Archer & Armstrong Volume One: The Michelangelo Code
Collecting Archer & Armstrong #1-4
Writer: Fred van Lente
Artists: Clayton Henry, Matt Milla
Valiant, $9.99, color, 112 pages
Van Lente sure packed a lot into four issues.
First of all, he introduced us to the titular pair. Aram ("Armstrong") was easy, since it's essentially the same character as in the old Valiant Universe. But van Lente gave us an all-new, and modern, Archer (who it turns out is more than just a well-trained martial artist, but will gain mental abilities as well). He also, in the course of the pair's effort to stop a secret organization from re-activating the device that made Aram immortal (which we discover is a really bad thing), also set up a number of other concepts from the old Valiant universe, including the Geomancers, the Immortal Warrior and Ivar the Time-Walker.
Did I miss anything? Oh, yeah: Van Lente packed a whole lot of fun in this story, too! There's both situational humor and snappy dialogue, done well enough to elicit a chuckle even from this jaded old reader. I don't know how long he can keep that up, but I hope it's a long, long time.