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Armor Hunters #2 review

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Today saw the release of Armor Hunters #2 and what an amazing issue this was. Valiant continues to deliver top-notch comics and Armor Hunters is at the top of the list. Read on for our full review.

1404943824093screencapture The Story

Issue #2 of Armor Hunters picks up right after the explosion in Mexico City, and we learn that the entire popular of 20 million is gone. Pretty gruesome way to start things off! Back in M.E.R.O., Aric and Colonel Capshaw once again communicate with Primary who apologizes for his actions, but affirms that it was only done because of M.E.R.O.’s unwillingness to give up the armor, and further apologizes for what must be done next. We saw in X-O Manowar #26 a new side of Primary which gave him a more human – no pun intended – quality than simply an evil guy trying to destroy our hero. The insights into his character continue in this issue and I loved it, as Robert Venditti continues to show us that maybe there is not another good versus evil story, but a story about people, the choices they make, and the consequences they must live with.

There are some very interesting revelations about the X-O armor which many readers may have hypothesized before this issue so it was nice to see some affirmation – no spoilers, sorry – of what many believe is really happening. Oddly, there is more Aric here than was in his own book, but I am not complaining.

1404941523800screencapture While not as action packed as the previous issue, there is quite a bit going on here, and if you thought this issue would begin answering some of the questions posed in issue 1, be prepared to ask more questions. With this issue, Venditti has begun showing us his plans for Aric and the X-O armor, and it is obvious that the outcome will truly change the Valiant universe.

Plus, we get to see an amazing half page panel of Bloodshot at the end of the book, which simply sets up the amazing action we’ll surely see in next week’s Unity #8 and Armor Hunters: Bloodshot due out in a couple of weeks.

My only complaint about this book is how Livewire is being utilized. Just like in Unity, Livewire is taking a back seat to all the action and is constantly being hidden away. Let’s see Livewire kicking some @$$!

1404943663352screencapture The Art

Art duties still belong to Doug Braithwaite who is doing a superb job with the book. There are some great action panels and the facial expressions are emotive and detailed. I noticed that Primary seems stronger and more regal in this book than in previous appearances which was great to see and made him more imposing. My favorite character design, though, still remains Lilt, and his panels are fantastic.

Laura Martin does the colors, and she nails it. I hope we get to see more of her work in other Valiant books.

Overall

Robert Venditti keeps knocking it out of the park with Armor Hunters and I cannot wait to read the next installment. While there may not be as much action as we saw in the first issue, the level of intensity remains high throughout, and we finally start to get some revelations as to the way Aric’s armor works. If you’re not reading Armor Hunters, then you’re not a true comic book fan. THIS is exactly how a comic book crossover is done.

Rating: [author-post-rating]

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  • Lee Nicholson

    Great Review Martin!
    I loved this issue. For me, the strongest issue to come out of all the Armor Hunter books. While X-O 26 was great, in so far as you saw the origin of Malgam and Reebo and an indication at the true nature of the armor, it was great to get back to the story and progress that.
    The fall out from Mexico City is front and centre as the book begins – I was curious about Capshaw – she seemed all too calm – but then a great scene in private – she is human after all. Finally some true emotion – smashing her computer in anger and frustration, then all of a sudden she is ‘back in the room’ – her military training kicks in and composure rules. Great character advancement and a true winner in the character stakes.
    Reebo is another great character – I love the way he uses his Mask – separating his more human side from his ‘business’ side. He is more frustrated that others can’t see what he has seen and what he knows. He thinks of the Armor as a disease, a cancer that is spreading and infecting whole planets and solar systems – here, he appears battle tired and old. The Hunt has taken It out of him – but he knows all too well of how important his mission is – you also get a sense of regret towards Malgam – they were partners, like Brothers probably, now Reebo wants to put Malgam out of his misery, Reebo is also quite apologetic – I get the sense he does not want to take countless lives, but his belief system, that the Armor is some kind of parasite that infects everything it comes into contact with is his driving force, a mission that must be competed.

    The Hunters themselves have a ‘Unity’ like dynamic. Reebo is Primary, but he seeks council from his team, and he is prepared to listen to the advice of the others and act accordingly. His decision to send down his ‘dogs of war’ was not his first idea, however, it turned out to be the best given their circumstances and resources – or lack there of.

    The battle/fight scenes are done very well here. When Aric blasts off to Nebraska it is the first time we get to see Aric in combat with any Hunter affiliates, how will Aric fare against the resources of the Armor Hunters. Their Canary scream type weapon is great to see on the pages, with eyes popping out of the soldiers sockets – wonderfully gruesome. And seeing Aric in combat with the war dogs was great – true epic action, which we have come to expect from Valiant.

    Bloodshot and Livewire are under used in this book. Livewire is basically a taxi driver and Bloodshot takes a tour – Bloodshot no doubt needs to keep a low profile in this book, so he has something to do in his own three part tie in book. I must say though the last page of him getting ready to take on the enemy is fantastic and leaves the reader wanting more….a lot more.

    The big ‘twist’ is one I did not see coming – could the armor actually be evil? It is actually a parasite which feeds off its hosts until it is able to totally consume them – and what of the host? Simply no more? The reveal that Aric is in remission does add weight to the Armor being a cancer that the Hunters are trying to eradicate. All great stuff, and huge kudos must go to Venditti who hits this issue out of the park. The art is fantastic and really helps the book showcase what a mighty fine mini this is turning out to be.
    A huge and well deserved 5/5