Review: Archer & Armstrong #14

A civil war, secret societies, and the odd couple who may stop it all. The mystery of the Sect that runs the world is revealed, but now it will come apart so let us enjoy how it all starts. The Sect start back in Egypt after the assassination of Pharaoh Akhenaten. He claimed to be a God and made everyone worship him because he was the one path to the true Gods. As he goes on with his great monologue and getting naked ready to be worshipped by the ladies and ended with a knife right across the throat. The priests form the Sect never to be ruled by crown and throne; they always remain in the shadows being in public works, police, treasure, and granaries.

Archer out on his own now calls across a pay phone arranging a secret meeting with Project Rising Spirit and asks them to come alone.  Coming alone of course means two helicopters and four guards before revealing yourself. They are nothing for Archer because he is trained so well. They ask Archer to retrieve the Wheel of Aten, those who control the wheel control the Sect.  In return Archer will find out why they call him the prodigal.

AA_014_COVER_EVANSMary-Maria is in front of the 1% explaining what happened to Ivar who has mapped out the time-arc. This could be the answers to financial power to rule world. But she needs more support and money to pursue further. The answer they give her is no, because they have found a better partner and the original agreement was met.  Mary-Maria is swept away by the sisters of perpetual darkness their new allies, and they are to do what they please to Mary.  One of the stooges counts the thirty pieces of silver slipping a little surprise for the 1% when they go and recount the money.

What a tangle web that is being weaved here. The origin of the Sect, the power struggle and control starting to rise, all are put away together nicely while feeling the tension and explosiveness about what’s going happen. There are so many working parts to this story so there is a chance to get lost but not here and the more you read the more details you find. There is one thing missing and that’s Armstrong, but you know there is a tie directly to him from the beginning of the Sect.  Each little tidbit of story here moves nicely panel to panel with three different sub storylines that will converge soon.

This is also a great issue to pick up on if you haven’t started the series yet because of the new story arc; with enough information in the beginning to get things going.  It almost feels like a first issue but has enough depth that readers from the beginning can still chew at and enjoy.

The art is something to marvel; beauty and action rolled in one. You can feel the heat of the desert, the cold downpour of the rain and the grittiness of the inner city. In one panel the crack of the lightning goes perfectly with the hit to one of the guards. You can see the craziness in eyes of the pharaoh. These are just some of the great examples how well the art tells the story.

The perfect book for new and old fans as the “Sect Civil War” begins.  I know there are many books that come out every week but don’t miss this one. Archer and Armstrong is a great read that makes you realize why you love comics in the first place.

Score: 5/5

Writer: Fred Van Lente Artist: Khari Evans Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 10/9/13