Mission: Improbable (2014) Reading Order

Obadiah Archer was raised by the Dominion cult to assassinate their worst enemy, the man called Armstrong. Instead, Archer befriended Armstrong and the duo took down Dominion and a number of related cults known overall as the Sect. Now that he’s in charge of the most powerful and dangerous groups in American history, Project Rising Spirit need Archer taken off the board. And who better to do that than the unstoppable living weapon Bloodshot?

Crossover: This is a standard four-part crossover event, though the 0 issue acts as a prelude to the story.

Must Reads: Story arcs marked with a ✔are must-read stories from this time period, along with any key related stories and often-forgotten tales that are worth a read.

Anthology Issues: When an issue contains multiple stories, the relevant story is denoted with square brackets. For example, [2/5] refers to the second story of the five stories in that issue, so you don’t need to read the other four. 

Want to keep it simple? Here’s the chronological reading order without story descriptions, or spoilers:

  • Archer & Armstrong: Archer #0 (tie-in)
  • Archer & Armstrong #18
  • Bloodshot and HARD Corps #20
  • Archer & Armstrong #19
  • Bloodshot and HARD Corps #21

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Must ReadsTitle, Issue Number & Synopsis
Archer & Armstrong: Archer #0 (tie-in)
The young psiot codenamed Prodigy was kidnapped and raised by the sinister organisation Project Rising Spirit with the intent of making him their deadliest assassin, yet. A beating from Gamma at PRS costs Prodigy the use of his electrokinetic powers. Then PRS were forced to hand Prodigy over to Dominion leaders Thelma & Joseph Archer – their benefactors. The Archers erased Prodigy’s memories, renamed him ‘Obadiah Archer’ and raised as their son. He proves to be a fearsome assassin, but ends up befriending his target, Armstrong, instead of killing him. Now that he’s taken over the Dominion, PRS are sending Bloodshot and the HARD Corps to take Archer & Armstrong out…
Archer & Armstrong #18
Obadiah Archer heads to Detroit to win over the Master Builders – a strand of the Sect – while Armstrong falls into a trap set by PRS and the HARD Corps unit. Armstrong gets busy drinking at a PRS-built bar, unaware that Bloodshot is interrupting the Builders’ ceremony. Bloodshot barely gets the better of Archer and takes him captive…
Bloodshot and HARD Corps #20
HARD Corps think they have Armstrong contained, but now he knows their game and heads to Nevada to rescue Archer. Bloodshot isn’t happy that Archer will be brainwashed by PRS like he was, but he needs their amino acid transfusions to survive. Archer fights back against his captors, and HARD Corps quickly realise their foe is sleepwalking… or rather, sleepfighting?
Must ReadsTitle, Issue Number & Synopsis
Archer & Armstrong #19
Under Morris Kozol’s orders, HARD Corps contain Archer in the base’s medical bay. But Archer tries to save the life of Corps member Disciple instead of trying to escape. Bloodshot finds Archer’s spy in PRS and betrays PRS by telling her how Armstrong can find their location. When Armstrong breaks in, Bloodshot offers an alliance, but Armstrong punches him out…
Bloodshot and HARD Corps #21
Armstrong stops attacking Bloodshot and instead takes pity on him for not being able to get drunk. HARD Corps enter the locked-down section of the base to rescue Disciple. Archer fights his way past HARD Corps and gets to Kozol. Armstrong and Bloodshot burst in and encourage a deal between PRS and Archer. PRS have to leave Archer alone and hand over their files on him. Archer also turns off the bombs in Generation Zero’s heads. Later, at PRS, Lifeline warns HARD Corps’ field leader Charlie Palmer that Bloodshot may be about to betray them.

Issue & FalloutEvent / Crossover
Bloodshot and HARD Corps #22-23 (2014)
Bloodshot appears to turn against Project Rising Spirit, but it becomes clear he’s being manipulated again; Bloodshot severs ties with HARD Corps.
Harbinger #23-25 (2014)
Generation Zero realise Project Rising Spirit are no longer able to control them.
Archer & Armstrong #25 (2014)
Archer learns the truth about his birth parents.
The Valiant #3-4 (2015)
Bloodshot next encounters Archer & Armstrong when the Immortal Enemy – the dark reflection of the Eternal Warrior – threatens the life of the Geomancer.
Bloodshot USA #1-4 (2016-2017)
Bloodshot and Morris Kozol have their final showdown when Bloodshot takes on Project Rising Spirit.
Bloodshot: Rising Spirit #1-8 (2018-2019)
Bloodshot’s definitive origins are finally revealed, including Project Rising Spirit’s involvement in his creation.

A list of the Collected Editions that bring the Mission: Improbable together…

Archer & Armstrong vol.5: Mission: Improbable

  • Archer and Armstrong #18-19
  • Archer and Armstrong: Archer #0
  • Bloodshot and H.A.R.D.Corps #20-21

Archer & Armstrong – Deluxe Edition vol.2

  • Archer and Armstrong #14-25
  • Archer and Armstrong: Archer #0
  • Bloodshot and H.A.R.D.Corps #20-21

Bloodshot – Deluxe Edition vol.2

  • Archer and Armstrong #18-19
  • Bloodshot #0, 24-25
  • Bloodshot and H.A.R.D.Corps #0, 14-23

Reading Order ©OmniverseComicsGuide 2023

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