“Armor Hunters” rolls on as the dangers of the X-O Manowar armor spark conflict. Though Unity survived their first encounter with these alien warriors, Mexico City was not so lucky, lying utterly decimated by the Armor Hunters. Now, it’s up to M.E.R.O. and Aric to protect the planet. It’s time to check out Armor Hunters #2!
Aric, Capshaw, and company assemble to discuss the Armor Hunters’ utter decimation of Mexico City. While figuring out what to do next, Primary notes eight locations on the planet exposed to the armor; he dispatches his forces to deal with any potentially infected individuals, and it’s clear he does so with a heavy conscience. As Livewire and Bloodshot head to Utah to help Capshaw, Ninjak and Gilad ready themselves to defend MI-6 headquarters. It’s clear the true toll of battle is yet to come.
Armor Hunters #2 continues to explore the secrets of Aric’s armor while establishing a new status quo for the Valiant Universe. As always, writer Robert Venditti excels at crafting mythology and history while including excellent character moments. I was pleased to see Volo’s return, even if it was brief, as it allowed for some great exploration of his persona in the wake of oncoming war. Venditti juggles a great deal of pieces, melding several storylines from past issues of the crossover and setting up a few more that will no doubt play out in other related titles; this did make the issue feel a little eclectic, but nevertheless came together fairly well given space constraints. And, of course, the battle scenes were epic!
The aforementioned character moments and battle scenes would lack some gravitas if not for the wonderful art team of Doug Braithwaite and Laura Martin. Character posing and facial expressions are some of the best in comics, showing the depths of emotion present in even stolid characters such as Bloodshot. We realize Primary is reluctant to decimate a world mainly through the sullen grimace he wears and the tense positioning of his body. Furthermore, the Hounds employed by the Armor Hunters possess amazing designs, a combination of alien and macabre that feeds their menace. Throughout this issue, the art team proves the breadth of their abilities in concocting everything from a clandestine military meeting, to a robotic spacecraft to even a simple desert landscape.
Second issues of major crossover events are a difficult proposition, as by necessity they must slow down a little bit to digest the opening salvo of the first installment while establishing major points for the coming issues. Despite this difficulty, Venditti, Braithwaite, and company succeed in presenting a very enjoyable issue. It’s not a perfect issue, but maintains the quality fans have come to expect from Valiant. If you’re not reading Armor Hunters, I encourage you to start now.
-great artwork, specifically character expressions, designs, and battles
-further character exploration, including a special shout-out to Volo
-establishes key plot threads for the crossover
-given the multiple plot threads, the issue feels somewhat eclectic
Brett Simon is a twenty-four year old comic enthusiast. He figures Bloodshot needs to register for social security one of these days.
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