A&A:The Adventures of Archer and Armstrong#2

by Jason Laframboise on April 17, 2016

A&A: The adventures of Archer and Armstrong #2
Writer:Rafer Roberts
Pencils:David Lafuente
Inks:Ryan Winn
Colours: Brian Reber

I have to be honest I opened this book ready to hate it. I didn't like issue one, I thought the humour in the book felt forced and the interplay between the title characters was making me question why these two are friends. If I wasn't faithful Valiant fan who buys everything they publish, I probably wouldn't have picked up this second issue. I am happy to say that this issue made me re-think that.

This is the second chapter in the "Archer and Armstrong are in the bag" storyline. We follow Archer, Armstrong who have been captured by Bacchus, an revenge plotting inhabitant of Armstrong's mystical satchel. Archer's adopted sister Mary-Maria entered the bag to save Archer and perhaps collaterally saving Armstrong. Armstrong explains the back story of why he went into the bag. Sort of. We still don't know what is so important about the particular whiskey bottle Armstrong is after, but we do know it matters to him. Hopefully these questions will be answered next issue.

The writing in this issue is the highlight. It is a well crafted meaty dialogue rich issue. The relationship between Archer and Armstrong is given some much needed attention in this issue as problems from past story arcs are finally followed up on. Mary-Maria is given her moments to shine which was also a welcomed addition in this issue. Rafer Roberts has done a fine job taking over the characters from personal favourite Fred Van Lente. I enjoy wacky off beat characters so the supporting characters in this are right up my alley. Bacchus who has been trapped in Armstrong's satchel for 3000 years plotting his revenge against Armstrong only to find that Armstrong doesn't remember him at all. I love that this character perceives everything Armstrong has thrown into the satchel as a personal attack on him, when in reality he's just throwing junk into it. Creepy cherubs!

The art in the series by David Lafuente isn't to my liking. I'm not a fan of this style. It's not that it's bad per say but it does nothing to attract me to the issue. The panel layouts are interesting and are pretty unique, and I like the colouring. The art won't keep me from buying the issues, but it also isn't a selling point for me.

All and all I enjoyed this second issue, it is a vast improvement over the first instalment. Art that I'm not a fan of is easy to ignore when the story is well written and engaging.  I am looking forward to the next issue.

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