Valiant Entertainment 2016
Written by Rafer Roberts
Illustrated by Mike Norton
Coloured by Allen Passalaqua & David Baron
Lettered by Dave Sharpe
Davey Sequence by David LaFuente & Brian Reber
Archer and Armstrong, on their way to find Armstrong’s long-forgotten wife, got tangled up in a Soviet circus that has attempted to induce wife, got tangled up in a Soviet circus that has attempted to induce immortality by infusing people with Armstrong DNA! Where did they immortality by infusing people with Armstrong DNA! Where did they get said DNA? From Armstrong’s middle finger, of course! get said DNA? From Armstrong’s middle finger, of course! PLUS: Mary-Maria and her Sisters of Perpetual Darkness booked a one-way ticket to their demise at the hands of the Council of Elders!You want to see a talking bear go nuts? Let’s get nuts!
I have to fully admit i’ve enjoyed this arc. The idea behind it is utterly fascinating and that Rafer has introduced new characters and new avenues to explore while not having gone over the top in the silly department leaves a great impact. Yes Armstrong is a bit off-kilter with his humour but he’s also ancient so let him have some fun with the usually uptight Archer on occasion while Mary Maria’s always more serious tone seems to balance out the book nicely.
The flashback was great and I enjoyed seeing the origin of how these folks were able to get his finger. We see so little of the past and to get even a glimpse of it here is like candy, you love getting then you want more. Speaking of more yes to Ivan, the Soviet Science Bear but not until 2023 more like 2017 please because yeah he’s just kind of cool and seeing how he went from soldier to being a bear.
The way the residents of the circus reacted this issue and what becomes of them kind of made me happy and sad at the same time though I will wholeheartedly admit that Gub Gub has this odd fascination and potential for some crazy story arcs down the road. I mean he’s freak pure and simple but he’s so much like the base instincts of Armstrong that well you can’t help but think he’s adorable in that freaky ugly cute kind of way.
Really enjoyed Mike’s interiors this issue. The way he’s able to incorporate the circus folk and the various incarnations and variations of Armstrong into them was phenomenal. Including the nod to that season of American Horror Story. The flow through page layouts with the use of angles and perspective really flesh out the book nicely. Plus seeing Armstrong run around in his tightie whities was a hoot. That’s the kind of stuff we need more of.
That this issue actually ends with them seeing Armstrong’s wife and that she wasn’t a type of immortal was well yeah kind of awesome. Plus the fate of Ivan and the rest well let’s just say I can’t wait to see where that goes. Mary Maria and her girls well they actually do add that serious levity that we need to the overall tone and feel of the book. Even with some moments of fart humour and the silliness inherent in this Odd Couple there’s a whole of interesting fun happening as well that you don’t get a lot of anymore so it’s very refreshing to see.