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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 armored Marines and their US Navy SEALs counterparts encountered mutated sharks as they struggled to accomplish their mission. Along the way, one of the Armorines literally got swallowed by a huge, organic object that went directly to him during the struggle.
With those details laid down, here is a look back at Armorines #3, published in 1994 by Valiant Comics with a story written by Jorge Gonzalez and drawn by Jim Calafiore.
The story begins deep under the sea as the Benchley explodes and falls down further as a result of the mission. Gunny finds himself falling down as well as he no longer has his ballast and propulsion unit. Fortunately, an armored teammate of his saves him and pulls him up to the surface.
Several kilometers away from the site of the ill-fated Benchley, a huge organic-looking object enters the large hole on the side of a derelict ship. Strangely enough, the interiors have an alien design and the organic-looking object turns out to be a ship of its own. Two human figures with unnatural physical features come out of it and told their alien-looking troops to enter the refrigeration unit to “bring the ‘meat’” to Chantilla.
Inside the refrigeration unit filled with lots of dead human bodies, the armed aliens approach the Armorines suit only to find it empty. As they did not bother to search around to find answers, the Armorines pilot cleverly concealed himself among the other dead bodies pretending to be dead. He gets up after the aliens leave…
After a good amount of build-up executed by the creative team in the first two issues, this particular comic book served as a big pay-off as well as a creative build-up of its own with the future events in mind. In fact, the sci-concepts introduced here along with new figures of opposition (specifically the humans with physical aquatic features) really lifted the storytelling to a whole new level of imagination laced with intrigue. Instead of seeing armed terrorists or an opposing force with military hardware to counter the high-tech Armorines, we see people who have a sinister plan, have been organizing violent operations on Earth and are of alien origin. These aliens, who are even studying human characteristics, were involved in conflicts with X-O Manowar and Turok elsewhere within the Valiant Comics shared universe. In fact, the two individuals who arrived early in the story came from their act of destroying X-O Manowar’s armor (read X-O Manowar #28). I should also state that the duo of Gonzalez-Calafiore cleverly emphasized the aliens’ plan to weaken the coordination and security of Earth’s forces so that they can escape undetected. What is even more intriguing within this comic book is the visualization of the aliens’ secret scientific developments and experiments on Earth.
Going back to the Armorines, you will see them in action without the aquatic environment. The way the creative team showed the Armorines in action against their alien counterparts turned out to be entertaining to read.
I can say that Armorines #3 (1994) is a well-executed story that successfully paid off what was built in the first two issues and raised the stakes further with sci-fi concepts and a force of opposition that made impact elsewhere in the Valiant Comics shared universe. As I enjoyed this old comic book, I am looking forward to the next issue.
Overall, Armorines #3 (1994) is recommended.
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