The long-awaited Armor Hunters crossover landed yesterday. Promising big action and bold reveals about the history of the Manowar armor, I’ve been eagerly anticipating this event since it was first announced. Did the first issue live up to my expectations? Let’s suit up for Armor Hunters #1!
Armor Hunters #1 brings the titular team to Earth. Initially introduced in X-O Manowar #24, the team consists of Primary, Helix, GIN-GR, Lilt, and Quartz. Their goal, as their name implies, is to eliminate deadly suits of advanced armor littered throughout the cosmos. As they gun for Aric’s armor, the civilians of Earth won’t be able to avoid the crossfire. Can Aric and M.E.R.O. hope to stop these warriors from the stars before the whole planet is torn asunder?
Robert Venditti laid the seeds for Armor Hunters over a dozen issues ago, and now we’re seeing lots of these intriguing plot threads come to a head. Though we know the motivation of the titular team, we’re still unsure of the exact threat the armors pose. Venditti dangles a great thread of mystery, slowly revealing key pieces of information without giving it all away at once. This issue is filled with great character moments as well, especially as we watch Aric and Capshaw react to the activities of the Armor Hunters on Earth. With a wild conclusion, this issue sets up a great hook for the series that will have fans clamoring to read the next issue.
Doug Braithwaite’s art meshes perfectly with the tone of Armor Hunters. I first fell in love with Braithwaite’s art back in issue #1 of Unity, and I’m glad to see him return for another launch of a high-profile event. His greatest strength is the characterization portrayed in the character posing; instantly looking at Helix, Quartz, Aric, or any other character in the comic will give any reader an immediate sense of the individual’s persona. As a visual medium, I appreciate that Braithwaite goes the extra mile in this aspect. I’m also a fan of the fluid style his pencils lend to the battle scenes that unfold in Armor Hunters #1. Colorist Laura Martin’s work shines through as well, as she chooses more otherworldly tones for the extra-terrestrials while favoring earthy tones for the human characters.
I’ve ultimately got only good things to say about Armor Hunters #1. I’m glad the months of promotion and teasing paid off. Fans of the Valiant Universe will definitely appreciate this issue. If there’s one downside, it’s that the series, while beginning with a new #1 issue, isn’t exactly easy for a new reader to start without prior knowledge. Still, even a cursory look at the more recent issues of X-O Manowar (#23-25) will be enough to get brought up to speed. I give this issue a high recommendation, and am excited for what Valiant has in store in the coming months.
-amazing artwork, especially the character posing
-great way to kick off a long-awaited story arc
-awesome battle scenes
-poor jumping-on point (read X-O Manowar #23-25 first)
Brett Simon is a twenty-four year old comic enthusiast. He’s just waiting for the Spetsnaz to become the Armorines.
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