Matt Kindt is doing a solid job continuing Dr. Silk's plot, but I just have to give praise to CAFU's artwork and Brian Reber's coloring before discussing the writing. Visually, this is a consistently pleasing issue. Not only is all of the character work and attention to the locations impressive, but they do an excellent job telling the story through the handling of panels, too. There's only one splash page -- a moment that definitely deserves it -- and there were plenty of creative little bits that I enjoyed throughout the issue. From neat transitions to using just the right perspective to make us fully appreciate these scenes, CAFU and Reber really delivered with this one. Even something as simply as Eternal Warrior on a rooftop looked ridiculously cool. In the entire issue, my only visual complaint was there's one seemingly odd transition when two characters are having a conversation. The scene jumps from sitting on a rooftop to walking on the ground, but the conversation doesn't seem to skip a beat. This small, small negative is massively outweighed by the consistently strong effort by both of these artists, though.
Kindt made this one hell of an entertaining issue. He manages to move the narrative along while offering some major spectacle. Ninjak has one fight scene and, even though it's brief, it's oh-so-memorable. The way its conveyed is sure to leave an impact or maybe even drop your jaw as Ninjak unleashes a weapon on his palm. And the bit with the plane? A cinematic joy, as well. Kindt does a more than able job presenting Ninjak as an absolute badass. It's a bit of a bummer that Gilad Anni-Padda doesn't get much time to shine -- be it his personality or as a combatant -- but the writer surprises us by showing us a more caring side of X-O Manowar. It's just enough to make readers of this book realize Aric's more than just a barbarian wearing some sweet technology. It's a nice little dose of heart in such a dark story.
Livewire is basically reduced to exposition in this issue. Unfortunately, some of it is repetitive, too. More than a handful of lines are dedicated to the same thing: saying how deep Silk's plan goes. As stated above, Eternal Warrior doesn't seem to get the same degree of focus as his peers do. Watching him reflect is a nice moment -- well, nice for us -- but then his focus is pushed aside for another character. It's not a big deal, but it definitely seems like he hasn't received as much love in this series as his other teammates have.
When the stakes are this high, it's tough to really feel the tension or suspense because you know the worst-case scenario could never possibly happen. However, Kindt is still able to create an incredibly gripping and engaging storyline. Sure, the exposition hinders the pacing a little bit, but overall, this is a thoroughly enthralling chapter. He's able to deliver plot development, character, and really good action in just this issue. Throw in a visual team that clearly gives it their all on every page and you've got a great issue.