Preview Reviews for the Week of 5/4/22: Archer & Armstrong, Metal Society, The Panic, & Twig

Welcome to the latest installment of Preview Reviews.

This week we have a whopping four books to review for you. The first is Archer & Armstrong Forever #1 from Valiant Entertainment. We also have Metal Society #1, and Twig #1  from Image Comics, and the last is The Panic #1 which is a digital only from Comixology Originals.

You can find these books at your LCS or wherever you buy books on May 4, 2022.

Also the rest of the #NewNumberOnes for May are here.

Archer & Armstrong Forever #1
Valiant Entertainment
Written by Steve Foxe
Art by Marcio Fiorito
Colors by Alex Guimarães
Letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover Art by Bernard Chang

Original Solicitation:

When Armstrong seemingly loses his immortality, Archer refuses to let his best buddy go gentle into that good night. But when you live for millennia, you rack up plenty of enemies who’ll be thrilled to find out you’re no longer indestructible. Archer & Armstrong’s globetrotting quest for (more) immortality begins here!

PCS Review:

As someone who is not super familiar with this Valiant property, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is engaging and dynamic with lots of action and plenty of story. There is some heavy lifting that needs to be done in a first issue for a property with a big history, and Steve Foxe did an excellent job of passing on information without letting it interfere with the story being told.

Marcio Fiorito draws a really great visual narrative to this story. It is full of action, and he takes advantage of every panel to further the storytelling. The figure work and expressions are wonderful. Alex Guimarães’ color work is a great compliment to the line art. The lighting and washed backgrounds add a focusing lens to the fantastic character art. I am a broken record on this, but Hasan Otsmane-Elhaou delivers some really innovative aspects to the lettering that help to enhance the reading experience.

The overall feel of the book is light and fun while hinting at serious consequences. We really enjoyed this comic.

Metal Society #1
Image Comics
Written by Zack Kaplan
Art by Guilherme Balbi
Colors by Marco Lesko
Letters by Troy Peteri
Cover Art by Balbi

Original Solicitation:

PORT OF EARTH writer ZACK KAPLAN teams up with hot up-and-coming artist GUILHERME BALBI in a dramatic new sci-fi miniseries that’s Blade Runner meets Rocky.

In an inverted future, evolved robots have resurrected humans for manual labor. When a tribalistic cultural clash breaks out, a fearless human fighter and a frustrated, displaced robot will square off in a public MMA-style sport fight of epic stakes to determine once and for all who reigns supreme: man or machine.

PCS Review:

This book is a perfect example of what is possible when every member of the creative team brings their “A” game. I could talk about the interesting concept of humans as slaves to robots and the thought provoking metaphors that the Zack Kaplan’s concept spawns, or I could talk about the beautiful character designs and clean expressive faces and gorgeous setting pieces  that Guilherme Balbi delivers in this book.

I could mention that colorist Marco Lesko makes all the right choices to enhance each scene, or how Troy Peteri’s lettering in this book is excellent and lets the reader follow from speaker to speaker clearly while adding the perfect amount of interesting design to the balloons. I could say any of that. Actually, I could and should say all of that, but I will say this is a complete comic book from all aspects that is engaging and entertaining. You won’t want to miss what is happening in this series. Kudos to all.

The Panic #1
Comixology Original / Migdal Comics
Written by Neil Kleid
Art by Andrea Mutti
Colors by Mutti
Letters by Kleid
Cover Art by Mutti

Original Solicitation:

The Panic is a dark psychological thriller.

Moments ago Annie Delgado was commuting into NYC via the PATH train to Christopher Street. Then the train derailed and her best friend died. Trapped beneath the Hudson River, without signs of help or a working phone, Annie and a group of strangers decide to put aside their differences, survive the night and stay alive. That is, until they discover one of their fellow commuters wasn’t on the train before the crash.

PCS Review:

Dark and suspenseful are the two words that come to mind when first thinking about this book. The premise of the setting is terrifying right off the bat, and Neil Kleid finds a way to make it scarier. Andrea Mutti renders a lovely visual story with his distinctive style. His limited use of background colors highlights the featured element in each panel masterfully. This book is a heavy read and does an excellent job of grabbing the reader and making them want more. It is truly a horror story for the modern world.

Twig #1
Image Comics
Written by Skottie Young
Art by Kyle Strahm
Colors by Jean-Francios Beaulieu
Letters by Nate Piekos
Cover Art by Strahm

Original Solicitation:

It’s the first day of Twig’s new job as a journeyer on a JEFF SMITH’s Bone-esque quest to save a The Dark Crystal/Labyrinth-style world. Join our hesitant hero for an inspiring and imaginative tale of hope, heartache, and determination to overcome insurmountable odds!

PCS Review:

This is an example of the finished piece meeting the high expectations that preceded it. The engaging story and characters are wonderful. The art by Kyle Strahm is gorgeous. His use of imagination with character and set design is inspired. Jean-Francios Beaulieu’s colors are lovely, and his shadow and light play add a great feel of urgency to the emotions elicited. Nate Piekos’ lettering is outstanding, and his execution of complicated dialogue is expertly done. This is a great start on an interesting adventure. We highly recommend.