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Review: Armorclads #4

Armorclads #4

The only thing standing between the Ironclads and rescuing their kidnapped friend, Peris, is the Citadel, the most heavily-fortified location on Xeru, the army of Armorclads guarding it, and the battle raging between the Citadel’s forces and an army of Legionnaires. Is this the end of the line, or have they come too far to turn back now? Find out in Armorclads #4!

Writers JJ O’Connor and Brian Buccalleto know how to write a good battle, and because that’s essentially what this entire comic comprises of (or at least 90% of it), you’re in for a treat. There’s no real world building in this issue, not a huge amount of characterization, but there is a lot of destruction. It’s just the kind of book that you should be looking for when you don’t want to think a whole lot – of course the reason you don’t need to think too much is because O’Connor and Buccalleto have spent the previous issues building to what we’re seeing here, which means Armorclads #4 is the payoff we’ve been waiting for since the first issue hinted that mechs will battle mechs. Being the penultimate issue means there’s no need to force loose ends to wrap up, and instead we can just enjoy the chaos and explosions as the young group of Ironclads try to rescue their kidnapped friend.

The artwork, once again, is wonderfully suited to what you’re seeing on the page. Gone are the lush vistas and vibrant colours, however, replaced with a harsh rock and urban landscape bathed in greys and browns, lit primarily by explosions and missile blasts. The comic’s artistic team, penciller Manuel Garcia, inker Raul Fernandez, colourist Rex Lokus, and letterer Dave Sharpe, deliver yet another visual experience that grabs you by the collar and shakes your tired self for attention. There are a lot of names credited to this book, and each one of them deserves praise.

Armorclads #4 begins to bring the story to its conclusion, but after this issue all I can say is I want more. More mech battles, more details on the world’s history that we’ve only begun to scratch into, and more of the spunky Ironclads who are too stubborn to know when they’re outclassed. Thankfully there’s another issue next month.

Writers: JJ O’Connor and Brian Buccellato
Penciller: Manuel Garcia Inker: Raul Fernandez Colourist Rex Lokus Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.2 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology/KindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Preview: Armorclads #4

Armorclads #4

Created by JJ O’CONNOR
Written by JJ O’CONNOR AND BRIAN BUCCELLATO
Pencils by MANUEL GARCIA
Inks by RAÜL FERNÁNDEZ
Colors by JORDIE BELLAIRE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by BAGUS HUTOMO
Cover B by JEREMY ROBERTS
Cover C by BAGUS HUTOMO
Pre-order Cover by KAEL NGU
On sale June 22nd | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

The only thing standing between the Ironclads and rescuing their kidnapped friend, Peris, is the Citadel, the most heavily-fortified location on Xeru, the army of Armorclads guarding it, and the battle raging between the Citadel’s forces and an army of Legionnaires. Is this the end of the line, or have they come too far to turn back now?

Armorclads #4

Review: Armorclads #3

Armorclads #3

The Governor reveals his plans for Peris but what does it have to do with the ‘Lost Suits’? Meanwhile, the remaining Outpost 12 Ironclads realize they’ll need some upgrades if they’re going to free Peris — and their entire planet — from the Alphans. This revolution will not be televised but you can read about it in Armorclads #3!

Writers JJ O’Connor and Brian Buccalleto explore the world beyond the remote planet that the first two issues were based on as Peris is taken to meet the Governor. With the name has some somewhat sinister connotations in the comic sphere thanks to The Walking Dead, O’Connor and Buccalleto play up to the association of the name. Through the Governor, we get a bit more exposition on this sphere of the Valiant Universe; there are brief glimpses of the Alphan’s planet, and an all-to-brief dip of the toe into a deep history that we’ll probably see teased out in future issues. Armorclads #3 doesn’t fall into the pattern we saw in the previous issues of untrained kids in non-combat mechs taking out enemies that trained soldiers in combat mechs couldn’t fight, which is a plus, though those same kids do feature in the pages of this comic as they make some changes to their mechs.

When it comes to the artwork, I said this about the artistic team’s work in the first two issues;

“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.”

That paragraph is still true and consequently still applies to this issue. That said, rather than leaving it there, because we got to see a new locale with the story’s progression, I wanted to reiterate just how wonderful the team are here. There’s a brilliant that’s remarkably simple when you look at what is included in the backgrounds – Garcia has kept things relatively minimal and Lokus doesn’t over fill the blank space with shading and various colours; he keeps things minimal which allows you to focus on what’s being shown on the page.

Armorclads #3 is good; it’s really good. The setting isn’t something I would usually aim for in my reading, and if it wasn’t for the fact it was a Valiant book I’d probably not have read it. If nothing else, the series is helping this crotchety old man expand his reading horizons.

Writers: JJ O’Connor and Brian Buccellato
Penciller: Manuel Garcia Inker: Raul Fernandez Colourist Rex Lokus Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.2 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology/KindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Preview: Armorclads #3

Armorclads #3

Created by JJ O’CONNOR
Written by JJ O’CONNOR AND BRIAN BUCCELLATO
Pencils by MANUEL GARCIA
Inks by RAÜL FERNÁNDEZ
Colors by JORDIE BELLAIRE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by BAGUS HUTOMO
Cover B by IKHWAN WALLIYUDDIN
Cover C by BAGUS HUTOMO
Pre-order Cover by JUNGGEUN YOON
On sale May 18th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

After getting their first taste of combat, the Ironclads realize their construction-class suits aren’t suitable for battle. They’ll need to add some upgrades before they head after their missing leader. Meanwhile, Peris comes face to face with the Alphan Governor and discovers there may be much more going on than mining Pure on the planet Xeru.

Armorclads #3

Valiant has announced that Armorclads has Sold Out!

The Valiant community has banded together in the fight to restore the flame of honor, justice and order, completely selling out the critically-acclaimed Armorclads issues #1 and #2.

Promising to uncover long forgotten secrets that will shake the Valiant Universe to its very foundation, Armorclads is a perfect welcome for newcomers and a can’t-miss story for longtime fans. Stay tuned in the upcoming issues for a teaser for this shocking connection to the Valiant Universe! 

Armorclads #1 and #2 created by JJ O’Connor, co-written by JJ O’Connor and Brian Buccellato with art by Manuel Garcia, inks by Raül Fernández. Don’t forget to preorder the Armorclads series today at your local comic book store if you haven’t yet and be sure to get your copy of Armorclads #3 when it goes on sale May 18th!

Armorclads #1 Cover C

Preview: Armorclads #2

ARMORCLADS #2

Created by JJ O’CONNOR
Written by JJ O’CONNOR AND BRIAN BUCCELLATO
Pencils by MANUEL GARCIA
Inks by RAÜL FERNÁNDEZ
Colors by JORDIE BELLAIRE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by BAGUS HUTOMO
Cover B by LIVIO RAMONDELLI
Cover C by BAGUS HUTOMO
Pre-order Cover by IKHWAN WALLIYUDDIN
On sale April 20th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

Looking for answers about what happened with Sgt. Troy, the Major and his Armorclads remove the Ironclads from Outpost 12, taking Peris in for questioning and reassigning the others. But with the remaining Ironclads en route to a new outpost, the deadly Legionnaires strike, leaving Lela and her friends caught in the crossfire.

ARMORCLADS #2

Review: Armorclads #2

Armorclads #2

What happens after a mission goes completely FUBAR? With Sam and SGT Troy dead, the Major is determined to get to the bottom of what went wrong in Outpost 12. With the Outpost split up, the fates of several Ironclad workers hang in the balance as the mystery of Alpharon continues to build. In Armorclads #2, can our disenfranchised heroes claim agency and take back some measure of control?

I had a distinct feeling of familiarity when reading the first few pages of this book, and it wasn’t until I opened the first issue that I realized why; I’d forgotten I had read the first five or so pages on a free preview. That said, it wasn’t an unpleasant experience getting the refresher (it just wasn’t my most observant moment, honestly was it?). Despite my constant claim of not preferring sci fi/space based stories in comics, I find myself enjoying the opening of Armorclads quite a bit. JJ O’Connor and Brian Buccalleto are consistent from the previous issue, and carry that comic’s spirit of a middle finger raised in an anti-corporate salute. This issue sees the lowly Armorclads at the mercy of military justice after they left their commanding officer to die (in their defence the officer’s unwilling sacrifice did allow the others to survive), and they end up facing a not entirely dissimilar situation – while it makes sense within the context of the comic, I’m hoping that the pattern doesn’t repeat for a third issue because that could easily lead to a predictability in the series that I’d like to see it avoid.

Last issue, I said this about the artistic team;

“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.”

I was going to rewrite that paragraph, or rephrase it, because it is still true and still applies to this issue (and because my brain is tired and I can’t think of anything more to write about the art…. I’m taking the easy way out).

Armorclads #2 remains a happy diversion from life for the ten or so minutes it’ll take you to read. Ultimately, I can’t ask for more than that.

Writers: JJ O’Connor and Brian Buccellato
Penciller: Manuel Garcia Inker: Raul Fernandez Colourist Rex Lokus Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology/KindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Preview: Armorclads #2

ARMORCLADS #2

Created by JJ O’CONNOR
Written by JJ O’CONNOR AND BRIAN BUCCELLATO
Pencils by MANUEL GARCIA
Inks by RAÜL FERNÁNDEZ
Colors by JORDIE BELLAIRE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by BAGUS HUTOMO
Cover B by LIVIO RAMONDELLI
Cover C by BAGUS HUTOMO
Pre-order Cover by IKHWAN WALLIYUDDIN
On sale April 20th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

Looking for answers about what happened with Sgt. Troy, the Major and his Armorclads remove the Ironclads from Outpost 12, taking Peris in for questioning and reassigning the others. But with the remaining Ironclads en route to a new outpost, the deadly Legionnaires strike, leaving Lela and her friends caught in the crossfire.

ARMORCLADS #2

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

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

A KINGS VENGEANCE #2

Wednesdays (and Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

A King’s Vengeance #2 (Scout Comics) – A ruler defeated and left for dead in a weird fantasy world. We enjoyed the first issue with it’s intriguing mix of genre and we’re excited to check out more.

Armorclads #1 (Valiant) – Valiant is slowly building back it’s universe and we’re really intrigued to see how this fitst into the puzzle. If it does at all!

Beyond the Beyond #1 (Scout Comics) – When an argument between the siblings goes too far, Nova enacts her long awaited plan to escape the mining colony and explore the alien world from where her parents never returned.

Ghost Cage #1 (Image Comics) – When his megacorp power plant falls under attack by terrorists, the super-scientist who revolutionized and controls all energy on Earth sends his ultimate creation (and an adequate employee) in to destroy his most monstrous secrets.

Maniac of New York: The Bronx is Burning #4 (AfterShock) – We’re in love with the series and its take on the slasher genre.

Rogues #1 (DC Comics/DC Black Label) – The fact the Rogues are called “blue collar” in the description has us intrigued about this take.

Saga #57 (Image Comics)Saga is back and it feels like it never left us.

Speed Republic #2 (Mad Cave Studios) – Racing against and Autocrat. Yeah, we’re in.

Task Force Z #6 (DC Comics) – The silly concept of a zombie Suicide Squad has been a lot of fun so far.

Until My Knuckles Bleed #2/Until My Knuckles Bleed #3 (Behemoth) – Two issues out this week? The story of a retired superhero turned bouncer at a strip club had us intrigued to find out more.

Zeismic
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