Archer and Armstrong are one of the most endearing superhero duos in all of comics and they had a triumphant return last month thanks to Steve Foxe and Marcio Fiorito. Archer & Armstrong Forever has a slightly different twist on the duo since Armstrong’s main ability, invulnerability no longer works. Hellbent on saving his friend, Archer is going to try every external life concoction on him, or die trying. That goes for both die trying, as eternal life is no easy task!
Archer & Armstrong Forever #2 opens with the heroes fighting what looks like conquistadors in Central America. Archer is throwing sick moves out–complete with fun captions detailing the fight move name and some detail–while Armstrong pummels the villains. He’s still very capable of dying and being hurt and Foxe makes sure to capture the endearing quality of Archer who wants his friend to be okay. Quickly the story shifts to explaining why these heroes are in Central America and the main montage-friendly narrative kicks into gear.
Once again, Fiorito’s art is a major selling point of this series. Like in the last issue, Fiorito’s pencils are super sharp and detailed. There’s tons of expression on every character’s face and that includes the people getting beaten up by Archer and Armstrong. This issue gets to stretch the fantastical via plenty of locations and interesting means to bring eternal life to a person.
Speaking of, Foxe plays around with different ways to bring eternal life and also the locations and cultures that come with them. Apparently, there are a lot of options out there, although we learn not everyone truly works. The vampire-related eternal life option might be the funniest, although seeing these heroes do drugs in the wilderness is pretty fun too.
Alex Guimaraes colors the issue with a good sense of shadow and plenty of splashy goodness to make the characters pop off solid colors. There’s a great face-melting panel that the colors go completely ham on that’s worth a look. On the other side of the spectrum, flashbacks have a good monotone vibe thanks to the subdued colors.
Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou letters the issue with inventive ideas that suit the fun and fancy-free adventure. In one example, Otsmane-Elhaou has the rain streaking behind the word balloons break inside them. In another incredible “I’ve never seen that before” lettering move, an “Oof” word balloon has its tail travel through a “slap” sound effect. Truly cool stuff throughout.
This issue does lose sight of the larger story although it’s at the expense of being super fun. The main villain is nowhere to be found and while a key figure teased in the last issue does show up, the bigger plot is definitely taking a back seat to montage craziness. It’s hard to knock the story though since it leans into adventure and inventiveness.
Archer & Armstrong Forever #2 is a good second issue, bringing forth plenty of ideas via an action-friendly montage. It’ll be interesting to see how this story fleshes out though as much of the bigger picture takes a back seat to fun adventure hijinks.
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