Review: Armor Hunters #4 by Robert Venditti and Doug Braithwaite

AH_004_COVER_BRAITHWAITE

Review: Armor Hunters #4
“Kill”
Published by Valiant Entertainment
Written by Robert Venditti
Art by Doug Braithwaite
Coloured by Laura Martin

The Plot

Capshaw and Livewire are aboard the” Love Boat” and watch the carnage unfold below with Gin-gr attacking the surface. The Armor Hunters continue to intensify their attack while Aric and Saana look on. During this time Aric comes to realize something that’s been a longtime coming. He reclaims the X-O armor and seeks to be a hero by saving everyone. He devises a plan to take down Gin-gr and tries to execute it with the help of Livewire. Afterwards he takes on the remaining Armor Hunters with the help of Ninjak and the Eternal Warrior. Aric and Primary exchange some words and Aric actually makes him seem like the narrow-minded one. Right before the battle begins, Bloodshot shows up and pretty much reveals the outcome of his battle with Lilt. The Hunters quickly gain the upper hand and Aric is unable to utilize his armor. The battle eventually comes to an end and the damage is substantial on both sides. In the aftermath, Gilad (the Eternal Warrior) discusses the ramifications that the Hunter’s attack had on the world with Capshaw. Meanwhile Aric awakens and although the battle is over, he is left with some serious decisions to ponder.

The Breakdown

The issue was very fulfilling and it did not seem rushed. The amount of pages dedicated to the final battle was just enough as this was the first actual head to head meeting between the Armor Hunters and Earth’s heroes. The realization of what Aric’s new role should be was the highlight of the issue for me. The growth that he showed at the conclusion of Planet Death continued in this issue. By taking that timeout with the armor, he was able to see the death and destruction occurring below him. This served as the shock he needed to finally accept that he cannot go back to his old life. I’m looking forward to seeing how he acts now moving forward. Seeing Primary back in his old days as a bounty hunter to what he has now become is interesting. In this issue, he is willing and wanting to eradicate an entire planet.  He was so battle weary and tired from his years of hunting, yet his hatred towards the armor was anything but. I liked his reaction to Aric at the end of the fight because it was obvious he never encountered anyone like him in all of his years. Ninjak, etc. had some good moments and they played a good supporting role in the series as well. There was a sense of danger with many of them, including Gilad (who is immortal). Livewire continued to be one of the stars of this series and showed how powerful she really is. The repercussions of the battle are going to be interesting for Aric. Perhaps the Hunters were right in the long run or maybe they caused what they feared. The art team did another solid job and they were effective at telling a good story. Visually, the story had a very good flow to it, which helped the transition between action and exposition scenes. Very good read this month.

BUT…

The Armor Hunters are a formidable bunch with a giant robot at their disposal. This robot is capable of doing a great amount of damage. However, the name Gin-gr just does not work for me.  I would’ve preferred a bit more emotion on Primary’s part after he saw his losses on the battlefield.

Buy It, Borrow It, Shelf Read It, or Ignore It?

Buy It. This whole series was well done. The conclusion was satisfying as the main conflict was resolved, but there are some interesting storylines that came from it as well. The focus of the issue (for me at least) wasn’t the big fight, but rather the transition that Aric made to finally becoming a hero. It didn’t feel forced at all because the circumstances were dire and it was just well written. With Harbinger Wars and Armor Hunters in the books, I anticipate and will buy into Valiant’s next event.  Like I’ve said before, it’s been awhile since I’ve been able to say that with events.

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