I actually had to look to see if I had already reviewed this issue of Archer & Armstrong. Of all of the original Valiant comics, this one is probably my favorite. It doesn't hurt that it was written and drawn by Barry Windsor-Smith. Early Valiant comics by him are the best of the bunch. I got this because I was diligently following Archer & Armstrong. Eternal Warrior held no interest for me. I felt that he wasn't an interesting character. It seemed like Jim Shooter really had an interest in Gilad, because so much important stuff in Valiant seemed to come from his world. It seems like after Shooter left, the comics went a little more wherever the fans were flocking. Yes, I know its pandering. I'd like to think that the solution isn't just to write what the fans want, but to make a comic better and more interesting along the way. Barry Windsor-Smith made a great comic with Archer & Armstrong, a comic that tied very closely to Eternal Warrior. It tied to it so closely that for the eighth issue, they went double sized to tell a story that involved all of the immortal brothers and counted as an eighth issue for Eternal Warrior as well. On top of it all, it worked in one of the greatest adventure stories in the history of western literature, The Man In The Iron Mask.
We don't get to review many Valiant comics, but after talking to them on Saturday, I felt that the time was right to review one, and since this issue came out this week, it's elected. I've been wanting to get engrossed in all of the intertwined Valiant titles after reading the guidebook I picked up at last year's Free Comic Book Day, and so I opted with this one, featuring several of the Valiant characters. I wasn't prepared for what I discovered while reading it.