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ARMOR HUNTERS

Joe Kach got an early look at Armor Hunters #1, Valiant's summer crossover series and part of the Valiant First initiative! 


ARMOR HUNTERS #1

 

Big Game Season is on! Summer’s here, and along with bringing more sunshine to our lives, we also get comic book conventions and publisher summer events! For Valiant Comics, that means Armor Hunters, the publisher’s 2014 summer crossover event and the Valiant First initiative. Joe Kach got an early look at the first issue of the main mini-series and gathered his thoughts for you below. 

 

Valiant’s been firing on all cylinders since the company re-launched back in 2012. In 2013, the publisher initiated their first company crossover, Harbinger Wars, which was met with fan approval across the board. Now, in 2014, they’re doing it again with Armor Hunters.

It seems Aric’s X-O Armor may be destined for a more destructive future than simply a wearable weapon for a time-lost Visigoth. An intergalactic strike team has made its way to Earth intent on removing the oncoming threat permanently, with no regard to anything that may get in their way. But Aric and M.E.R.O. have no intention of playing along quietly. 

From the very first page, Doug Braithwaite’s artwork pops right off the page. There are times when a classically trained artist’s style does not fit in with a futuristic or Sci-Fi story. That is certainly not the case here. Having just worked his magic on Valiant’s Unity title, Braithwaite bring his A-Game here, too. His characters all shine on an individual level and he handles both the grounded and the fantastic with the same precision. Of course, having your pencils colored by the prolific Laura Martin, my favorite colorist currently working in comics today, are only going to make things that much slicker. The art on this issue is phenomenal from top to bottom, period. 

 

ARMOR HUNTERS #1 PANEL

 

Writer Robert Venditti starts the story off mid-action, before bringing you back down and setting the mystery up. So, right off the bat, you’re pulled in. Due to that, by the end of the issue, I wanted to keep reading! I’ve got to wait a whole month to see what comes next?! Venditti weaves us through an emotional roller-coaster, from a stellar opening to one Hell of a cliffhanger. There’s a mystery here, too. Are these invaders right? Is the X-O Armor a real intergalactic threat? What are their origins?  How did they get here? We got just enough here to get us vested in these new and quite interesting villains.

The issue did suffer a bit from being a “setup issue”, even with the extra page count. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of “stuff” happens here, but there’s not a whole lot for our heroes to do. I’m also not a huge fan of the M.E.R.O. concept. It comes off as Valiant’s version of S.H.I.E.L.D./S.W.O.R.D./A.R.G.U.S./etc. I also felt like I've read this type of story before, hearkening back to story structures similar to The Dark Phoenix Saga and even the recent Man of Steel movie. So, to get nit-picky, it’s not the most original of concepts, but succeeds in execution.

Armor Hunters #1 is a superb set-up for a summer, crossover event. This issue also leaves room for some natural, and inevitable, Valiant tie-ins. With strong characterization, an engaging, high-octane mystery, and some stellar eye candy, Armor Hunters already feels like it may be Valiant’s strongest event title yet. Let’s just get a little more shine on our (X-O) armor to really stand out amongst the dog-pile of comic book summer blockbuster events.

4 out of 5

Armor Hunters #1 will be available on June 11, 2014 from Valiant Comics. Check out the preview pages below!

 

 

ARMOR HUNTERS #1 (of 4) (VALIANT FIRST)
Written by ROBERT VENDITTI
Art by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
Chromium & Standard Edition Covers by JORGE MOLINA
Character Design Variant by CLAYTON CRAIN
Armor Hunters Variant by TREVOR HAIRSINE
Artist Variant by DOUG BRAITHWAITE

 

Which Armor Hunter design is your favorite? Let us know!

 

More Valiant on MightyVille:

ARCHER & ARMSTRONG #20: A MightyVille Advance Preview

Preview Valiant Comics' ARMOR HUNTERS: BLOODSHOT #1 and HARBINGER #1 Now!

Preview Valiant Comics On Sale April 23, 2014

 

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