Sunday, August 17, 2014
Archer and Armstrong #9 (Classic Valiant)
While the previous issue of Valiant comedy series Archer and Armstrong was so wordy that it took a fair while for me to put my review together, this issue is absolutely brisk. I was able to read it in a leisurely pace in less than five minutes, and get this review written just as quickly! This'd be a neat thing if this was actually entertaining.
Evil necromancer Master Darque wants immortal warrior Gilad Anni-Padda dead, and to do so, he imbues loyal subject Janine Noir with the ability to mesmerize men, and orders her to go after Gilad's also immortal brother Armstrong, a frequent drunk and get him under her power, turning him into a weapon that could actually have a strong chance in taking the powerful Gilad out of commission. Now it's up to Armstrong's young Buddhist pal Archer to save him before he carries out his mission...
This isn't very good, but it is a lot better than the last couple of issue of Archer and Armstrong, so that's worth at least a little praise.
Nothing is accomplished this issue. There's little character, no development, and the plot is throwaway and over before you know it.
Master Darque is a lousy villain. He has nothing to him, and only appears in story bookends. As for what he does to Noir at the end of the issue for failing him, it'd make sense if this were a darker, more serious series, but this is a comedy!-A comedy issue that follows an 'oh so hilarious' scene with a brutal rape about to happen. Real classy, chumps!
Now onto the good aspects of this issue. There's some good humour, and I like Archer's impromptu acupuncture at the end, even if it does come across a tad psychotic.
The artwork is mostly decent, but not so good in places (like a biker who looks like he was drawn Liefeld-lite). Unfortunately the inking for the issue's dialogue can be pretty crap at times. The cover is pretty bad. It's drawn well, but Archer looks a little psychotically evil, while Janine Noir's black dress quite literally blends into the background!
As I've said before, comics in the '90's were obsessed with stating the time for each scene as specifically as it could. This issue goes way overboard with that idea, as it feels the need to state the year again in a later caption box! Another layout problem is the ultra small text in Archer's narration boxes.
Like I said, this isn't anything special, but it's so much better than previous issues that I'm a lot more lenient on this particular entry in Archer and Armstrong...