When companies tend to do zero issues, it can become a toss up of whether it will be used as an origin tale or something congruent with a current tale running though the book. In the case of Archer & Armstrong's zero issue, it is a bit of neither, a bit of both but undoubtedly -- so much more!
Fred Van Lente uses this very special issue to minimize the hilarity that usually accompanies each tale, in order to give the reader a solemn look at Aram and his brothers on a quest that will forever change them. Loosely melding The Epic of Gilgamesh with his own "epic" tale, Fed Van Lente has created a mesmerizing tale of brotherly kinship that will resonate with readers on an emotional level. It will make one ponder the everyday aspects of life that truly matter, the single moments that rise above the the rest. The dance, the song, the love are to be cherished, for they will be gone before we know it and they will only live on in memory.
This issue will also have readers seeing Aram(Armstrong) in a slightly different light. He begins in normal Aram style, awaiting five women for nightly festivities, but as he speaks with Archer, a poetic almost melancholy aura emerges from him. As the ancient tale of his adventure with his brothers progresses, we find he is more noble sage than drunken ruffian, a duality to the character that further pushes him to the forefront as one of my favorite characters!
If you didn't believe Fred Van Lente was a masterful writer before -- you will now!