by Robert Venditti, CAFU
The events of Armor Hunters are sure to have long-lasting consequences on the Valiant universe for years to come. Find out how the world is reacting to the death and destruction caused by the hunters in Armor Hunters: Aftermath #1.
The agency formerly known as M.E.R.O. – now dubbed G.A.T.E. for Global Agency for Threat Excision – has set up camp at the abandoned NASA shuttle installation in the Florida cape and there are thousands of people camped out waiting to hear some revelations about the armor hunters’ attack on the world. Inside the base, Livewire has been communicating with GIN-GR, the giant robot the hunters used for interstellar travel, and have an interesting conversation about how the world will react to GIN-GR’s existence. Meanwhile, Colonel Capshaw and her superiors have been setting up a plan to reveal the existence of the Unity team to the world in a press event. We learn of each of the hunters’ final fates, and are finally formally introduced to Unity as the team who saved the world, with Aric as its leader.
After the break-neck pace of the Armor Hunters miniseries, Aftermath offers a return to normalcy for the world and the reader. You won’t find the action-packed battles of previous issues here, but rather some interesting interpersonal moments between people who have witnessed the events, and those who experienced them first hand. Robert Venditti’s script is clean and clear, and this issue does a terrific job at not only wrapping up the event, but at giving readers a glimpse at the future of the Valiant universe. Unity and M.E.R.O. is no longer a covert operation, but is now in the public eye. The press event revealing Unity’s existence didn’t seem out of place, and felt very much like a modern well-crafted political spin story – something everyone should be able to related to considering the constant political turmoil we’ve seen over the past decade.
There are some tender moments though and the interactions between GIN-GR and Livewire show a lighter side to the whole event. It was amazing to see GIN-GR have some sort of personality, with a giant grin on her face. To her, this should be enough for the people of the world to forgive her and move on, because she doesn’t understand the intricacies of the human condition. Livewire offers a nice juxtaposition to this belief, since, unlike GIN-GR, she is human and well aware of how people will react. Still, Livewire understands the sentiment behind GIN-GR’s actions and defends her to Colonel Capshaw, explaining that GIN-GR simply wants to be “one of us.” This is great story telling and fantastic storytelling and character building in Venditti’s part.
CAFU’s art is top notch as always. There were a few pages where I wondered if this was really the right artist for this book, but that thought would be quickly swept away by some amazing panels particularly those involving GIN-GR and Livewire, and the final page as Aric, Gilad, and Livewire emerge from the hangar atop the Love Boat.
Armor Hunters: Aftermath #1 is a nice bookend to a great miniseries. After so much action, it was nice to see some more character building for all the characters involved, and I look forward to seeing more of how Armor Hunters has affected the politics and day-to-day affairs of the Valiant universe.