X-O Manowar #16 (Valiant)

x-o_manowar_16_cover

Rating: 4/5 – Excellent art pumps up this sci-fi action book

Every once in awhile I like to pick up a comic book in a series midstream and give it a read. The goal is to see if the series is worth looking into further. X-O Manowar is Aric of Dacia, a Conan the Barbarian fighter type but he’s got a sentient Iron Man like suit. Aric was snatched out of 5th century by the aliens called the Vines and taken aboard their ship. Aric is now back on earth in the modern day and struggling to understand this new world 1,600 years after his time. The “story so far” at the beginning was very helpful to since I haven’t read X-O since issue one. Big points to Valiant for being new reader friendly.

Most of this issue is Aric and Gilad, the Eternal Warrior, arguing and fighting with each other. The action is really nice to look at but the back and forth with Gilad got a little repetitive. Gilad will soon have his own book titled Eternal Warrior coming out in September. It would have been more interesting to have some of the later scenes more fleshed out. The short set-up towards the end of the issue has me really interested in what will happen next. The writer, Robert Venditti, is slowly pulling me in with this new story arc.

The artwork by Lee Garbett, with Stefano Guadiano inks, is very impressive. This is an action heavy issue and Garbett is more than up to the task. Although the backgrounds in the first two thirds of the book could have had more detail. We aren’t entirely sure where we are and what we’re looking at. Maybe the set pieces came in to play more in the previous issue. Moose Baumann’s colors really kick it all up a notch to give the whole art package an exciting polish. All in all I enjoyed the artwork, which is very high quality for a smaller comic book publisher like Valiant.

This comic has me wanting to read the previous issue and then coming back for more in the next issue of X-O. Also this is the second issue in a new story arc that will be leading up to the November release of the new Valiant team book called Unity. X-O will be a focus of Unity, as a team will be assembled on Earth to confront him. Unity also seems compelling as being the first team book from this new Valiant universe. This issue along with the previous issue is a decent jumping on point. It’s a good place to start if you’re interested in X-O Manowar and the new direction he’s going within the Valiant universe.

Reviewed by: Ian Gowan – ian@comicspectrum.com
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