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Review: Armorclads #1

Armorclads #1

As warring nations in a different solar system are locked in a continuing battle for supremacy wielding advanced exoskeletal known as Armorclads, a new rebellion is about to be sparked when one of the genetically engineered workers in construction-class mechs called Ironclads is killed. Now, by taking the fight to their oppressors, the Ironclads including Peris, Lela and Jac will soon discover a destiny defined by legacy.

I’ll be completely honest here – I always think that I am not the biggest fan of sci fi stories, armoured suits and the like generally don’t do it for me, but almost every time I read a comic set off planet I find myself enjoying it. Whether that’s because it’s a new flavour for my palette or I am a secret sci fi fan I honestly have no idea, but almost every time I come across a sci fi comic book I find something to like about it. With Armorclads #1 it’s not the art (which is fantastic), or the plot of the comic, but rather the very subtle middle finger to authority that writers JJ O’Connor and Brian Buccalleto have simmering just behind every page.

There’s a sense of rage and rebellion to the pages, and much to my surprise, it has transformed what I assumed (hoped?) would be a good comic into a really damn good one. Given how both the US and Canada (I’d say “the world” but honestly I’m not sure I want to make such a broad claim) seems to be learning that not only do workers have rights, but that in some cases if you lose those workers then you’re a little screwed on your bottom line, Armorclads #1 is a remarkably timely comic. As I hinted at earlier, the story of the comic is also really good, and will easily hold up on future readings in years to come, and focuses on a group of miners on a distant planet named Zeru who are about to become embroiled in a more than they would ever bargain for.

O’Connor and Buccalleto embue the characters with a sense of camaraderie that doesn’t feel forced at all, and will likely be familiar to any who have at least a passing familiarity with working in the trades or friends who do; the miners are a tight knit group, and it shows. The closeness of the characters drives the story, with everything that flows from the opening pages making complete sense within the context that we’ve been shown over the 20 odd pages of the comic.

The comic’s artistic team, penciller Manuel Garcia, inker Raul Fernandez, colourist Rex Lokus, and letterer Dave Sharpe, really give the book a visual identity that emphasizes the alien nature of Xeru whilst keeping it oddly familiar at the same time. Armorclads #1 looks like a dream; there’s really nothing I can say about what the artistic team have delivered that is anything less than positive. There’s lush vistas, technological backgrounds that aren’t overly flashy or beyond comprehensive, and creatures that are equal parts alien and familiar in their buglike creepiness.

Armorclads #1 is a rush, and serves to remind us all of why Valiant should always be on your radar whenever they’re releasing a new series.

Writers: JJ O’Connor and Brian Buccellato
Penciller: Manuel Garcia Inker: Raul Fernandez Colourist Rex Lokus Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.9 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXology/KindleZeus ComicsTFAW