Frank Archer (フランク・アーチャー, Furanku Āchā) is an antagonist exclusive to the Fullmetal Alchemist 2003 anime series, introduced as the replacement of Maes Hughes. Archer first appeared twice in a cameo in Episode 25 during Hughes' funeral and then again in Episode 26, accompanying Major General Hakuro, but was not properly introduced until Episode 29. Lt. Colonel Archer is cool, calm, and collected, with a love for violence and war. He dreams of becoming a hero on the battlefield, viewing it as a way to rise up the ranks of the military. To this end, he does whatever is necessary to please his superiors and always ensures that his actions earn him some publicity. As the series progresses, Archer develops an interest in the military's various projects, such as the homunculi, the chimera, and the Philosopher's Stone. His ambitions of gaining the latter cause the left half of his body to be used in its creation, forcing him to undergo automail modification to regain his mobility. The operations leave him mentally unstable, after which he rages through Central while carrying out Führer King Bradley's ordered executions.
After meeting the sadistic Crimson Alchemist Solf J. Kimblee at the Southern Military Headquarters, he gives him an offer to have Kimblee exonerated for his past crimes and being reinstated back into the military. Ultimately, once Kimblee accepted the offer, Archer makes him his assistant, along with recruiting the Sewing-Life Shou Tucker to his cause to have Tucker create Chimeras for him.
Lt. Colonel Archer is one of the few military figures that know of the Führer's secret. He doesn't mind that his country's leader is a homunculus and merely takes orders as if he were taking them from a human.
Archer is first shown with Major General Hakuro at Central Command, though his first speaking appearance is on the train with Major Alex Louis Armstrong, the Strong-Arm Alchemist, discussing the Lab 5 incident and his tactics to "get to the bottom of it". Archer and Armstrong speak to Sig Curtis at his shop while Winry Rockbell and Mason talk in the back about Armstrong not being himself. As Winry runs in, Archer quickly interrogates her finding the Fullmetal Alchemist Edward Elric's location. After Fullmetal is attacked by Bido, Archer approaches him and asks him to come down to South HQ for questioning. Edward refuses and leaves to pursue Bido. When Archer and Armstrong catch up to them, they see him on the roof with Wrath. Archer looks through the scope of his shotgun and sees the Ouroboros on the heel of Wrath's foot. Armstrong uses alchemy to detain Wrath and simply tells Edward and his brother Alphonse to leave, taking Wrath to South HQ. While torturing and interrogating Wrath, Izumi Curtis breaks in and saves her "son". Archer and Armstrong pursue her and attempt to stop her, Envy (disguised as King Bradley) takes Wrath and tries to run. Ed and Al fight Kimblee and Bido, the fight ends with a destroyed South HQ and Wrath having tasted Red Stones. Archer gives Kimblee the offer of rejoining the military, which he accepts.
Siege of The Devil's Nest
Archer leads the attack on the Devil's Nest which is a success and Archer saves Edward and Izumi. It concludes with Archer gaining Kimblee and Tucker as allies and having them reinstated into the Amestrian Military with their past crimes being exonerated.
Archer becomes a Colonel and leads 7,000 men to take over Reole. There, Archer meets with Ed and tells him to sneak in and hunt down Scar. Later on, Archer orders Tucker to make chimeras, which he plans on sending with Kimblee to kill Scar so the soldiers can go in unchallenged. Archer is later approached by the Flame Alchemist Colonel Roy Mustang, Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye, and Armstrong who attempt to detain him, but he has Tucker and the chimera distract them so he can escape and leave with the 7,000 soldiers who he leads to their deaths after ignoring Edward's warning not to go into Reole, and barely escapes alive himself.
Automail ResurganceKing Bradey reveals to Mustang before he heads to the north, Archer is still alive and defending Central with the troops staying behind. When Ed and Izumi meet up with the Tringham brothers, Archer, now having an automail-enhanced body, attacks the place with a machine gun installed in his mouth. Izumi then orders Second Lieutenant Maria Ross and Sergeant Denny Brosh along with the Tringham brothers and Ed to escape. Later on, Izumi is overwhelmed by Archer and a division of troops at Central HQ, she is then rescued by Ross and a group of rebel soldiers loyal to Mustang. As Archer and his troops have a shootout with the rebels he eventually captures one of his own troops who tells him that the Furher's mansion has been attacked. Archer then leaves Central HQ, riding in a car he crashes into a group of MPs and the Furher's family along with the now prisoner Hawkeye. Archer is restrained but still attempts to execute her. Archer then leaves, and heads off to the Furher's mansion. He encounters Mustang just outside the mansion and shoots one of his eyes out. Right after the shot is fired, Riza arrives and shoots Archer dead multiple times in the organic part of his body.
- Despite having the same canon for Automail as the manga—in which it says it takes at least 2-3 years for mere limb rehabilitation, half a year at the absolute least—Archer is somehow able to replace more than half of his entire body in a very short amount of time. It could possibly be the reason as to why he became so unstable, but he, technically, shouldn't even be able to move his new body.
- It is possible, though not stated in the 2003 anime, that a Philosopher's Stone was used to accelerate his recovery.
- Like most other military personnel in the series Archer is named for a piece of military hardware, the British SP 17pdr, Valentine, Mk I, Archer tank destroyer.
- In some ways, Archer could be viewed as a mixture of Maes Hughes and Roy Mustang, as he replaces Hughes in Investigations, and his desire to ascend the ranks of the military through successes during war campaigns is apparently modeled on Roy's accelerated ascent.
- Frank Archer's real-world counterpart was Erik Jan Hanussen, a clairvoyant and charismatic performer, who also lied about his origins as a Moravian Jew and tutored Hitler on the art of speaking and captivating a crowd. This mirrors Archer who is a charismatic liar.
- His English Dubbed voice actor is Troy Baker, and he also voiced the second Greed in the 2009 series.