This is one of those issue in which the payoff is at the end. Better yet this is one of those issue in which the villain says, “I already did what I was going to do twenty minutes ago” and you find out the hero has already failed. Well not quite, but there is something that’s similar that you’ll have to check out. Trust me it’s different than what I’m selling, but it’s more of that sensation of “holy shit that happened” is what I’m trying to get across. We open with Aric, Gilad and Ninjak in a small container in the ground. If they come out they’ll supposedly kill everyone in the area in an instant. Gilad doesn’t think they should chance it since they’re innocent people, but Ninjak thinks it’s a bluff. It looks like Aric is going to have to be the tie-breaker.
On the flip side of the story Silk discovers Livewire and begins talking to her. He invites her to come into his office and it’s all very… friendly. He doesn’t come across as a crazy asshole and she doesn’t seem to be in any danger of being killed. What’s great about Silk is that he not only calls what’s going to happen, but he goes ahead with it anyway. Livewire asks him “why” and he gives the most honest answer of any villain trying to take over the world… Love. Well his demented version of it.
The rest of the story is very interesting and as I said Matt Kindt builds towards a “holy shit” moment. It’s a simple scene that I won’t spoil, but you won’t be able to miss it. The motivation of why Silk plays along becomes apparent with this scene which really justifies the entire issue.
Kindt surprised me. It really did come across as the typical villain explaining their master plan and even the villain acknowledged that fact. It’s that little twist in the story that manages to change the landscape of the entire Valiant Universe. Just one scene. Silk’s back story which is most of the issue is also very well plotted and informative for the series.
With this issue anyone that thinks that these popular characters are just being thrown together for sales can rest easy, they’re not. There is a relevant and real story to be told here and this non-traditional team book continues to blaze a new path. I wouldn’t be surprised if X-O jumps off the book when Armor Hunters hits, because that’s the charm of this team it can have a roster change without it affecting the quality of the book.
The artwork is was a good fit for the story. Being that a lot of it is conversations and past reenactments it’s important to remain interested while reading. Cafu does just that. There is some action in the issue, but for the most part its intense scenes between Silk and Livewire. Sure I said she wasn’t in any danger of death, but I didn’t say she wasn’t in danger.
Colorist Brain Reber balances the present and the past with a color palate for each timeline. This makes it easy for the reader to instantly spot the difference and makes Kindt and Cafu’s job easier because of it.
I actually ended up liking this issue a lot due to the final act. At first it plays possum and just loads you up on back story for the villain. That’s great and all, but it didn’t feel like a Valiant book until that third act when it pulled the rug out from underneath you. If you were going flat on this series, give it another shot. Just don’t miss this issue as it affects a lot of the Valiant U.
Writer: Matt Kindt Artist: Cafu Colorist: Brian Reber Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 4/9/14 Format: Ongoing – Print/Digital