Armstrong and the Vault of Spirits
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Cafu, Darick Robertson
Colourist: Andrew Dalhouse, Diego Rodriguez
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Publisher: Valiant

A review by Josh Rose

Armstrong and the Vault of Spirits is really just a heartfelt story about a man wanting to share in something really special with his brother and some friends. Armstrong has a wine cellar beneath one of the seediest taverns on Manhattan Island, and a bottle of wine for each year of his life. That’s a lot of wine if you’re 10,000 years old.

In Armstrong and the Vault of Spirits we see Armstrong having a small wine tasting with a few of his friends but as things would go in any superhero comic, villains lie in wait to ruin the festivities. Some secret societies have come together to pilfer Armstrong’s wines for their perceived supernatural powers and monetary benefit.

I really like how Fred Van Lente introduces all the characters to us without extensive backstory. He has the villains get learn who the heroes are, and tells us their plans for Armstrong’s wine. I also like how he goes into the backstory of Armstrong’s first bottle of wine and one of the secret society’s. But the focus of this story is all about Armstrong having a party with his friends.

Cafu draws an amazing giant fight splash page, but the coolest scenes in Armstrong and the Vault of Spirits are when the Timewalkers show up, and due to in part to Andrew Dalhouse. He just makes time-travel look so cool with his blues and whites. Dalhouse’s colours do a great job establishing the setting at nighttime, and make it feel like you’re in a vault made with future technology.

The Verdict: Buy It!
Armstrong and the Vault of Spirits is a wonderful celebration of a few of Valiant’s core characters. This is a story where the fight wasn’t the main focus of the story. The conflict with the villains isn’t even the focus. Its all about Armstrong and his relationships with his friends. This is a fantastic introduction for people new to the Valiant Universe.

Josh Rose
Basically a hobbit, Josh is always enjoying food and drink, and going on unexpected adventures. Beware if you see him without a cup of coffee: caffeination deprivation makes this boy go loco.

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