This December, Valiant is doing a line-wide series of variant covers featuring cosplayers dressed as Valiant characters, from Faith to Archer & Armstrong, all the way down the line to Bloodshot. The thing is, all of these cosplayers... are cats.
Archer and Armstrong
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our years on the Internet, it’s that there’s no aspect of comics that can’t be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of five or ten. And since there’s no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we’re taking it upon ourselves to compile Top Five lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.
With a heavily anticipated and equally hyped reboot (or de-boot? or lateral-move-boot?) debuting this week, we thought we'd take a look at comics' frequent tendency to hit the reset button, with a specific focus on times when things turned out, you know, pretty okay! Whether it was because a certain character or story was in particularly dire straits and needed a mulligan, or because time and hindsight allowed an already good idea to be refined, these five examples show that dramatically reconfiguring a comics series is not always necessarily a bad thing.
Archer and Armstrong are back! Valiant's buddy caper comic, starring a sheltered young warrior and an uncouth ancient warrior, got its start back in the 90s, and was revived in 2012 by Fred Van Lente, Clayton Henry, and Pere Perez in a series that ran for 25 issues. This new title, A&A: The Adventures of Archer and Armstrong by Rafer Roberts and David LaFuente, picks up where that one left off.
However, while the last Archer & Armstrong was a globe-hopping, and eventually dimension-hopping adventure story, the story kicking off in A&A #1 finds the duo traveling within, rather than without. Specifically, the heroes are journeying into the bottomless depths of Armstrong's magical bag, which houses an entire world of goblins, monsters, and at least one very angry god.
Valiant Comics' shared superhero universe is smaller and less familiar than those of its major rivals, but even a small shared universe can offer a lot to learn about. To help those readers looking to take the plunge into the Valiant Universe, we’ve assembled our own team of delinquents to break things down. Ste...
One of comics' best buddy action-comedies returns in March with The Adventures of Archer and Armstrong #1, written by Plastic Farm's Rafer Roberts with art by former Ultimate Spider-Man penciller David Lafuente.
The first storyline, "In the Bag," features Archer (a very nice young man who was raised in a religious theme park and trained to be an assassin) searching for his best friend Armstrong (fun-loving immortal vagrant and occasional hero) inside the latter's magic bag, which opens into a kind of mystical warehouse/library which apparently holds, among other surprises, the god Bacchus.
When it comes to shared comics universes, most people turn their mind straight to Marvel and DC, publishers that have mastered the concept over several decades. But a few years ago, Valiant Comics came roaring back, relaunching themselves for a contemporary audience, and providing a simpler superhero universe to get to grips with. Yet even a small shared universe can feel like a lot to learn about, and readers may have held back from taking the plunge.
To help those readers whose curiosity has been piqued, we've assembled our own team of 'delinquents' to break things down. Steve Morris knows the Valiant Universe inside out; J.A. Micheline is completely new to the universe. Micheline has the questions, like what exactly is a "psiot", and who is that bloke in the blue and yellow helmet, and why is everybody so afraid of a goat; and Morris has answers. We hope.
Since their first tiles appeared on comic-shop shelves in 2012, the resurrected Valiant Comics has established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Their new take on the characters and mythology of the original 1990s Valiant line, their pursuit of top-shelf creators, their focus on storytelling and world-building, and their gift for unorthodox marketing and promotion has drawn praise from both fans and press, led to a film development deal with Sony, and won scores of industry awards (and award nominations). They've proven themselves to be not just cashing in on past glories, but a company that's capable of pushing their stable of characters in new and exciting directions while remaining true to their roots.
Listen, folks: I was already on board for what James Asmus, Fred Van Lente and Kano were doing in the pages of The Delinquents from the moment that I found out it was a superhero team-up about going on a quest for hobo treasure. That is literally the only thing I needed to know before I decided to read it. But then the writers went one better by giving the third issue what may actually be the single best opening line of all time.
Seriously, if you have read a comic that starts out with a better piece of dialogue than "Well first off, what makes you so sure your sugar daddy was behind that ass menagerie?" I would like to read it, and I am not even close to kidding.
Ever since they were relaunched by Valiant Entertainment, Archer and Armstrong and Quantum and Woody have been two of my favorite books on the market, and it's no stretch to say that it's because they take a very similar approach to a classic superhero trope. They're both the stories of mismatched pairs, buddy comedies that throw in strange conspiracies, bizarre mysteries and wanton destruction into a blender and end up with a smoothie made of highly enjoyable comics. So naturally, it was only a matter of time before they joined forces to form a mismatched pair of mismatched pairs, which is exactly what happens in this week's first issue of The Delinquents.
And as you might expect, it gets pretty weird. Like, "mysterious treasure map made from the skin of a hobo's ass" weird.
Following the successful launch of a Valiant Comics roleplaying game on DriveThruRPG.com, the publisher announced this week that it will partner with the RPG site's sister site, DriveThruComics.com, to offer its entire comics library -- the old and the new -- DRM-free, as PDFs. New comics will be available day-and-date.
Not only that, but for the next 30 days, Valiant will offer eight of its number-one issues for free through the DriveThruComics website; Archer and Armstrong, Unity, Bloodshot, Eternal Warrior, Harbinger, Quantum and Woody, Shadowman and X-O Manowar.