David Lafuente, Ryan Winn
A Larger World Studios
David Lafuente, Kano, Trevor Hairsine
Mar 16th, 2016
Archer (A teenager trained to be the ultimate martial artist) is about to set off on his most dangerous mission yet - a quest into the mystic reaches of Armstrong's (Archer’s immortal, and definitely alcoholic adventuring buddy) bottomless satchel to liberate his friend and comrade from the clutches of the mad god Bacchus! (Okay, so, Armstrong went into the satchel himself to get a bottle of whiskey that he kinda misplaced and got stuck. It's like the Amazon warehouse of arcane treasures in there...and he doesn't exactly have a maid service.)
Archer and Armstrong feels like something that would fit perfectly into a late night slot on cartoon network, right there with Venture Bros, Black Dynamite and The Boondocks! It’s has sharp dialogue, and a very ridiculous tone. Archer seems like a character straight out of Johnny Quest, with his very old fashioned view and approach to the world (just a Johnny Quest who can seriously kick butt!) and Armstrong is the big lovable oaf. Rafer Roberts isn’t breaking any new ground with this story, and maybe that’s a good thing. The story remains focused and provides a good introduction to these characters within just a few panels. As Archer himself describes Armstrong, “He’s a large, bearded, probably drunk, possibly pantsless man”. That’s pretty much all you need to know! Archer descends into Armstrong’s magical satchel to find his missing friend, and we soon discover this bag is like a marriage between Warehouse 13 and Felix the cat’s magic bag! Once there the real adventure begins as Bacchus an evil god trapped within the satchel has nefarious plans for our heroes! David Lafuente and Brian Reber work spectacularly as an art team. Lafuente’s heavily manga influenced style is highlighted by Reber’s superb color work. The team make A&A feel like an animated show come to life on the page! I’m definitely hooked and excited to see what this team has in store for our less than dynamic duo!
The Hey!: The essentially “odd couple” buddy comedy story works here, as Roberts and Lafuente play it safe by the numbers but with very over the top characters.
The Eh!: While it can be a good point for new readers, there are some hints at the previous stories/lives of these characters. Archer’s sister is some strange leader of an assassin nun organization? I think. It’s a bit confusing.
The What?!: The page where Archer enters Armstrong’s satchel and we get an early idea this is going to be a crazy wild ride.
Who should read this series?: If you enjoy over the top ridiculous adventure stories, then this is for you! You’ve seen these character archetypes all over the place, but Roberts handles them well here.
Why should you buy this book?: A good starting point without needing too much info on the backstories of these characters. It’s definitely worth giving a read and seeing if you want to go adventuring with the heroes!