Rating: 5/5 – A Comic Event that Delivers on the Very First Issue.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Adam Alamo.
For the first time in ages, Aric of Dacia, wielder of the most powerful armor in the universe, has found relative peace for him and his people. But peace, it seems, shall once again elude him as a strike team of cosmic origin plots a collision course with Earth, their goal the destruction of the X-O Manowar armor. Just when you think you’re safe from comic publishers’ large scale, universe-altering “summer events,” Valiant Entertainment joins the fray with Armor Hunters, an 18-part crossover event that promises to bring Earth to the brink of destruction. But then, Valiant Entertainment is far from your typical comic publisher and when this event is over, I bet it’s the only “summer event” from 2014 that you’ll remember. It may also be the only event that has a lasting impact on its comic book universe.
After being teased for months, Robert Venditti’s team of Armor Hunters finally arrives in a big way. From the first page, Armor Hunters #1 throws the reader into an action packed story that does not relent, leaving you gasping for breath at its astonishing conclusion–a conclusion that already irrevocably alters the status quo. Still, it does this without sacrificing plot or character development. Many of the plot points move forward with deliberate purpose, as we learn more about the hunters and the influence of the X-O Manowar armor throughout the universe. I expect we’ll learn more about this influence as the story develops and I commend Venditti for revealing it all in a slow burn rather than giving us an issue full of exposition–it could have easily taken that route. We also finally get a good long look at some great character designs and it’s hard to choose a favorite among the group of hunters. Each hunter displays a personality as unique as their skill set and they play well off of each other. It’s fun to read them interacting with each other, which is not what I would have expected, and I am left genuinely wanting to know more about them. On art duties, Doug Braithwaite is at the top of his game here and brings these characters to life with style and flair.
This book is part of the Valiant First promotion, which is supposed to give readers clear and accessible jumping-on points. Can someone pick this issue up cold turkey and enjoy it? Heck, yes! But I think there is just enough backstory, as suggested in Aric’s interaction with Malgam, to leave new readers wondering who the heck that guy is. This can be a good thing, though, as those very readers may decide to pick up prior issues of X-O Manowar! They certainly wouldn’t be sorry if they did.
About the Armor Hunters, Valiant offers the following: “They will hunt. They will trap. They will kill. And they will rid the universe of the X-O Manowar’s incalculable destructive powers…even if it means taking the Earth with it.” After reading Armor Hunters #1, I believe it. Some comic events promise universe-altering, Earth-shattering ramifications; Armor Hunters delivers on its very first issue. For those weary of another comic event crossover, I offer you this piece of advice: forget all the others and jump in on this one before it’s too late.
Reviewed by: Adam Alamo
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture