Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Archer and Armstrong #25 and Eternal Warrior #25 (Classic Valiant)
Immortal drunk Armstrong is visiting a psychiatrist who's very interested by what she believes to be his delusions. Wondering about his constant stories of being hounded by a murderous sect, she asks Armstrong about how all of that started, leading into a tale from the Crusades, where the conniving King Phillip wishes his reluctant ally King Richard to fall from grace, and so starts a conspiracy to shame him in the eyes of Britain's Archbishop...
This two-parter, shared between Issues #25 of both Archer and Armstrong, and Eternal Warrior seeks to explain why the Sect want Armstrong dead. A little late, aren't you?
The psychiatric meeting with Dr. Gluck is the framing for this story from Armstrong's past. Despite the fact that this is some random woman who harassed him on an airplane, it does make sense why Armstrong's seeing her for professional advice, given his explanation in Issue #24, = except in one respect-She's a sex therapist! I have no doubt that even sex therapists are qualified in every respect to be both medical professionals, from being doctors, to regular psychiatrists, but it makes little sense what someone most interested in things along the lines of 'What causes Nymphomania?' is doing treating a seemingly delusional patient who thinks he's thousands of years old!
I guess to make up for the last two issues, Armstrong is purportedly the main focus of this story, and Archer is the one who barely appears. However, Armstrong himself is a rather peripheral character, and the majority of the story focuses on the political machinations of King Phillip!
It makes little sense why Phillip wants King Richard publicly disgraced and stripped of power, as he needs all the help he can to fight the Turks! Worse still, this 'fall from grace' plot ignores the fact that the King has more power than the Archbishop! The King can chop off the Archbishop's HEAD if he wanted to. I know this, because it's happened before. Many times! And those times it was in situations with just as much, if not more, political scandal, and they didn't end with the king deposed by a revolting public or anything!
On that note, while I can't speak for everything present, I can tell that at least some of this story is historically inaccurate.
Another thing this story fails to explain is why Armstrong and Gilad are even working for Cour de Lion. Do they want to slaughter people just for worshipping a different religion? And we should feel bad that a sect emerges from this wanting to kill them?
All in all, this story feels pointless. It accomplishes very little, and the conclusion is very rushed and unenjoyable. Meanwhile, the framing story accomplishes just as much, seeing as how it lacks a real ending!
The characters in this story are just boring. Armstrong barely makes an impression here, and he's just an unlikeable lout. Gilad is just as dull, and plays practically zero part in the story. This is especially annoying given this story is partially made up of an issue of his own series Eternal Warrior!
Dr. Gluck has nothing to her, but at least she's not a pushy bitch like she was in Issue #22.
Concerning the characters of Lockinbar (who's also totally dull) and Archer, the story tries to push some past life similarity crap on us, just like the last A&A/Eternal Warrior crossover Issue #8. It's as confusing and inconsequential as it was there. There's also a really confusing thread at the beginning and end of the story, concerning someone who seems to be a...reincarnation?...of antagonistic Brother Nicholas.
There's very little humour in this story, and what there is is weak, save for the amusing ending to A&A #25, where Dr. Gluck shows surprise at how detailed Armstrong's 'delusions' are-"The work you must have put into the research alone!". I like that kind of humour much better than lower, immature forms, although nothing like that is ever within these pages.
The art here isn't as bad as previous issues of Archer and Armstrong, but shares many of the same problems, such as the very poor crosshatch shading. The cover to Issue #25 of A&A is ok, while EW #25's is lazy. It's pretty much the exact same cover, but without Armstrong.
This two-parter of Archer and Armstrong and Eternal Warrior isn't terrible, but it is a total waste...