong
isn't just the creme of the new Valiant crop of books...it's the creme of the crop of all mainstream superhero comics right now, and it just keeps getting better with each issue.