Artist: Clayton Henry
Colorist: David Baron
Mary-Maria Archer is a deadly assassin who is really good at kicking some butt. But there’s a much deeper story that lead her to the life she now leads, and we are going to dive into her past to find out. Also the return of the series original artist Clayton Henry!
The Ups: Before Archer & Armstrong jump into their big 25th issue, we are given a stand alone story on the past of Archer’s adopted sister Mary-Maria. Karl Bollers takes a more serious tone with this story then the normal comedic style the series is known for. We follow Mary-Maria into her life as a young child growing up in Brazil with her two twins sisters and her father. While the story dives into Mary-Maria’s past, we also see her in the present on a mission to assassin a man name “O Polvo”, which is Portuguese for The Octopus. Bollers bring the emotions in full force on this story. All of the drama Mary-Maria goes through with her family felt very real and I feel for the characters on the page. Mary-Maria becomes much more of a complex and deep character showing her love for her family and what lengths she would go to keep her family together.
Clayton Henry and David Baron truly make the characters shine in the issue. While the story is a lot more on the deep and darker side, these men display the emotions so well on each characters face to help you truly feel for these characters. The details going into each of the main characters brought out a realistic feel that almost made me feel like I was watching an animation. The character outfits and designs might have been a little more on the simpler side, but that is what brings out the realism in a story based in a ghetto environment.
The Downs: Now while this story is full of a lot of emotion, it was also a story that has been done before. Which is a bit disappointing since Archer & Armstrong is known for it’s completely off the wall funny and crazy story lines. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad story by any means, I was just hoping for something with a bit more flair. Outside of the wonderful character designs, the backgrounds were very bare and simple and did not compare to the how wonderfully drawn all the characters are.
Overall: A good stand alone story to quell some of the hype before the big 25th issue. Bollers makes Mary-Maria a much more interesting character and I hope this much needed character development is used in future issues. With Henry’s and Baron’s strong art and the emotionally charged story, Archer and Armstrong fans have a good issue to hold them over till next month.
Grade 3 of 5