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Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the early 1990s and explore a part of the Valiant Comics shared universe through the Armorines monthly series.
In my previous retro review, the comic book introduced us to the armored U.S. Marines (composed of members who go out on the field with armored suits and other members who serve as co-pilots via virtual reality) and their superiors. Their mission took them very deep down the ocean where they have to enter a sunken nuclear-powered submarine not knowing that something dangerous lurks there.
With those details laid down, here is a look back at Armorines #2, published in 1994 by Valiant Comics with a story written by Jorge Gonzalez and drawn by Jim Calafiore.
The story begins five hundred kilometers off the coast of Australia. Gunny, his armored teammates and the Navy SEALs are deep underwater on a mission at the sunken nuclear-powered submarine. They are being attacked by several large sharks that all have freakish and ruined surfaces. While the sharks don’t have any exceptional intelligence, they have lateralis systems that alert them to low-frequency vibrations and are able to detect the minute electric fields generated by the prey.
While the Armorines have energy weapons that can easily cut through flesh and hard objects, the sharks remained challenging to hit. They and the Navy SEALs struggle to keep together and focus on their mission…
As a direct follow-up to issue #1, this comic book shows more of what the Armorines can do on a mission even though their spotlight had to be shared with the Navy SEALs who are their partners on the mission involving the sunken submarine. The spectacle readers can look forward to here are the action scenes of the Armorines using their high-tech weapons against sharks that are many times larger than each of them. The focus of the story, unsurprisingly, is the mission inside the sunken submarine and the coordination between the armored US marines with the Navy SEALs. While there is no clear villain yet, this comic book’s script has effective writing behind it and the result is a plot that turned out to be engaging enough. If you are looking for character development, you won’t find it here.
Meanwhile, Jim Calafiore’s art really shines as he successfully implemented enough visual details on the characters, the sharks, the underwater environment and the interiors of the submarine. His art on the sharks are really monstrous to look at!
Armorines #2 (1994) is indeed a solid continuation and progression to what came before it. While issue #1 was mainly a build-up and introductory story, this one shows the Armorines in action on the line of duty while working in tandem with their Navy SEAL brothers. While the mission is the main subject of the story leaving no real room left for any character development, there were two twists (note: science fiction in nature) that added to the depth of the story. Safe to say, I am motivated enough to look forward to the next issue.
Overall, Armorines #2 (1994) is recommended.
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