Review: X-O Manowar 6
Published by Valiant Entertainment
Written by Robert Venditti
Art by Lee Garbett
(Very) Brief recap of the first 5 issues:
Aric of Dacia (of the Visigoths) is involved in a brutal war with the Romans in 402 A.D. He and other allies are captured by the Vine who is an alien race bent on world domination. For years they are used as slaves and eventually Aric and his surviving allies attack the Vine. During this attack, Aric comes into contact with the Shanhara (aka the X-O Manowar armor), which bonds with him and enables him to escape captivity. He arrives back on earth and is surprised to find that 16 centuries have passed. He engages in a battle with modern-day Rome and then travels to Brazil. People (with major connections) that have been planted by the Vine on earth conspire to bring the X-O Manowar armor back into the Vine’s possession in order to avoid an all-out assault by the Vine on their planet. After their initial assault fails, they hire Ninjak to bring back the armor.
This issue begins where the previous one left off with Aric (X-O Manowar) unconscious from his encounter with Ninjak. Ninjak prepares to transport Aric while asking Alexander Dorian some questions (who is an ally of the Vine and part of the failed attempt to defeat Aric in the previous issue). Aric is subdued while Alexander joins the gathering of members of the Vine as well as their allies on earth. After speaking with the Vine, Alexander is surprisingly convinced to free Aric. Ninjak arrives and encounters X-O Manowar who is now ready for him this time around. After a brief melee, Ninjak is able to maneuver his way out of the situation. Alexander then reveals that X-O Manowar and Ninjak’s fates are intertwined.
The art continues to suit this title perfectly and I’m a big fan of the layouts. Even the panels without any dialogue are very telling. The action is very fast, but it is easy to follow. During FCBD, the teaser for this comic didn’t offer a lot in terms of writing. However, the art is what drew me to this comic and helped to convince me to give this company a shot. I would absolutely love to own one of the original pages some day. Like I said in a previous review, I’m unfamiliar with the original iteration of the Valiant universe so I had no idea what to expect with Ninjak. His appearance did a lot to forward the story as a whole and no matter what situation that he’s in, he’s calm, cool, and collected. Aric was a heroic warrior in the past and he finally looks to be getting back into that form once again. Alexander’s character was developed more and in one issue, he’s become much more interesting. There wasn’t a lot of dialogue in this issue, but it still took me nearly the usual amount of time it takes me to read a comic book because there was so much to follow. This issue is part of a larger whole, but it still felt significant. I am really excited at Alexander’s idea at the end. Very enjoyable read.
I know Valiant is a company continuing to grow and build and therefore, they’re still at an early stage. In order to do so they are required to charge a bit more for their comics ($3.99). I understand the business of it and support it, but a part of me does wish that we could get an extra two pages to make it a 24 page comic…I’m being selfish and I just want more.
Buy It, Borrow It, Shelf Read It, or Ignore It?
BUY IT. Buy this title or try out any other Valiant offerings. Every title available caters to fans of different genres (well except for fans of the horror genre, but the upcoming Shadowman might fit that bill we’ll see). It is difficult though to take these kinds of recommendations seriously because there are so many of these claims on the net. I myself am indifferent when I read “GET THIS BOOK NOW YOU’RE MISSING OUT” or “THIS IS THE PERFECT BOOK, YOU’RE A COMPLETE IDIOT FOR NOT BUYING IT AND YOU SHOULDN’T PROCREATE IF YOU DON’T GET IT BECAUSE YOU’RE TOO STUPID TO DO ANYTHING FOR NOT SUPPORTING THIS MAGNIFICENT CREATION!!!!!” Okay, not quite, but some of the claims to buy do get a bit too animated. I went in expecting to try out one issue of one title, but have now bought every issue of every title released thus far.