By Nolan P. Smith
Valiant Entertainment’s Stalinverse is coming to a close, but before the last chapter is written, we get one more one-shot in the form of Escape from Gulag 396. This book focuses on one of Valiant’s greatest duos, Archer & Armstrong. For me, this is the best of the one shots we have received, for a number of reasons. The main reason being that this is what an Archer & Armstrong book should be.
From writer Elliot Rahal, artist Francis Portela and colors by Andrew Dalhouse, this is the best looking Archer & Armstrong book I have seen in quite some time. We see how Obadiah Archer came to become locked up in the Gulag, and how his family drastically differs from his evil parents in the “real” universe. We also see how Archer meets the unruly prisoner Armstrong, the immortal who looks to have given up on his life. This issue is amazing, and I would love to see this premise, and this creative team, take the lead in a new ongoing series.
Rahal’s story is paced wonderfully, and the artwork is simply breathtaking. This book is such a great companion to the Stalinverse, but also stands alone as a fantastic ode to Archer & Armstrong. Make sure to pick up this issue and get ready as there is only one more chapter left in Divinity III event.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10.
This comic book review was created in conjunction with QBC Toys and More, a local comic book and collectible shop located in Victorville, CA. Featuring new comic books every week, collectibles, action figures, original artwork, and more, QBC has something for the pop culture lover in us all. You can find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/QBCToysandMore/.