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Home  >  Features  >  ARCHER & ARMSTRONG #10 and SHADOWMAN #7: MightyVille Advance Reviews

New writer B.J. Morgan lends his eyes and skills to our newest Valiant advance reviews: Archer & Armstrong #10 and Shadowman #7. Take it away, B.J.!

 

Hey everyone! Please welcome aboard B.J. Morgan, the newest addition to the MightyVille review team! B.J.'s been a comic book enthusiast since before the days of Valiant Entertainment's initial outing, so we figured having him give you an advance review of Valiant's new Archer & Armstrong #10 and Shadowman #7 would be a great way to start.

Take it away, B.J.!

 

I have a dirty confession to make: I haven’t read any of the Valiant books since the company’s relaunch in the last year or so. I know I’m behind the curve on that. Joe [Kach] tried to convince me a while back to check out some books, but I’m prone to ignoring people’s advice because... laziness? Idiocy? Alien possession? Something.

Regardless, this was terribly foolish of me because I’ve had a chance to check them out now and I’m hooked. I had the great pleasure of checking out the latest issues of Archer & Armstrong and Shadowman. Based on these two issues, I feel like I have been missing out on some fun comic book reading.

What are my thoughts on the books? Glad you asked!

 

 

Archer and Armstrong #10

I suppose I have another dirty confession to make: I was never that much into Archer & Armstrong back in the early Valiant days. I had friends who enjoyed the book, but it never caught my fancy. Issue 10, however, has changed my mind.

First off, kudos to Valiant for an excellent “Story so far...” page. Not all “previously” pages are built the same. Most books either try their hand at Spartan-like generalizations or novellas worth of information. The couple of paragraphs provided just the right amount of summation and exposition to where I did not miss a beat.

This issue finds Archer and Armstrong (and unbeknownst to the title character’s, Archer’s thought to be dead sister Mary-Maria) breaking into Area 51. While that tropism surrounding Area 51 isn’t necessarily compelling, the banter between the two characters is charming enough to gloss over the setting. Things don’t go as planned of course, but the action moves along at deft pace. Lots of elements are added to the mix. There are grumpy army guys, a fake pregnant woman that dual-wields machine guns, aliens, and dinosaurs.

 

 

Though only ten issues in, Archer and Armstrong feel like a natural team, trading quips while trying to break in (and out) of Area 51. Fred Van Lente is a talented writer who knows how to make things feel breezy without sacrificing any tension or action. He has a very balanced script here, giving both humor and action their time to shine. The artwork clicks as well. Pere Pérez does a fine job of capturing a book that is peppered with both humor and action. It fits in with the tone being established by Van Lente.

The strength of this issue has put the first collection or back issues of A&A at the top of my buying list this weekend for Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC. I’m genuinely interested in seeing where this title has been and where it is going next.

Archer & Armstrong #10

 

 

Shadowman #7

What I lacked in enthusiasm for Archer & Armstrong in my teenage years, I more than made up for with my love of Shadowman. That was easily one of my favorite Valiant books back in the day. I recently was able to pick up the first twelve issues of the original Shadowman for $7.50 on Free Comic Book Day. The twelve year old in me was unbelievably excited.

The issue starts with Shadowman, Dox, and Alyssa fighting off zombies that are under the influence of Baron Samedi. Coerced by the violence around him, Shadowman actually strikes a deal with Samedi. Naturally, hilarity (i.e., violence) ensues as the two try to get to the bottom of Master Darque’s scheming. Shadowman is given ample opportunities to prove his bad ass prowess. That’s all a reader really needs, right?

 

 

This issue was a little harder for me to follow than Archer & Armstrong because it felt like I was being dropped off in the middle of some important events. Don’t get me wrong, the issue was still a joy to read. Writer Justin Jordan, artist Neil Edwards, and colorist Brian Reber do an admirable job of keeping this newbie in the mix. I love the redesign of the costume. It’s very appropriate given the New Orleans setting. The art was excellent overall, with clarity despite the inherent darkness of the surroundings.

In fact, the creative team does a great job of covering some dark and gritty horror concepts and environments without ever feeling too macabre or down in the dumps. There’s always a temptation to dither in some cheesy horror writing with a concept like Shadowman, but thankfully it never approaches overused or cliched horror antics. The pacing of the issue was fluid, never lingering too long without something exciting taking place.

The cliffhanger at the end was enough to hook me for the next issue. Everything seems to be coming to a head with Master Darque.

While Shadowman wasn’t as good as Archer & Armstrong, it was still a solid effort. Once again, it was enough for me to put this title on my shopping list. That’s a win in my book.

Shadowman #7

 

Archer & Armstrong #10 and Shadowman #7 will be in store June 5th, 2013. Let us know what you think once you read them!

More reviews on MightyVille:

IRON WEEK: The IRON MAN 3 MightyVille Advance Review

THE ROCKETEER: CARGO OF DOOM - The MightyVille Review

HARBINGER #0: MightyVille Quick Review

 

Comments (2)
  • bjmorga
    I've been doing some research on the Valiant trades before Heroes Con. Those things are very cheap! I believe they are all $9.99. I will definitely try to find a steal of a deal at the Con this weekend.
  • Joe_Kach  - Cheap Trades!
    The trades are indeed cheap! We did a whole thing about them here:

    http://www.mightyville.com/index.php/features/314-valiant-tpb-collections-only- 9-99

    We've got all but Bloodshot at this point, including Shadowman v1.

    --J.
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