Review: Archer & Armstrong #18

The next big cross over the “Sect Civil War” has ended and brought a new reign. There is one group that is opposing this and they are going to send everything they have at it. Well I’m ready for the royal rumble between two of my favorite titles from Valiant as they never disappoint. Bloodshot, Major Palmer and Kozol are sitting in the debriefing room trying to figure out how to take out Archer before his new alliances take effect. The only way to do this is to separate Archer from Armstrong. Kozol is getting inside information from a mole he put in there after the union from the “Sect Civil War.” Little does he know there is a mole in Project Rising too.  Kozol has a plan using the upcoming meeting with the Master Builders.

The Master Builders convince Archer that Armstrong can’t come in the temple for it will defile and break the laws of old. Mainly because Armstrong is the enemy of the Sect. Armstrong doesn’t want to be part of the snooze fest anyway. As Armstrong is wandering around he finds Vagabond and head to a local cantina for a drink. All the regulars look pretty familiar.

AA_018_VARIANT_WALSHArcher heads into the temple for the inanition into the master builder before talking. Really it’s like any frat house that wants to party and Archer just want to get to business and talk about the Wheel of Aten.  There is someone else who wants to get down to business too: Bloodshot.  Bloodshot is going all out to get to Archer with bullets flying everywhere and each tries to get the upper hand. Both end up staring down the barrel of a gun.

This issue gets right to business and right to the action.  Which I love there has been enough buzz and just to have a plot building issue would be disappointing.  The story grips you right away with the Sect dissolved there is going to be a struggle with who become the power of this underlying system that binds the world together. The story puts together really well good vs evil but it’s hard to root for one side or the other when you are invested in both of the main characters. I will say it is odd to see Bloodshot working for Project Rising which created and destroyed him. But I can’t wait really to see what happens; I have some predictions, but I can’t say.

The art captures the action very well. It’s a masterpiece watching the bullets fly and the casings hit the ground as Archer and Bloodshot go Gun-Fu on each other. There is even a classic John Woo panel with the doves fly around as the gun fight happens, but it actually serves a purpose. The colors are vibrant and add a lot of depth to each panel. Really the best way to sum it up is amazing.

This is the perfect start to this arc. It dives right in and makes you want more. Where it going? I don’t care right now I just want to enjoy the ride. This is a must buy and don’t let cover fool you.

Score: 5/5

Writer: Fred Van Lente Artist: Pere Perez Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/5/14