While enjoying some down time in Las Vegas, Archer and Aram AKA Armstrong resort to their own interests to relax. This of course involves wine and women for Aram, but Archer who will decidedly wait for "the bonds of holy matrimony" to engage in, at least, the women has decided to educate himself by reading the great works of literature that his parent banned him from reading while he was part of the ultra-conservative cult. Starting at the beginning with The Epic of Gilgamesh, Archer soon discovers that the story that he was about to read is much better narrated by its author...Aram the Strong.
I'm really afraid that I'm getting a little repetitive here at ComicBookBin with my reviews of Valiant Comics' new books. It seems that I think and say, in every review, that each and every book that they put out is brilliant. Well, if it walks like an immortal strongman, drinks like an immortal strongman, and loves poetry like an immortal strongman, then it must be an immortal strongman AKA Aram Anni-Padda right?
Retelling the Epic of Gilgamesh in it's "original" form, but following the theme of the real life work of literature, Fred Van Lente not only builds upon the ancient history of the Valiant U 2.0, lays the groundwork for future tales, and hints at the setting for Valiant's next major event UNITY (!) due in Winter 2013, and reveal the origin of The Boon, he continues to bring depth to the character of Aram/Armstrong and the other two Anni-Paddas (Ivar and Gilad) that leaves the reader dying for more of all three. "The Epic of Gilgamesh by Aram the Strong (as told by Obidiah Archer)" is the type of grand historical fiction that made the original Eternal Warrior series from Valiant 1.0 so compelling. Van Lente brilliantly (there's that word again) makes use of a great work of world literature to tell a fictional tale that works off the same themes its source work makes use of, but tell a story that is all together new and exciting as a work of fiction. With the impending Eternal Warrior ongoing series that Valiant hinted at in its FCBD 2013 release, I (as a huge Eternal Warrior fan) can only hope that the type of stories told there are either by Van Lente himself or someone who gets what an Eternal Warrior book should be as well as Van Lente gets it.
Artist Clayton Henry continues to draw some of the best looking comics on the shelves. His work on Archer & Armstrong #0 is as solid as it has been since he pencilled Archer & Armstrong #1. His ability to mix sci-fi elements with historically accurate depictions of ancient times, his strong lines and excellent anatomy, background detail, and fight choreography is quickly becoming the signature Valiant 2.0 look much like Barry Windsor Smith and Joe Quesada's were with Valiant 1.0.
Another great read from the best new publisher to emerge in years...again...Archer & Armstrong is a must read for Valiant fanatics and fans of great comics alike.