Valiant is just simply amazing. They produce great titles that are easy to follow and cross over with one another so easily. This #0 gives us an extended flashback that deals with the origin of Obidiah Archer, and jokes are few in this one.
Archer and Armstrong #0 shows us the horrid living conditions that a young Obidiah had to endure. Being adopted one’s mind would immediately jump to the conclusion that he suffered abuse at the hands of his foster parents. Well sure he did, but all in the name of creating the ultimate assassin, as Archer’s foster parents are part of a religious political movement that plan on using expertly trained children to kill all those that oppose them and The Sect. Archer is led to believe that his foster parents are his biological parents, but things turn sour when Archer discovers the truth.
Pere Perez produces some great art in this issue. The art on display complements Van Lente’s story impeccably. You can feel the emotion and psychological trauma in the detailed penciling on display in this issue. The colouring fits the book well, with lighter colours being used in earlier pages to show the life of children in the Sect, it starts off all bright and optimistic and then when things kick in the pages turn, employing darker shades to reinforce the pain, suffering and grit that this innocent child has been exposed to. The amount of detail in the penciling fits the story perfectly, it is not filled with pencil lines and pencil shading. Instead, it is kept crisp and clean alluding to the feel that this is a flashback. The details in character faces are not lost through the over use of penciling, instead expressions are easily recognizable and proportions are precise.
This is a great origins issue. It is well thought out and it does not come off as a rush job to please the fans. This title prepares for a crossover with Bloodshot and the H.A.R.Dcorps. This issue not only offers an origin, it also offers a great tie in as we see just how Archer fits into the H.A.R.Dcorps plans as they and Bloodshot prepare for the Sect Civil War. Valiant never seizes to impress!