I love the Archer & Armstrong title from Valiant Universe. It’s a witty, funny, exciting, odd-couple adventure that explores the relationship of two diametrically opposed companions, who still somehow remain friends.
The origin story of Archer, though, as presented in Archer & Armstrong: Archer #0… I’m not so much a fan of.
I won’t go into any spoilers here in this review, but the origin of Archer de-mystifies him. While it pulls him closer into the heart of the Valiant Universe (aiding in upcoming crossovers), it simultaneously takes away some of the very unique aspects of the title. And while Archer & Armstrong has dipped into some dark places in the past, this issue is particularly dark and disturbing.
Below you’ll find the solicitations information and cover artwork for all of the Valiant Entertainment comic titles hitting stores in April of 2014, including issues for Matt Kindt’s Unity, Greg Pak’s Eternal Warrior, and more.
Harbinger Wars #1 Written by Joshua Dysart
Story by Joshua Dysart & Duane Swierczynski
Art by Clayton Henry, Clayton Crain and Mico Suayan
Color art by Brian Reber
Letters by Dave Lanphear
Covers by Lewis LaRosa, Clayton Henry, Clayton Crain, and Patrick Zircher Valiant Entertainment
Release Date: April 3, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99
Harbinger Wars #1 is the first effort in a line wide crossover from the newly returned Valiant Entertainment. Now, I haven’t been keeping up like I should have or wanted to with the rest of the Valiant line, but thankfully the whole team has done a great job not to let me get lost and make it an enjoyable read.
Joshua Dysart, the writer of this series, does a nice job in the first few pages in bringing you up to speed on who’s who and what’s what in the Valiant Universe. It’s never confusing or convoluted, and flows naturally with the kind of story telling that he’s using in this issue. That said, I’m not a huge fan of first issues of big crossover story lines because the author normally DOES spend a number of pages catching the audience up with what has come before. Again, that being said, this one is quick and painless and then hits the ground running. This issue certainly gets the ball rolling bringing several of the Valiant Universe characters together in what seems is a confrontation that’s been brewing for awhile. Very cool, nicely written issue.
Often both Marvel and DC can do too many spin-offs from their most popular titles. You’d think DC Comics is all about Batman or Superman and Marvel Comics is all about Wolverine or Spider-Man. Sometimes these spin-off series can offer up some entertaining stories though. In mid October, Marvel will be releasing Avengers Solo #1 featuring Hawkeye. Yes it’s another Avengers book. That’s exactly what I thought too. But this story is already intriguing.
Joker’s Asylum II: The Riddler One-Shot
Written by: Peter Calloway
Art by: Clayton Henry
Cover by: Ethan Van Sciver DC Comics
Release Date: June 3, 2010
As comic reader, a lot of times we get fed tons of these useless one-shots and we write them off as the big publishers trying to rake in more money. Well, every once in a while there is a gem mixed in amongst these one-shots that goes under the radar and that is what I’ve brought to the table now. Joker’s Asylum II: The Riddler is a story about the Riddler, obviously, as told by the Joker while he is seemingly incarcerated in Arkham Asylum. Of course, any story told by the Joker will be insanely interesting, no pun intended.
Peter Calloway seems to capture the essence of both the Joker, through his narration, and the Riddler, through his actions in the story. The Joker has just enough crazy to pull off the story making his own riddles along the way, leaving you guessing throughout the entire story. Can the Riddler actually love? That’s the crux of the story and it is definitely interesting to explore the riddle of love. My favorite part is the open-ended completion of the story by the Joker.