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Home  >  Features  >  Valiant Double-Shot Advance Review: ARCHER & ARMSTRONG #5 and BLOODSHOT #6

Archer & Armstrong #5 Cover C

 

MightyVille's Sommer K. and Joe Kach give you their thoughts on Valiant Entertainment's Archer & Armstrong #5 and Bloodshot #6 (available 12/12/12) in this Double-Shot Advance Review!

(Warning: Possible Spoilers Ahead.)


Archer & Armstrong #5 Cover B

 

Archer & Armstrong #5 Advance Review by Sommer K.

Archer & Armstrong #5 is on its way, and this fifth chapter in the saga continues what may be the most fun happening in any current comic series. The buddy tale between the good-hearted Archer and the good-timing Armstrong continues to deliver sprightly dialogue and jaw-dropping action. But this issue is special in that it also brings with it the highly-anticipated return of one of the most beloved characters of the Valiant universe: the Eternal Warrior.

In A&A #5, the Eternal Warrior is back and ready to punish Archer for the evil doings of his parents, even if he has to go through his own brother… who just happens to be fellow immortal, Armstrong! What results is a family reunion complete with fist fighting, attempted strangulation, and a “car chase” involving a bus and a… rickshaw?! The battle that ensues when these two brothers get back together makes the holidays with my family look like a cake walk.

This issue is just plain awesome. I’ve been loving the lighthearted playfulness of the Archer & Armstrong series. I can’t think of another comic that includes serious topics like politics, religion, science, history, and world cultures while never getting heady or preachy. These topics add interest and context, but the storytelling remains natural, fluid, and most of all, fun! Armstrong is a loveable character, and the relationship building between him and Archer is touching. Did I just describe a comic that is full of battles, explosions and swashbuckling adventure as “touching”? Yes. How does writer Fred Van Lente manage to do all of this with one comic, and still make it such a great read? I have no idea, but he gets a big thumbs up from me. My hat’s off to you, sir. And did I mention the issue is jam-packed with Eternal Warrior action? Really, what more can you ask for in a comic?

 

Archer & Armstrong #5 Cover A

 

And let’s not forget the art. Emanuela Lupacchino drew this issue, and provides yet another source for admiration of the comic. Lupacchino does an amazing job bringing this tale’s action to life, with dynamic panels, creative views and intense battle scenes. The art, down to the final colors, maintains the fun tone of the story while giving us pages that are beautiful to view. Throw in a jaw-dropping double-page spread of the Eternal Warrior at work, and you have a stunningly attractive comic fit for the return of a fan-favorite character.

A few aspects of Archer & Armstrong bother me. Occasionally the plot borders on silly, and I tire of the editor’s notes that point out each martial art Archer performs. But overall, these are just minor complaints that I barely notice in the course of reading these comics. When it comes down to it, this series is just good, old-fashioned fun. I enjoy every moment I spend reading it. And this issue, with the entry of the unstoppable Eternal Warrior to his brother Armstrong’s exciting adventures, may be the best so far. Don’t miss it when it hits stores this Wednesday! 

4.5 out of 5

Archer & Armstrong #5 will be available on Wednesday December 12, 2012.

 

 

Bloodshot #6

 

Bloodshot #6 Advance Review by Joe Kach.

(Preview issue here.)

“The Rise and The Fall” saga continues in “Chain of Command”!

Bloodshot vs. Project Rising Spirit, Round 2.

If you love straight-up action, this is the book for you. Writer Duane (Punisher, Godzilla) Swierczynski and artist Manuel (Daredevil, Dark Avengers) Garcia power on through as Bloodshot (or “Ol’ Bloody” as I like to call him) continues his descent into the Bowels for Project Rising Spirit, much to the dismay of Director Oreck. We’re also (re-)introduced to Chainsaw, making their full debut in the new Valiant Universe.

This issue is pretty much Bloodshot going through an onslaught of bodily harm at the hands of Chainsaw, an elite team of genetically-engineered killing machines on PRS’s payroll.

And I loved it!

 

Bloodshot Shoots!

 

It’s relentless. And Bloodshot remains defiant till the very last page (more on that later).

After a relatively by-the-numbers opening arc, this new storyline kicks things up a few notches, while adding a new layer of ingenuity. Aided by “The Kid” (read it, too complicated to explain), former P.R.S. captive Pulse (who seems to have some sort of connection to the Harada family), and combat nurse Kara Murphy. After (quite creatively) allowing Bloodshot to hack P.R.S.’s systems, the one man killing machine finally makes it all the way to the vault. Where his true origin and past is finally revealed on the last page…

Not quite. Whoa. I see a set-up to something here…

Like I said, I loved this issue. It’s boom, boom, boom from the get-go, with no pause for breath. What could have been a simple smash-and-grab-type story, is instead a high-octane, non-stop, shoot-‘em-up thriller, utilizing inventive twists and turns to propel the story forward. Swierczynski uses clever dialogue and fast cuts to keep you fully engaged, while Garcia’s dynamic artwork adds that gravitas required for this level of bang. Of course, without Ian Hannin’s stellar shades of red, the bloody canvas would not be complete.

 

Run for it!

 

This book is so over-the-top violent in the sort of beating Bloodshot can take, you really can’t help but smile. I can’t think of a better comic book for the Holidays.

4 out of 5

Bloodshot #6 will be available on Wednesday December 12th, 2012.  

Let us know what you think once you've read these!

 

More reviews on MightyVille:

Marvel NOW! Double Feature Review: "Captain America" #1 and "Indestructible Hulk" #1

"Shadowman" #1 and #2 - MightyVille Quick Review

BATWEEK: "Batman: Earth One" - The MightyVille Review

 

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