Source: Archer & Armstrong 18, 19 Bloodshot and H.A.R.D Corps 20,21
Valiant’s newest crossover, Mission Improbable, wraps up this week with Bloodshot 21. The crossover features the first meeting between H.A.R.D Corps and the dysfunctional duo of Archer & Armstrong. The event is one of Valiant’s best so far, and certainly the most entertaining. Occurring in Archer & Armstrong 18 + 19 and Bloodshot & H.A.R.D Corps 20 + 21, the crossover is short but well done.
Starting off directly after the Sect Civil War, Archer is now in charge of the Sect and the groups that make it up including Project Rising Spirit. As a result of Archer’s newfound status, Kozol decides that Archer is too dangerous to run the Sect. PRS also has files on Archer revealing that he was a Psiot child called Prodigal who has the ability to copy other Psiot’s powers. After PRS attacks and captures Archer, leaving Armstrong behind; inebriated. After Armstrong comes to, he arrives at the PRS base and teams up with Bloodshot to break out Archer. After the battle reaches a stalemate, Archer and PRS reach an agreement. Archer will release PRS from all of their sectly duties, and in exchange PRS will provide him with all the files they have on Prodigal.
The crossover, written by Fred Van Lente, Christos Gage and Joshua Dysart with art by Pere Perez and Tom Raney is a near perfect comic story. While the overall plot isn’t very complex, or anything particularly new the comic is incredibly well done and very entertaining. It’s chockfull of unique characters and memorable scenes. The Hardboiled-esque gun-fu scene is excellent, complete with dual pistols and flying doves. The sleepwalking fight scene is perfect as well with Archer beating down the H.A.R.D. corps while being brain dead. Tom Raney and Ramon Perez are firing on all cylinders with some of the best art the series has seen.
Valiant proves again that good crossover events don’t need to be giant, reality altering, blockbusters. They can be tight, character driven stories that are well written and drawn.