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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mission accomplished!
Uh-oh, here comes that most dreaded of comic book tropes: the crossover! Rarely good, Valiant decided to throw together a series I love – Archer & Armstrong – with a series I couldn’t care less about – Bloodshot & HARD Corps – and I feared for the worst. Happily, and against all odds, it’s a successful and very entertaining...
Published 9 months ago by Sam Quixote

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars This is a huge power upgrade and departure from VH1 Archer and not one I necessarily believe was a good move. Now that this powe
This volume starts with Archer #0 and shows how Archer was kidnapped by Project Rising Spirit, here we see that Archer can basically use any psiot power at will. This is a huge power upgrade and departure from VH1 Archer and not one I necessarily believe was a good move. Now that this power level is established it sets precedent for all upcoming stories however like much...
Published 5 months ago by hawkeyeps


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mission accomplished!, 24 Jun. 2014
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Archer & Armstrong Volume 5: Mission: Improbable TP (Paperback)
Uh-oh, here comes that most dreaded of comic book tropes: the crossover! Rarely good, Valiant decided to throw together a series I love – Archer & Armstrong – with a series I couldn’t care less about – Bloodshot & HARD Corps – and I feared for the worst. Happily, and against all odds, it’s a successful and very entertaining crossover!

In the wake of the Sect Civil War, Archer is now head of all the Sects in the world – making him a dangerous cult leader, at least in the eyes of Project Rising Spirit, the organisation behind Bloodshot & HARD Corps, who send them on a mission to take out Archer & Armstrong so that they can control the Sects.

Besides the A&A zero issue which details Archer’s origins and is a very creepy, horror-like story in the vein of Stephen King’s Carrie, the crossover is basically a series of fights, ie. like 90% of crossovers. Normally a fight-heavy superhero comic is the antithesis of what I like about comics, but the fights in Mission Improbable are quite wonderful.

The Bloodshot v Archer fight was easily the most entertaining and was choreographed beautifully by (I’m guessing) the artist, Pere Perez, so that its action is both exciting and interesting. It’s also the one fight played the most straight – the other fights are more comedic and involve Archer fighting HARD Corps while asleep(!) and, on a separate occasion, Armstrong fighting HARD Corps while heavily drugged! There’s a humour and imagination to these fights that make them more than just super-powered characters whaling on each other and subsequently they’re much more enjoyable to read.

You’ll also come away from this book with a greater appreciation for how cool Archer is. The dude’s a psiot (meaning he can harness electrical psychic energy) and can copy HARD Corps’ powers, making him an even more formidable opponent than Bloodshot, who’s pretty much invincible. If anything, HARD Corps come off pretty poorly in this crossover, looking like inept lackeys rather than an elite squad!

Fred Van Lente continues his laudable run on Archer & Armstrong with another fine volume, even managing to make Bloodshot & HARD Corps seem like a series worth reading (though I won’t)! A great follow up to the brilliant Sect Civil War, Mission Improbable is another brilliant, fun story arc in this delightful series. Archer & Armstrong remains one of Valiant’s best titles.
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3.0 out of 5 stars This is a huge power upgrade and departure from VH1 Archer and not one I necessarily believe was a good move. Now that this powe, 5 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Archer & Armstrong Volume 5: Mission: Improbable TP (Paperback)
This volume starts with Archer #0 and shows how Archer was kidnapped by Project Rising Spirit, here we see that Archer can basically use any psiot power at will. This is a huge power upgrade and departure from VH1 Archer and not one I necessarily believe was a good move. Now that this power level is established it sets precedent for all upcoming stories however like much of Van Lente's writing it feels just thrown out there with no real plan to how this will really effect the character and the universe going forward to be swept aside when convenient.

We also see an inconsistency with Armstrong here, in the last volume Armstrong is easily taken down by a bunch of Sect goof balls and in this volume the ultimate killing machine Bloodshot drives a knife in to his skull and it doesn't even faze him. So we are to believe a bunch of sect members (who are little more than frat boys with a few weapons) can take out Armstrong but Bloodshot can't?

I see these things happen again and again with Van Lente's writing and for some reason editorial let's him get away with it, if something is to be written in to the story it should be for a reason not just ill considered short term shock value. Examples- Gilad is a crazy terminator then he's not. Mary Maria was possessed by her parents but to what end? Armstrong sleeps with Mary Maria, why? Just to create a little tension that is again swept away in the following arc. Ivar drops many clues about the future but none of it seems to be coming to pass, like laying down the precedent that Archer ends up with Faith. So basically whatever is happening in Harbinger will now have to go in that direction, if it doesn't then what the point of the "reveal" other than lazy writing for a cheap pop?

Rant over.

The best part of this volume is the scenes with HARD Corps and the great artwork by Pere Perez with colours by Dave Baron which make it a worthwhile read
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5.0 out of 5 stars One way or another, I'm gonna find ya, I'm gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha., 30 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Archer & Armstrong Volume 5: Mission: Improbable TP (Paperback)
At the end of Archer and Armstrong volume four: Sect Civil War, Project Rising Spirit vowed revenge upon Obadiah Archer for double crossing them, and they don't do things in halves. They send in Bloodshot and the H.A.R.D. corps team to capture Obie but they need to distract Aram (Armstrong) to make this task easier. So what is the best way to distract an immortal bohemian? Get him drunk of course.

This TPB volume five: 'Mission: Improbable', contains the Archer and Armstrong zero issue, which gives us some insight on how Obie came to be raised by the Dominion sect and leads perfectly into the crossover issues between Archer and Armstrong issues #18 & 19, and the Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps issues #20 & 21. For a crossover event, this is the perfect volume as it contains all the issues needed to appreciate the story in full.

As usual Fred Van Lente delivers the laughs with the A & A issues whilst Christos Gage and Joshua Dysart do the duties on the Bloodshot issues. My preferences of course lay with the Fred Van Lente issues as I find his wit and humour is a perfect fit with the characters in Archer & Armstrong, Although, Gage And Dysart aren't too shabby either in the laughs department when it comes to Aram's encounter with the H.A.R.D. Corps team with their delaying tactics in the bar, and even later when the wheeling and dealing starts at the PRS facility, very funny.

Project Rising Spirit start to realise that perhaps they have bit of more than they can chew in dealing with Obie, as his good intentions become infectious to all those he comes in contact with, including Bloodshot and the members of H.A.R.D. Corps, and ultimately we discover that for all his expertise as a full on fighting and killing machine, Bloodshot is no slouch when it comes to making deals either, much to the disdain of PRS.

I do not exaggerate when I say that this volume is a really fun read, so if you are after a good book that brings on the laughs and action aplenty with crisp solid artwork (by Pere Perez and Tom Raney), then you can't go wrong with this volume. Not once does this story become bogged down or heavy which is part of the appeal, as this book seems to be over far too quickly, and that in itself is a sign of a great read. Enjoy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Crossover: NOT Improbable!, 28 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Archer & Armstrong Volume 5: Mission: Improbable TP (Paperback)
Absolutely loved this one.

First crossover featuring Valiant comics Archer and Armstrong and Bloodshot: HARD Corps. Worth noting here, for any keen readers of Bloodshot, that this is the only book in print to date that contain Bloodshot issues #20 and #21. The reason for this being that they were specifically written for this crossover, and weren't canonical with the rest of the Bloodshot comics. Of course, they do fit in wonderfully in this volume as sequential narrative.

The crossover itself is fantastic good fun. Full of some really zany moments, the book is an action-packed thrill ride from front cover to back. Definitely not a 'serious' read this one, but most definitely a highly entertaining action/comedy book. Even the usually serious character Bloodshot, whilst not cracking out-of-character one-liners, is used to good comedy effect. Other characters play off of him in their typical comedic ways, and even some of Bloodshot's own stereotypical mannerisms are played out in a tongue-in-cheek way (gun-fu anyone?!).

The action in the book is great, and there's always a decent sense of motion throughout, which makes some of the more intense moments nice and easy to follow and enjoy. The colouring is really vivid which is something that I liked, and keeps the tone of the book from falling into a more realistic or gritty feel. Definitely light-hearted throughout.

Also collects A+A issue 'Archer: #0', which is vital reading for anyone that's into the series, as it delves quite deeply into Archer's background, and certainly reveals one or two things!

Definitely a great book from Valiant, would strongly recommend buying a copy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Most Improbable Crossover, 24 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Archer & Armstrong Volume 5: Mission: Improbable TP (Paperback)
Heads Up!! This volume contains the entire Mission: Improbable crossover, comprised of Archer #0, Archer & Armstrong #18 - #19, and Bloodshot & H.A.R.D. Corps #20 - #21. As a result, and as of this review date, the Bloodshot issues contained here have been printed out of order from the last Bloodshot trade paperback, Volume 4, which went up to issue #17. Issues #18 and #19 (which really should be read before this crossover) have been printed in Bloodshot vol. 5.

Where we left off: Archer & Armstrong have become best buds again and ended the Sect Civil War, the majority of Sect factions now calling Archer their leader. However, Archer welched on the deal he made with Project Rising Spirit (find the mysterious Wheel of Aten in exchange for full details on Archer’s past) and has earned the enmity of Morris Kozol, CEO of Rising Spirit.

Where we also left off: Bloodshot, still suffering from the cancer-like affliction impairing his nanites, continues to work with the H.A.R.D. Corps under Rising Spirit’s umbrella. A recent adventure (those missing issues I mentioned above), however, has led to a change in Bloodshot’s condition, and perhaps he is not so beholden to PRS as we believe. Regardless, Morris Kozol has a new task for Bloodshot and the HC… take out Archer & Armstrong!

What follows in this volume is a action packed adventure that reads one part thriller and one part buddy comedy. The Zero Issue is a fascinating read detailing the horrible ordeals suffered by the young child who would ultimately become Obadiah Archer. We are also shown further revelations as to just how powerful Archer really is (here’s a hint… VERY!), and the brainwashing done to him that turned him into such a cornball innocent.

The crossover itself presents a mixed bag. The story is great, and the beautiful thing about it is it has clear ongoing impact on both parties as a result. Definitely not a throw away read, by any means. Really loved the references to Ivar’s “prophecy” about Archer and Bloodshot, and the impact it had on their first encounter. What may feel distracting is seeing Bloodshot and the HC in humorous situations. And, sadly, the art on the Bloodshot issues is not that great, especially compared to the art of Clayton Henry on the A&A side.

Regardless, this is an essential read for fans of either title as both continuing narratives are explored further, and then sent off on their next chapters. Definitely not to be missed by any Valiant fan!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Archer & Armstrong Vol. #5: Mission: Improbable, 23 Sept. 2014
By 
Jaden_Sai (Portland, OR United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Archer & Armstrong Volume 5: Mission: Improbable TP (Paperback)
This trade paperback includes Valiant's Archer #0, Archer and Armstrong issues #18 & 19, and Bloodshot and the H.A.R.D. Corps issues #20-21.

Archer #0 gives us the origin for Obadiah Archer; we learn that he was captured by Project Rising Spirit and a prisoner in their Nursery with follow prisoner, Pulse (introduced in Bloodshot) and the psiot child jailer, Gamma. He was given the codename Prodigal and they tested/experimented on him to gauge his capabilities. Once his capabilities become known, he is "adopted" by Thelma Archer of the Dominion faction of "The Sect" and is raised to be their assassin with the goal of one day killing "he who shall not be named." We also learn why the Archer's named him, Obadiah.

The remaining issues are a crossover between Archer and Armstrong and Bloodshot and the H.A.R.D. Corps, these titles intersect after the culmination of the Civil Sect War. Archer has become the leader of all the factions of "The Sect," and this concerns Project Rising Spirit, which sends Bloodshot and the H.A.R.D. Corps on a mission to take him out. We are treated to Archer sleepwalking, a drunken brawl between the H.A.R.D. Corps and Armstrong, Bloodshot vs Archer and Bloodshot vs Armstrong, clarification on why Bloodshot is working with PRS while also seeing that he is making his own moves within the confines of his current need for PRS and he hasn't forgotten about the psiot children that Harada took from him during the Harbinger Wars.

This was a very fun crossover, which expands the narratives of both titles in meaningful ways.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another set of excellent Valiant stories by Fred Van Lente, 19 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Archer & Armstrong Volume 5: Mission: Improbable TP (Paperback)
Yet another set of excellent Valiant stories by Fred Van Lente, Christos Gage, and Joshua Dysart! Containing Archer & Armstrong:Archer #0, Archer and Armstrong 18-19 and Bloodshot and the H.A.R.D. Corps 20-21, this collection is a rollicking great adventure of epic proportions!

Coming out of the Sect Civil War, Archer has broken a deal with Project Rising Spirit to form a coalition of the other Sects under his command. PRS isn't about to take that laying down though, and they send their best hunters out against the 'dangerous cult leader' and his bodyguard... a crazy strong man who thinks hes thousands of years old. Bloodshot and the HARD Corps team are on the job!

While the HARD Corps try to delay Armstrong with a drinking contest, Bloodshot goes after Archer. Everybody ends up mixing it up and Archer is much more that Project Rising Spirit ever bargained for. Whether he's using his martial arts to kick butt, or copying every power that the HARD Corps use against him, or downloading surgical knowledge to operate on one of the team that he hurt critically, the find themselves just outmatched. But Bloodshot can't be stopped and neither can Armstrong! The battle royale is extreme and the wrapup of the story fantastic.

As a bonus, we also get Archer & Armstrong: Archer #0, showing us the origins of Archer himself. See how he was taken by Project Rising Spirit as a youngster and how he wound up empowered and in the clutches of the Sect who he thought were his parents. A great story that shed further light on this wonderful character. Unless you are one of us that is reading everything by Valiant already, then I would suggest that you READ MORE VALIANT!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A slight drop off, still a good read, 30 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Archer & Armstrong Volume 5: Mission: Improbable TP (Paperback)
Now that Archer is the head of the sect, they have been targeted by PRS (aka Bloodshot and HARD Corp). Okay, I admit, this cross over seemed a little forced to me before I started reading it, and it seemed a little forced even after I started reading it. I never really understood why PRS would target them (other than PRS’s affiliation with the sect), but once I got over that hurdle, the comics were still an enjoyable read. This series also collected the Bloodshot issues in the crossover (and also include Archer and Armstrong 0). This was a little distracting, because while the crossover required both comics, the art style was different and it took me out of the story line a little bit.

Once I got over the debatable premise, the storyline itself wasn’t that bad. It wrapped up a little quickly, but then that happens often in comic books (we are enemies and must fight, no wait, we are friends now). In any case, this seemed to be a little side story for A&A, and slightly lower quality, but hopefully it will pick up again in the next story arc. There are so many questions that remain unanswered, and I am eagerly waiting for Archer and Armstrong to answer them. I still recommend this book, although not quite as much as previous volumes. As this contains the 0 issue, and follows the end of the sect war, this may actually make a good jumping on point for new readers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Improbable Crossover = Results!, 1 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Archer & Armstrong Volume 5: Mission: Improbable TP (Paperback)
More Van Lente goodness in this volume crossing over A&A with Bloodshot and the HARDCorps. At first glance this appears an improbable storyline as the title suggests, but for the most part, it works! Crossover events such as this don't always work well because you have different writers and artists who need to mesh otherwise it leaves the story feeling disconnected. But in typical Valiant fashion, everything is well coordinated and this story hums with action and humor.

We discover Archer & Armstrong have patched up their relationship - additionally, Obie inexplicably emerged as the big winner from the Sect Civil War. The story begins in Detroit where Archer is inspecting the Wheel of Aten, an Egyptian artifact held by the Sect. Meanwhile Aram is boozing it up with HARDCorps member, Vagabond. As for Bloodshot, he still requires PRS' nanite maintenance but his distrust of PRS and HARD Corps continues to grow. Archer's battle with Bloodshot is memorable, as Obie continues growing into his amazing Psiot potential.

When the dust settles will Bloodshot still be affiliated with HARDCorps? Another highly recommended volume, you simply can't go wrong with most Valiant comics. Always top notch talent, well planned storytelling with beautifully depicted artwork - Tom Raney has always been a personal favorite. Check it out!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The grim and gritty world of Bloodshot and the light and funny adventures of Archer and Armstrong seem to be an ..., 23 Sept. 2014
By 
Rob McG (Jacksonville, FL) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Archer & Armstrong Volume 5: Mission: Improbable TP (Paperback)
Sooner or later, the rest of the Valiant Universe is going to quit underestimating Obadiah Archer. Maybe that will happen after the events of Mission: Improbable, the fifth trade paperback in the Archer and Armstrong series. This collects a crossover storyline with Bloodshot so you get the books Archer 0, Archer and Armstrong 18-19 and Bloodshot and the H.A.R.D. Corps 20-21. It’s nicer this way than having to chase the story across multiple books, although you miss the advantage of reading the Bloodshot story leading up to these issues.

The grim and gritty world of Bloodshot and the light and funny adventures of Archer and Armstrong seem to be an odd pairing on the surface, but Archer is revealed to be a tougher customer just about every time we read about him. In simple terms, this book is another retelling of the old storyline where heroes meet after a misunderstanding of sorts and they fight until they realize their purposes run together. Hey, whatever, it’s still fun if it’s done right. And in this case, it is.

Fred Van Lente, Christos Gage and Josh Dysart handle the story, which is always a stamp of quality. Pere Perez and Tom Raney provide the art, which is clean and perfectly unspectacular (I mean that as a compliment, it never gets in the way of the story).

More great stuff from Valiant!
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Archer & Armstrong Volume 5: Mission: Improbable TP
Archer & Armstrong Volume 5: Mission: Improbable TP by Pere Perez (Paperback - 24 Jun. 2014)
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