Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Home  >  Features  >  The Voices of Valiant Part 3: Fred Van Lente


FRED VAN LENTE

 

Fred Van Lente is one of the most prolific writers in comics, working on his own creations and on titles for all major publishers. Part of the Valiant Comics creative team since it's initial relaunch, Van Lente has brought Archer and Armstrong back to the forefront of fan culture and helped get the ball rolling on a movie! Joe Kach and Fred sat down and had a chat about Archer and Armstrong and the duo's place in the Valiant Universe...

 

ARCHER AND ARMSTRONG

 

MightyVille: Were you a fan of the Valiant books in the 1990s, and if so, which ones stood out to you the most?

Fred Van Lente: Well, you know, I’m sorry to say I was not. They came out when I started going to college, so my headspace was sort of in a different space. I wouldn’t say I totally stopped reading comics, but I definitely was out of the mainstream of comics for a couple years there. 

Do you have any impressions of the run back then?

I don’t. Literally, when they asked me to write Archer and Armstrong, I had to Google it, because I had no idea what they were talking about. But then [Editor] Warren Simons gave me the hardback that the company did of the Barry Windsor-Smith stuff, and I absolutely loved it. So, it was very inspirational and easy to use that as a springboard to what ultimately became our series. 

When we did our initial Valiant Roundtable Review, we loved the Christian-themed amusement park and calling the boy Rush. So, along those lines, what is it about Archer and Armstrong that draws you to those characters? What do you enjoy writing about them the most?

I like to think that I’m waging a lonely, one-man war against bullshit, and the great thing about the Archer and Armstrong concept is that Armstrong has basically lived the entirety of human history, at least in this current human civilization that we’re living in. So there are no myths that he can’t knock down, because he’s seen the actual versions of everything. So there’s no nostalgia in him. And that is why he’s great to compare to someone like Archer, who has just been filled with B.S. his entire life, and believes it. But what’s great about Archer is he’s sort of the living embodiment of that good side of us that bad people exploit to their own ends, and it’s just lucky he found Armstrong instead of someone else.  

 

ARCHER, ARMSTRONG, AND ETERNAL WARRIOR

 

Between Archer and Armstrong and Eternal Warrior, which of those is your favorite character to write dialogue for?

It’s hard to say. Archer and Armstrong are both sort of different versions of myself. I mean, Armstrong is sort of me now, and Archer’s more me ... because I was a big Christian youth guy as a teenager. I was a little bit better read than Archer, but, you know, we were largely the same. So it’s very hard to say. It is hard to write one without the other, I’ll say that. We’re going through a stretch right now where they are a little estranged, which has made it somewhat challenging. 

What can you tease us that you have coming up and are excited about?

Probably what I am most excited about is we are going to start our first official crossover title soon with another Valiant team... 

Is that part of Unity, or separate?

Nope, it is totally separate from Unity. We've been kind of keeping Archer and Armstrong at the fringes of the Valiant Universe, but now they are going to be brought much more into the mainstream. [Editor's Note: And that crossover title is The Delinquents, starring Archer, Armstrong, Quantum, and Woody! The first two issues are out now...]

 

THE DELINQUENTS

 

Well, fantastic. Thank you very much for your time. We appreciate it. 

Any time!

 

Share your thoughts on Archer & Armstrong or The Delinquents below!

 

More Valiant on MightyVille:

The Voices of Valiant Part 2: Cary Nord

The Voices of Valiant Part 1: Christos Gage

Number One Bullets: August 20, 2014

 

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