X-O MANOWAR (2017) #1
Written by MATT KINDT
Art by TOMÁS GIORELLO
Cover A by LEWIS LAROSA
Cover B by KENNETH ROCAFORT
Never in my years of reading comics, have I ever been so confused, yet so pleased to see a new direction for a character. One of Valiant Entertainment’s flagship heroes, Aric of Dacia, has for unknown reason left planet earth and taken refuge on an entirely new planet. This entirely changes the status quo from the end of the last run of X-O Manowar that ended at issue 50 which I highly recommend as a series in general if you enjoy Valiant’s heroes as a franchise and if you enjoy great writing from an author like Robert Venditti. That begs the question. Now that Venditti is gone, will any other writer be able to tell the stories of Aric of Dacia on the same caliber as before? Well Matt Kindt seems worthy of a chance after amazing stories such as Ninjak and Dept. H. Let’s see why.
WARNING: THE REST OF THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS ABOUT THIS ISSUE.
Aric of Urth, as the Aliens on this planet are calling his planet, has abandoned his home world for unknown reasons and has begun a new life as a farmer. With a new woman to share his life with, at the dismay of fans of the series before who will miss the love and relationship of King Aric and Queen Saana that lasted the majority of the last series, he has attempted live a life of solitude from the rest of the galaxy. With the sacred armor of Shanhara now not with him in the same relationship as before, Aric seems bitter, scared, as if something from his past. Unbeknownst to the readers of this story have no idea about. The armor seems to talk to him now in a more present manner almost as if it’s a friend that was thrown aside for a crime that is unknown to the world. Now it seems all Aric cares about is solitude.
That solitude is short lived because he is drafted against his will into the army against an invading force. Before going, he pries a piece of his armor from its spherical form and crafts it into a ring in case he needs it once more. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that because for some reason he wants to be rid of it. Now Aric must stay alive in a war he doesnt belong in where he’s used as a walking shield with no hope of survival. Can he do it without the armor that was once his companion? You can find out that and more in the rest of the issue March 22nd when it comes to a comic store near you. But is it worth your money?
Yes. Yes. I can’t say that enough. Aric has proven to be the greatest character in Valiant’s entire gallery of heroes. He suffered the capture of his people in the 5th century by aliens, was enslaved, then during an attempt at rebellion, he stole the armor that the aliens (the Vine) and fought for 50 issues to protect the lives of his people in present day America. Now, everything’s changed. I have so many questions about what’s occurring in this book, but hopefully as the years go on in this series; we learn what could make Aric leave the earth he fought so hard to protect. The story we get is so well told, are totally detached from anything and I think that’s good. At times before it was a good thing for Aric to be connected to the Valiant Universe but it was so constant that it felt as if he couldn’t have his own stories.
The artwork: It is so beautiful. I don’t say that a lot. I am one of the few people in the world who loves the artwork in a disliked book, (The Artwork I recognize like the rest of the comic book community that the story is a mess) DC’s Justice League Cry for Justice. This book also has that same realistic but, almost brush stroke style. Almost as if every page was painted by hand. I love this artwork from beginning to end and I hope Tomas Giorello continues to work on this ongoing series.
Overall, I give X-O Manowar issue 1 a perfect score. Rarely will you ever…EVER give a book a perfect score, but it’s so well written, so beautifully drawn, and it makes you crave more the minute you read that last panel. I can’t wait to see where this story goes from here and I am so thankful for the return of my favorite hero from Valiant Entertainment.