The Null and The Sect (both diabolically evil forces with world domination on their agendas) are negotiating joining forces. Armstrong and his brother Gilad Anni-Padda have been battling them for centuries...sometimes to a standstill. Will new Geomancer Kay McHenry help them tip the balance? More importantly though, will Gilad wise up in time to realize that Archer and Armstrong didn't kill the previous Geomancer and help McHenry and Armstrong stop both The Sect and The Null instead of doing their dirty deed for them?
In yet another satire, humor, and action packed issue of Archer & Armstrong, writer Fred Van Lente introduces Valiant Comics readers to the new Geomancer named Kay McHenry, a blonde bombshell of a right wing commentator in the vein of Ann Coulter (although there is nothing "bombshell" about Coulter-besides her at times zany views) who wakes up one morning realizing that she can hear her dying office houseplant talking to her. From there things really get crazy as she meets a manifestation of Mother Nature in the form of "...a monkey dressed like "mother nature" from the 1970s Chiffon Margarine commercials," nearly drowns, and learns to walk on water. The coolest thing about her though is that her name is a play on the last Geomancer to grace a Valiant Comic book almost two decades go named Clay McHenry. Meanwhile, Gilad (The Eternal Warrior-whom I still dying to see launch into his own ongoing series), Armstrong, and Archer tussle with the Null and the Sect and we even get to see Gilad battle Edward Teach AKA Blackbeard the Pirate in a flashback to a former battle between Gilad and The Null.
Van Lente's humor is once again so sharp and witty that it had me laughing out loud several times while reading Archer & Armstrong #6. The scene where the corporate right wing swill fed and regurgitating McHenry discovers that Global Warming is real, from members of the The Sect no less, is priceless. "Wait--rising oceans? Then it's real? Global warming is real" (full panel pause occurs before The Sect members respond) "Of course global warming is real. What are you a friggin' idiot?" This exchange is just one example of the smart commentary and humor that just drips off every page of this issue. It's the kind of humor and satire that isn't biting or mean spirited, but devilishly insightful and true, and Van Lente is a master of it.
Series artist Emanuela Lupacchino brings Van Lente's adventure to vivid and striking life, from its swashbuckling opening, to its newsroom debates, to its tense cliffhanger. I particularly love Luppachino's excellent fight choreography, anatomy, and body language. Luppachino's attention to detail and panel background detail are top notch as well.
As was the case nearly 20 years ago, Valiant Comics are some of the best on the racks...and Archer & Armstrong is leading the pack once again.