by Fred Van Lente, John Layman, Ray Fawkes, Joey Esposito, Justin Jordan, Donny Cates, Eliot Rahal, Clayton Henry, Ramon Villalobos, Andy Kuhn, Joe Eisma, Khari Evans, Juan Doe, Rafer Roberts, Barry Kitson, and more
Archer and Armstrong #25 Anniversary Hullabaloo is finally here with eight great stories celebrating two years of a hilariously great book.
We generally break reviews down by talking about the story separately from the art, but doing so with this book would be a little difficult as the stories are so vastly diverse that it would make this review unbearably long to read. Instead, I’ll be hitting some high points.
The main story by Fred Van Lente, with art by Clayton Henry and David Baron, serves as a wonderful wrap-up to the series as Obadiah finally comes face to face with his real parents, though never revealing his true identity. Shortly after, he gathers up the remaining members of the Sect and tells them to be individuals before disbanding them. Enraged by his words, the Sect members jump and tried to kill Obadiah but he uses one of his many abilities to disappear into the night. Believing they have killed their leader, the different Sect members write down all of Obadiah’s teachings and don his clothing, renaming themselves the Archies, a group we saw way back in the Faraway arc of Archer and Armstrong. Everything comes full circle goes the saying, and this is a central theme throughout many of the stories in this book.
The backup stories are just as strong and offer some great insights into Archer and Armstrong. It was also great seeing Gilad and Ivar making appearances here, and I hope this means we’ll be seeing much more of our titular duo when Ivar, Timewalker debuts in January. The One Percent short seemed rather abrupt but serves as great foreshadowing for what we should expect in the upcoming one-shot issue, and in future stories involving that organization. Finally, there’s a wonderfully touching story by Joey Esposito called Happy Returns in which Gilad and Armstrong celebrate Archer’s life in the future after his passing.
In true Archer and Armstrong fashion, every story is filled with a great sense of humor that makes even the darker moments fit in, showing us once again why this has always been one of the most consistently strong Valiant titles.
If you’ve been reading Archer and Armstrong, you will be very happy with how this issue turned out. Every story serves is on point with the characterization and humor, leaving no doubt in my mind that should this series return in the future, it will be in great hands. Overall, a terrific issue with great art and the wonderful sense of humor we’ve come to expect from Archer and Armstrong.