Archer is master of hand-to-hand combat as well as an expert marksman. He is always on the hunt for truth but is perhaps a bit slow on . Think of him as an updated Kwai Chang Caine.
Archer has partnered with Armstrong, a street-smart but none-too-bright fighter who cannot die. He’s been alive since the dawn of history and realized that the most important thing in life is grabbing a drink.
The pair balance each other in many ways throughout this book.
The title is 30 years old and Valiant Publishing pulls together some key past issues to give readers a good look at the history of the characters and some highlighted adventures, starting with Archer’s backstory – again, reminiscent of Kung Fu‘s Kwai Chang Caine or even Batman.
I was not at all familiar with this title, but I was not much of a comics reader back in the 1990’s. I did, however, recognize the names of the creators for this – Barry Windsor-Smith, Jim Shooter, Bob Layton – and it was on the strength of those names that I wanted to give this a try.
I felt that this was really dated. While I generally still prefer the hand-drawn, ink on board/paper artwork from comics from my generation over the slick look of drawn-on-computer graphic novels, there was something about this work that was unnecessarily busy, cluttered, and too often I had to stare at a panel to understand what was happening. This slowed down the storytelling and therefore the art and the story didn’t always mesh well together, which is ironic since Barry Windsor-Smith often did both.
Armstrong comes off as a Falstaff-like character – larger-than-life, the comic relief, and always looking for the next drink. But he becomes pretty much a one note character, and that takes away from the humor that he’s there to create.
Overall, I was disappointed. I expected more, better, from this group of creators.
Looking for a good book? Archer & Armstrong: Revival, a graphic novel by Barry Windsor-Smith, Jim Shooter, and Bob Layton didn’t really capture my interest or make me long for more stories in this ‘buddy’ relationship adventure series.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
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Archer & Armstrong: Revival
authors: Barry Windsor-Smith, Jim Shooter, Bob Layton
artist: Barry Windsor-Smith
publisher: Valiant Entertainment
paperback, 336 pages