The Sect Civil War has reached it’s peak and the different crazy factions alone are more than enough reason to be picking up this book. It ends with quite the shift with the war, but as they say, it’s not the destination but the journey and Archer & Armstrong is one heck of a journey.
Official description from VALIANT:
The SECT CIVIL WAR reaches its earth-shattering climax (and for once we mean that literally)! ARCHER versus ARMSTRONG! An incredible second identity for MARY-MARIA! Obadiah Archer gets a bold new role – and mission! The secret of the MASTER BUILDERS revealed! We were kidding, before but now we’re serious: This one changes EVERYTHING, and the Valiant Universe will never be the same again!
Writer Fred Van Lente is weaving one complex, fun and interesting story arcs with the Sect Civil War and it seems the fun as only just begun. There is some major shifts in this issue that changes much within Archer & Armstrong’s relationship and after the last few issues and Armstrong’s betrayal in the Faraway, Archer begins to have some nefarious and hidden agendas of his own.
Now that Mary-Maria and the spirts of her parents have become the leaders of the Sisters of Perpetual Darkness it sets up the confrontation we have been waiting for between her and Archer. Armstrong is the one here that suffers the most during an all out attack of all the sect factions and how he gets in that position is just as surprising as the results of the battle. Van Lente hits the mark with the humor but balances it well with plenty of emotion and action.
This issue sets Archer on a new path and a new leadership role which will lead to ultimately more danger in the long run as new members of the Valiant Universe are set-up to enter the picture and the possibilities are endless. Van Lente seems to throw everything but the kitchen sink at readers this issue but does it in such a way with amazing pacing that the complex becomes easily digestible. One of the many reasons Archer & Armstrong is such a great read.
Khari Evans is one of the best artistic talents, among a wealth of talents at Valiant, and shines brightly with this issue. Evans plays up the often absurd crazy characters in the sects like the Black Bloc and the Hashish-Eaters with equal believability and humor. Facial expressions are key to this style of story and Evans is spot-on with all of them.
This is a game changing issue in the Archer & Armstrong title and within the Civil Sect War. Van Lente really sets the stage with a satisfying ending but with just enough of a tease with what’s still yet to come. Fans of all the Valiant titles should be on this book not simply because it’s a great read but because it continues to weave a thick tapestry within the different Valiant books and characters. It’s one of the things that makes Valiant such a complex and interesting comic book universe.