Valiant Comics has been exploding recently with a slew of original titles in their own shared universe of superheroes. One of Valiant’s biggest breakout hits has been their run of Archer and Armstrong. Though the characters originally appeared in a 1992 series written by Jim Shooter, Barry Windsor-Smith, and Bob Layton, the characters got a resurgence in 2012 under the helm of writer Fred Van Lente and artist Clayton Henry. That series ended in 2014, but the duo is making another comeback in The Adventures of Archer and Armstrong drawn by David Lafuente and written by Rafer Roberts.
The creator of Plastic Farm was promoting the book at Valiant’s booth at C2E2, and was excited to take on Archer and Armstrong for this new run. The comic writer had a big smile as he talked about the pressures and expectations of writing the fan favorite characters.
“Well both [the 1992 and 2012 series], they’re both amazing, and honestly to try and follow in those footsteps is a bit intimidating at first, but I think over the past year I got more comfortable with the characters, and I think they’re pretty consistent with previous iterations,” Roberts said. “I think fans of the older books will still appreciate what we’re doing.”
Roberts discussed further about what the older books had and how each series some personality of the writers working on it. The first series had a more underground, “indy” feel to it, but was still superhero like. Fred Van Lente’s series was humorous, and historically accurate with its storytelling. Roberts is coming at it from another underground, “indy” perspective, promising to have more weirdness added in the series.
“There is some weirder stuff. That’s just how my brain works,” Roberts joked. “From my older books there’s always been a level of trippiness to it. And I think you see that in the first arc when they go into the satchel and its like this weird, surreal landscape with monsters and creatures.”
However, despite the inclusion of more bizarre ideas, Roberts is taking, the consistent focus of all the series is on the friendship of the two mismatched protagonists. Roberts believes that the heart of the two characters is one of the more important factors for the book to have.
“No matter who’s writing it, I have to remember that this book is about these two very strange best friends who just get on each other’s nerves,” Roberts said. “But, have each other’s backs when it counts.”
The Adventures of Archer and Armstrong is on sale now. Check your local retailers to find out where you can purchase the first four issues.