One of the things that I absolutely love about the Valiant Universe is that there’s serious corners of the universe and there are these corners that are filled with humor and lightheartedness, but then also heart. So much heart, but it only works because of the humor. Archer & Armstrong resides in that corner and it keeps the Valiant U from looking like other large comic universes that can’t support funny books for more than six issues. After the events of Archer & Armstrong #25, the events of The 1% are the perfect follow-up. The story opens in the house of one of the children of the 1% and one of their newest board members, Austin. His house is full of historical pieces and people passed out in costumes of all kinds. His father calls him and they have a conversation that most would never even think to have with their parents. It’s humorous, but it also builds Austin’s character in an instant.
After his line of butlers bring him his clothes (each bringing a separate silver tray with an article of clothing), he’s off to the board meeting. There he pisses off the board, but just as he’s about to be terminated, the Black Bloc jump in and begin killing all the board members. Austin and his father make it out and what follows next is Austin opening up to his father for the first time and showing that he’s an amazing asshole.
Seriously, writer Ray Fawkes makes Austin the biggest ass, but you can’t help but want to see what he does next. It’s not that you like him, but you can sympathize with him a little. Just a little. Fawkes' dialogue is sharp and quick and while it’s mostly for humor again it builds Austin’s character. The fact is, after an event in his life is revealed you will know someone like this in your life. Fawkes does some great character development in a short time.
I’ve always been a fan of Joe Eisma’s art and while I’ve dropped off of Morning Glories, I always look forward to checking out his special issues that he manages to squeeze in. He’s the perfect fit for this book. His clean line work paired with Ulises Arreola’s bright coloring makes for a book that fits something called “The 1%.” Eisma has the interesting task of making this very mature book appropriate for a larger demographic and he does that quite well. Your mind will still pick up on the more mature elements, but its kid safe in a way as visually nothing will shock anyone.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of the short story from the 25th, but I really dug this full issue. It should be interesting to see what happens, but more so how it will affect our duo of Archer and Armstrong. If anything you’ll enjoy the quick wit and sharp dialogue.
Writer: Ray Fawkes Artist: Joe Eisma Colorist: Ulises Arreola Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 11/12/14 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital