Armor Hunters #2 focuses on X-O Manowar and the Hunters.
After M.E.R.O. refused to hand the Armor over to them, the Armor Hunters made their determination clear by destroying Mexico City, and the issue opens with a look at the devastation.
The attack does not encourage anyone to surrender, opening the way to further combat. Malgm’s capture enables M.E.R.O. to learn more about the Armor and its apparently usual function; Aric’s seems somewhat unusual for reasons that one hopes Venditti will develop—a superhero is, by definition, gifted with something not everyone has, but the story is much improved if there is a reason past simple luck or moral purity. Earlier events established that this Armor actively prefers Aric as a wearer, but not why. Of course, it is also not clear whether this preference will continue. Nor, at this point, is the level of the Hunters paranoia fully explained.
Aric may question the nature of his luck as, thanks to the Armor Hunters, he is again in a position to lose everything he fought for. Colonel Capshaw continues to develop as a mixed figure, ruthless and competent. Hopefully, she is around for the long haul.
Braithwaite shows Mexico City’s chaos and destruction. He and Venditti establish the degree of devastation quickly in only a few panels before moving off. The sharp contrast between the rubble and the clean, clear lines of the Hunters ship shows the current power differential sharply. He also introduces a new set of fighters, the Hunters hounds, that form an entirely believable threat as they “sterilize” the places exposed Aric’s Armor.
Valiant has managed on the whole to coordinate its crossovers so that a reader can read just one title without reading all of them. In this case, however, readers will have a firmer grasp of the story if they are also reading X-O Manowar: The last issue (#26) focused entirely on the Hunters and provides some insight into their past, rounding out Primary Reebo and Malgm more fully. While a more-than-adequate team of opponents with motivation that is becoming clearer by the issue, in Armor Hunters, they are improved with the added background information.
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Doug Braithwaite
Cover Artists: Doug Braithwaite, Rian Hughes, Trevor Hairsine, Diego Bernard
Colorist: Laura Martin
Letters: Dave Sharpe