ARMOR HUNTERS has been hyped up for months now, and the first issue of this series is here and it does not disappoint. Writer Robert Venditti does a fantastic job at setting up this book, introducing the reader to the characters, and setting up the whole feel and tone for the series. The story is a whole lot more than a bunch of aliens demanding the armor from Aric though. The stakes are really raised at the end of the issue, to a point where Aric has no choice but to confront these hunters or just give them the armor.
This team of Armor Hunters is still new, but Venditti does a fine job of slowly bringing the characters into the fold. He leaves a certain mystique about these guys, so the reader yearns to learn more rather than knowing everything right off the bat and getting bored with them. Plus, the team flies around in a giant robot through space. If you don't like that, then you're crazy.
Artist Doug Braithwaite and colorist Laura Martin do a dynamite job on this issue with their art. Braithwaite's art is clear and crisp and his page layouts are straight to the point. He gives the reader a great looking issue that doesn't distract from the story both Braithwaite and Venditti mesh incredibly well together. The colors from Laura Martin truly shine here though. Her work is fantastic and consistent throughout the issue. Martin's colors give a fantastic amount of depth to the art and are just really pretty to look at.
The final pages of this issue are a bit of a rush. It takes the book to a point most readers didn't think it would go. Without spoiling anything, it's pretty shocking and a great set-up to the rest of the book.
The only problem with ARMOR HUNTERS is that it isn't new reader friendly. Sure, someone could pick this up and read it and have a very basic understanding of what's going on, but there may be a bit the newer reads are going to miss out on, and to really get the full scope of this series without reading the 25 issues of X-O MANOWAR prior to ARMOR HUNTERS.
The more a book is hyped up, the more likely it is to disappoint the reader. ARMOR HUNTERS has been advertised and promoted for months now, and surprisingly, it hits the mark. Venditti, Braithwaite, and Martin are putting together one exciting book. The book starts off slow and doesn't give everything to the reader at once, which is what many readers with gravitate towards. There's still a bit of mystery behind the Armor Hunters and this story, aside from what the reader knows. Sadly, this isn't the best place to jump on for new readers though, since you need to read X-O MANOWAR to get a full scope of this book. Regardless, this was a fantastic star and I highly recommend it.