Layman will write an eight-page short story in the issue titled “Immortal Combat,” with art by Ramon Villalobos. The issue’s lead story is titled “Back to the Beginning” and by Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry (the original creative team of this “Archer & Armstrong” volume), and other contributors to the 48-page installment include Ray Fawkes and Andy Kuhn (a prelude to November’s “Archer & Armstrong: The One Percent” one-shot); Justin Jordan and Rafer Roberts (“Armstrong in…Forever and a Day”); Joey Esposito and Joe Eisma (“Happy Returns”) and Donny Cates, Eliot Rahal and Khari Evans (“Armstrong’s First Drink”).
“Archer & Armstrong” #25 has been announced as Van Lente’s last issue of the acclaimed series, and Valiant has yet to announce follow-up plans beyond “Archer & Armstrong: The One Percent.”
This news comes a few weeks after the announcement that Layman would be returning to work-for-hire comics at Marvel, as the new writer of “Cyclops.” Valiant provided CBR with the following statement from Layman:
“I’ve gotten to know the Valiant folks over the past year, and they are really a great bunch of guys. Really good people with a genuine enthusiasm for comics and a desire to create a strong, smart, unique superhero universe. It’s been a real pleasure getting to know them and, now, getting to work with them.
“I’d been a longtime ‘Quantum and Woody’ fan, so I was on board with that one from the get-go. But in the last year or so I’ve met a lot of Valiant creators — Josh Dysart, who is like a much older, less good-looking version of myself; James Asmus, who is almost as funny as he thinks he is; and Fred Van Lente, who despite his obvious physical and hygienic shortcomings, is a damn fine writer. Plus, my best buddy David Baron has been coloring for Valiant, and continually sings their praises. I started picking up more and more of their books to see what the fuss was about. And I was never let down, always pleasantly surprised. It’s a diverse universe, and all of it is super high-quality stuff.
“‘Archer & Armstrong’ is absolutely fantastic, and I’m stoked to be part of this landmark issue. I really love the entire vibe of the book – a buddy action comedy, full of conspiracy and history, and then injected with just pure fantastic gonzo madness. I love books where you can tell the creator is having a good time, because it’s infectious. I’m recommending ‘Archer & Armstrong’ to anybody who likes fun comics.
“I still want to do a Quantum and Woody/Chew and a Poyo/Goat crossover. It’s just a matter of getting off my lazy ass and making it happen.”
“Archer & Armstrong” #25 is scheduled for release on Oct. 29.