X-O MANOWAR (2017) #2
Written by: Matt Kindt
Art by: Tomas Giorello
Cover A by: Lewis Larosa
Cover B by: Kenneth Rocafort
Interlocking Variant Cover by: Mico Suayan
X-O Manowar Icon Variant by: Kaare Andrews
Blank Cover also available
Sometimes, a book is so far from what is done before that you still enjoy it but are plagued by what has been lost. I am talking of course about Aric of Dacia leaving Earth and being on this new planet of Gorin, where he has attempted to start a new life. It seems that he isn’t able to have a normal life though. Drafted into a war that he knows nothing about in a world not his own, Aric must struggle to survive while also battling with the burden of being the wearer of the Armor of Shanhara. Is this new direction of X-O manowar a good read? Let’s find out.
Normally I just jump right in but this time, I want to jump a few pages into the content page. The page that explains who characters are and a summary of the series itself. In the case of this one, I am so thankful for it. Normally I think they are pointless for current readers of a series because they know what’s going on, but their point is for readers who just jump onto the book anywhere and at least have some context. This time however, it is a great tool for people who wanted to understand what was going on last issue. We learn that Aric’s been gone from Earth for over a year, it explains the different races of aliens on this planet, and it explains the characters introduced in issue 1 for anyone who didn’t read it. So for once I really enjoyed this section of a comic.
The best part of this comic or me is the exchange at the beginning. Many times over X-O manowar’s publication, he has been compared to Thor. and here we see a similar pattern. Much like how Thor has shared words with Mjolnir in the past, Aric shares words with his sphere of armor, Shanhara. Saying that he doesn’t need it’s help anymore. That life has passed, but the armor speaks aloud, (which is a change from the first series of this comic where it only spoke telepathically to Aric) The armor asks him then why did he craft a ring from it? It’s because they are bonded to one another in a way that transcends anything else. They are bred for war and defense of each other and others.The moment itself is so well done in about two pages in a way that effectively shows the relationship between the two.
The story from there in a nutshell is a continuation of the last issue. Aric is put in charge of a team of different races to go in and take out an operations tower for the opposing race in the war he’s been forced into. Aric is told to go a certain way by his commanding officer but the leader of the unarmed soldiers from last issue instructs them otherwise. With the information attained, Aric leads the charge to overtake this tower with several instances where he uses pieces of the X-O armor but not all of it, and in one instance, shocks his teammates by what occurs with them having no idea how. Just when they think the battle is won though, it continues even further. Can the armor of Shanhara help in this oncoming threat? Or will Aric of Urth continue to fight against what he knows to be his destiny? I don’t know but I can’t wait to find out.
It has been so long that a story could go so far from its norm with no context, make me ignore my confusion, and become so entrenched in a story. Like many people, I have been slowly becoming bored with the norms of other superhero comics and only follow them because I’ve known them for so long. X-O manowar in both its previous series and now, have been such refreshers and new lights in my love for comics that has ensured Valiant to have my money for a long time. The random soldiers in this story who are partnered with Aric are rather enjoyable in their personalities but this early in the series, I can’t decide if they’ll stick around long enough for me to develop an attachment. Though Matt Kindt does a well enough job giving them enough backstory to make you care when things occur in the story.
The art I spoke on before but I must say once again, Tomas Giorello your art is just breathtaking. It has so much expression, so much detail. It’s like painted streamline Alex Ross art and I love every image i see in this book. Outstanding once again and I hope it continues
There’s not much more to be said about X-O manowar #2. Part of me feels off giving books 10/10’s but like I have said, it’s so well done and such a departure from the norm of not just previous stories but comic books in general, that you can’t help but love it immensely. I highly reccommend this comic along with issue #1. Issue 2 comes out this week on Wednesday, April 26th.