I always think humor is one of the toughest things to capture in entertainment.
With humor, its situation and spontaneity play a huge part in whether it is funny or not.
When I see comedians go on talk shows, to me at least, most of them fail to be funny. Why? I think it is really hard to tell someone to just be funny on the spot, and so with their limited time on the show, and the audience’s constant desire to hear jokes, it is hard for them to be funny on the spot.
To a certain extent this is true in comic books as well.
In my opinion, actually being funny in a comic book is really hard too. You don’t even get the chance to deliver the joke in a funny way, your only resources are words and pictures.
Also, most comic books tell superhero and adventure stories, therefore making humor even harder when it has to be squeezed into another genre.
That is why Archer and Armstrong, along with Quantum and Woody, is so impressive.
Both of these titles from Valiant Entertainment manage to be funny while actually telling a good story in the process. The best of this humor comes in the character of General Alphonse Redacted. A United States general out of time in the prehistoric land of Faraway. A walking cliche of conservative values, he provided good laughs throughout the story.
As for the story itself, there was a lot going on.
Archer gets separated from the group and meets a cowboy journalist from the early 1900s, who was flung through the portal to Faraway as well. Before that, Archer was abducted by alien like creatures who are under the control of General Redacted. Archer’s brief stay on the UFO was definitely the highlight of the issue with the general saying one funny thing after another.
Meanwhile, Armstrong is paired Archer’s sister Mary-Maria, who is possessed by her evil parent’s life forces.
After being separated from Archer, the pair run into their own misadventures. Armstrong may be immortal, and he may have lived for thousands of years, but he is still not very smart, and this gets the duo into some big trouble with the natives.
Archer runs into a big surprise at the end, which is a bunch of guys who look like him living in a temple in Faraway.
The story shifts so fast, and takes so many unsuspected turnsk that I have no idea what is going to happen next. This series’ strength is that it’s a lot of fun.
There is not much dramatic tension going on, and the cliffhanger is so unexpected that it is more surprising than suspenseful. However, the series seems to be aiming to be funny and loose, and right now it’s using those qualities to its advantage.
Writer Fred Van Lente and artist Pere Perez are both doing a very nice job. The next issue should be interesting for sure.