This issue’s focus shifts to Malgam because the Hunters have fallen. As Aric heals, he recognizes the difficult life he leads while bonded to the symbiotic armor. The displaced Visigoth king strikes a deal with Colonel Capshaw resulting in his namesake and rank. Others want Malgam for the armor orb he stands to produce. Aric, the merciful king, defends the alien and swears to protect him from any further harm. Meanwhile, Colonel Capshaw takes her little piece of kryptonite, the Hunters’ spearhead, and shares with MI-6. Again, Venditti places the chess pieces strategically in place for a future plot that will assuredly pay off big.
For a rebuilding/aftermath issue, X-O #29 still provides its fare amount of action. Since Aric returns to the spotlight (previous issues dealt with Malgam’s time as a Hunter), he establishes his place as the undisputed king. One great plot element is that Aric has an Achilles’ heel, though. The armor replaces part of him every time he needs to heal. Considering the scrapes Aric has gotten in and the battles that are yet to be fought, I think that may play a huge role in the character development to come.
For such a massive crossover to end in a story that so readily sets the next chapter in play, issue #29 feels as inviting and exciting as any of the past episodes. Although Diego Bernard’s illustrations don’t have the detailing of a Cary Nord or Lee Garbett, the images still pop off the page as though the fight isn’t limited to the two-dimensional paper.
Next challenge for Aric: Armorines. I will be there.
Writer: Robert Venditti Artist: Diego Bernard Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 9/24/14 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital