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Armor Hunters: Aftermath #1

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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 story

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.

The art

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.

Overall

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.

Armor Hunters

 

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  • Lee Nicholson

    Hi Martin. Great Review and I did agree with the majority of your review!
    This book is certainly a reflection of the times we live in – very much grounded in the digital, media age where spin and propaganda are so prevalent – we just all take it for granted now. A Corporal’s job is no longer to lead the military and his or her team, but to also handle the media and ensure as much as possible is kept behind closed doors and out of the public gaze. Venditti has done such a wonderful job with the character of Capshaw – she went from a supporting player in the X-O book to a leading lady in the Armor Hunter event and even in some of the tie in books too. She has been shown to be a powerful woman (something that has been lacking greatly in the Valiant Universe – and a human woman for that matter), she can stand up to men and she gets the job done. She has been shown to have a soft side, losing her cool in private, but at the end of the day she is a company person, putting the interests of the USA above all else – she is a major ball breaker, and she literally tells it as it is – please Valiant – give this lady her own ongoing!

    The Art for me was spot on. I absolutely loved Cafu being on this title and I really wish he would be a more permanent fixture with Valiant Comics. I would love to see him on a book live Ivar, Timewalker. That double page spread of Gin-Gr was fantastic – showcasing the size and potential threat the Armor Hunter’s did pose – then the interaction between LiveWire and Gin-Gr – this was so special. The origin of Gin-Gr was teased in the Unity book, then nothing! I really hope we see more of her in the early years with the Hunters, and flesh out a bit more how she became part of the team and how her race were involved with Control. Seeing Gin-Gr change facial expression was really interesting, this race is clearly capable of so much – reproducing, feeling, interacting, but yet she is a robot – great stuff, and hopefully we will learn more over time.

    The opening panels were really great. The free flowing and easy to follow writing style that Venditti employs makes him a stand out writer working in comics today – he gets the information across in an accessible way that isn’t dumb-ing down. The opening pages were a great way of showing a future that is happening now thanks to Aric, Unity, Gen Zero and Bloodshot etc. How different things could have been had Reebo completed his mission and killed X-O and ‘cleansed’ Earth – this is a planet that does not know how close to death it came – in this case ignorance is bliss and connects nicely too why Capshaw is charged with keeping this kind of threat behind closed doors. However, now the floodgates have been opened. The Gen Pop know of the existence of aliens, space ships and super powered humans, the next few days, weeks and months need to be micro managed so carefully and tactfully – something that Capshaw has proven she can do in her sleep.
    This is now a brave, and brand new world and I can’t wait to see what happens next, the media scrum reminded me slightly of the Harada ‘coming out’ in the Omega title – thought the outcomes are vastly different.

    I am so happy Venditti is leaving some threads loose, Quartz is still alive, albeit holed up in the desert.
    Helix too is still active and seems to be traversing the electric currents on Earth, and Reebo, we are told he has been incinerated, yet he is seen lying on a hospital cart with hazmat suited people around – maybe the same ones that Malgam encountered not too long ago?!?

    This is the perfect jumping off point for the X-O book and Unity. Bloodshot is watching over Quartz and Gilad is appearing in propaganda adverts and no doubt Ninjak is off doing his ‘on the side’ dealings.
    The flag Armor Hunter book has been a rollercoaster ride, and this is the perfect ending to it.

    Oh and the mention of G.A.T.E and ‘hinged’ in the same panel is Great 🙂

    4.5/5