Bento Review: A&A: The Adventures Of Archer And Armstrong Volume 1

I generally like Valiant books, but aside from X-O Manowar, they have rebooted their series quite a bit, often with a new creative team.

Such is the case with the pair of Archer and Armstrong, back in a new volume titled A&A: The Adventures of Archer and Armstrong.  The first volume was subtitled In the Bag and keeps the series’ comedic tone going.

Quite frankly, I think I preferred the old series better.  That series, written by Fred Van Lente, may not have been as “bust a gut” cartoonish as the second volume is shooting for, but it also had less vomit jokes.

But this wasn’t too bad.  Immortal strongman Armstrong is upset over the death of a former comrade and through flashbacks, the reader sees why Armstrong had a falling out with Frank.  In the present, conscientious combat savant Obadiah Archer thinks Armstrong is lapsing back into his usual ways, but then when Armstrong goes into his magical, potentially bottomless satchel to get a specific bottle of booze, that just opens the door to all kinds of things living down there to come out.  Archer has to go in, and gets his adopted sister Mary-Maria to watch things.

The real problem is Armstrong, a longtime drunk, has long forgotten some of the things he put down there.  And that’s assuming some of those things weren’t put there in other ways because even Armstrong isn’t sure where the two cherubs came from.  The biggest menace (for now) was Bacchus, the God of Parties, who’s been in there a few thousand years and wants his revenge…and his booze and his followers.

New writer Rafer Roberts has made the humor here more body humor and slapstick, often involving some quick sword cuts or drunken vomiting.  It didn’t work as well for me, but I generally like Valiant so I may try another in the future when I eventually finish up the original series run.  Let’s say seven and a half out of ten talking fish people.

NEXT BOOK:  It looks like up next we have something from Aspen called Mindfield.  And it looks like another potential male protagonist if the cover is anything to go by.  I generally like Aspen better when the book doesn’t seem so focused on cheesecake T&A artwork, so we’ll see how this works out.


Defender of the faith, contributing writer, debonair man-about-town.

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