Review: Archer & Armstrong #16

It’s no secret now the shit has hit the fan in the “Sect Civil War.” Who is stepping up to lead? How is it going to end? Well there is no answer here but Archer is planning a solution. The chaos goes off this issue and puts it right in your face. After the attempt on Armstrong’s life in Egypt failed, the wheel of Aten has been sealed up and Armstrong has been stricken from the records. This must happen to keep order and have the Sect to move forward in their plan of domination.

In Barcelona a grand cathedral Sagrada Familia is still being built having started in 1882 and was only halfway finished in 2010. The Sisters are the ones who took Mary-Maria and now convicting her of turning away and heresy.  Right as the match was struck to burn Mary-Maria the Black Blok attacked causing more chaos. This is ultimately their plan to take control of the Sect. Mary keeps screaming to let her go so she can help defend the cathedral.  One of the sisters finally comply to Mary’s request only because sister superior’s brains are splattered on the floor. Shortly after Mary grabs a sword and joins the fight against the Black Bloc.

AA_016_COVER_HENRYWe find Archer and Armstrong surrounded in the desert looking for the Wheel of Aten. Whoever processes the wheel holds the power over the Sect as it is told. Armstrong wakes up after his time travel pub crawl and all he sees is rifles in a face. All he asks is “can you do me a solid and shoot me in the head.” As he walk out of the tent surrounded by the southern rebels in Egypt and was surprised who is out there. Maybe he is just too hung over or it’s really Archer.  Archer is really just using the rebels for their satellite uplink and to haul Armstrong around.  He shows Armstrong the Sect is in civil war and the world is going into anarchy and the only answer is finding the Wheel of Aten.  Armstrong says it’s his fault it even exists and they are off to unbury it.

This story is pure loving chaos. It just moves and flies across the page. I love watching the world fall apart here. What set it apart is how campy it can be like the Black Blok raiding the cathedral and they literally say “catchphrase” instead of an actual over used catchphrase.  Armstrong asking to be shot after a hangover, I’ve been there and you know you have too. It still works with the straight man in Archer and Armstrong as the comic relief. Also it’s not over bearing nor is over played.

The art still shines and flows nicely. It does seem to miss just a little crispness that it once had. It’s minor and unnoticeable unless you have been reading awhile.  I still love the action and how well you can feel the intensity of the fight. The passion of the fights jumps at you and grabs you.  You can just sit back and enjoy the story and art alone.

Okay this book is great; not the best starting point but it moves toward the conclusion of the war.  It does leave you with one question at the end “is he really going to do that?” which sets so much in motion. If you have enjoyed the war this has to be my second favorite of the arc, sorry last issue is still my favorite. I would say pick it up because there is more to come and many things set in motion.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Fred Van Lente Artist: Khari Evans and ChrisCross Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 12/11/13