A&A: The Adventures of Archer and Armstrong #2
“Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.”
― Elbert Hubbard
A&A: The Adventures of Archer and Armstrong #2 is an enjoyable, light-hearted addition to the A&A library. A little background: Created by legendary artist and writer Barry Windsor-Smith, and pre-dating Valiant’s original Unity crossover event in 1992, Archer & Armstrong has been called “The best buddy team book of all time” and was dubbed “Superhero buddy book of the decade” by Wizard magazine. Writer Rafer Roberts is a creative and fun guy, and has created a branch of Archer & Armstrong that cannot be reasonably compared to previous Archer & Armstrong titles, in that the intended story concept and artwork differs greatly from what readers and fans might have expected. A&A: The Adventures of Archer and Armstrong must be reviewed with this in-mind to accurately reflect the unique quality of work that it in-fact is. It is in many ways a parody branching from the 2012 version of Archer & Armstrong, and should be enjoyed as such.
It is clear that Roberts understands the characters, as well as their relationships and histories with on another. Roberts uses this background to build a comical and humorous story, completely filled with talking fish, attacking robots, little green men, and a garbage monster. The characters each retain the nuances that make them recognizable, though somewhat over-the-top in execution, which makes the story work well. Roberts’s provides a significant amount of text, but not to such a degree that it becomes overwhelming. It’s fun, and likely will appeal to new readers and die-hard fans of all things A&A.
Artist David Lafuente’s pencil style matches the tone of the story exactly. Lafuente creates an animated and cartoony world filled with characters both new and old, and provides inker Ryan Winn a base to launch from. Lafuente and Winn provide a diverse range of movement, emotion, and landscape that clearly indicate a mastery of their craft. Each panel is overflowing with detail, and looks exactly as Lafuente likely intended it to look with zero variance. Winn possesses exceptional attention to detail, and matches Lafuente’s work with amazing precision.
Colorist Brian Reber provides his signature work once again, and demonstrates his wide-range of abilities. Reber paints each page like the most talented kid in art class while matching Lafuente’s style appropriately. As always, Reber demonstrates a level of professional quality that make him an A-List artist in this industry. His color pallet captures different lighting in various settings, while never once over-saturating. The color quality is such that everything blends harmoniously into a visually strong, professional package that enhances Lafuente and Winn’s lines without equal.
A&A: The Adventures of Archer and Armstrong #2 is the perfect book for new readers looking to enjoy light-hearted fun.