Review: X-O Manowar #22
“The Price of Peace”
Published by Valiant Entertainment
Written by Robert Venditti
Art by Cary Nord and Vicente Cifuentes
Coloured by Ulises Arreola
The story begins at the Camp Sigma Detention Center with Livewire presenting a “gift” to Aric, the X-O armor. Afterwards, he insists that Capshaw be the one to uncuff him. Aric has finally started to see some reason since he lost the armor over in the Unity title. Also, he is surprisingly willing to work more within the guidelines of the modern world. Fast forward two weeks later in Western Nebraska, Aric and the Visigoths are granted their own land. They begin to experience some things that they never had before. Aric is beginning to enjoy the relative peacefulness, despite the fact that it is not Dacia where they dwell. Unfortunately, the price of the land and peace soon becomes evident. Aric also has to see what the consequences are if he should decide to not comply at any time. Eight hours later in the Pacific Ocean, the Russian Cruiser Anton is looking through the waters and Aric’s new role is shown here. After all is said and done, there is quite a big surprise left undiscovered with the Russians.
This was another solid issue that sets up the new status quo for X-O Manowar. I admit that I wasn’t sure how interesting this title would be after the Vine confrontation ended. However, Venditti has kept the wheels turning at a decent rate and has kept the overall story progressing nicely. This can be a difficult task because X-O has been able to overpower every obstacle fairly easily in this title thus far. I like how Aric’s strength has also become his greatest weakness in the other Visigoths. His relationship with the US government is very tense so far and it’s going to continue to be interesting to see what becomes of it. I like how Aric’s relationship with his people is continuing to evolve as he’s able to move on from his past. I also enjoyed the brief, but effective interaction between X-O and Livewire (whose character has really evolved over in Unity). The revelation at the end of the issue also promises to make things even more interesting for X-O Manowar. The aspect that I enjoyed the most is the continued growth of Aric’s character. We’ve seen a continuation of that growth that he exhibited at the conclusion of the Planet Death arc. The art combination of Nord and Cifuentes works for me as well (Nord doing layouts and Cifuentes doing finishes). They did an effective job at making a set-up issue look good and they captured some good moments such as Aric at peace on his land. Overall I enjoyed this issue.
As much as I enjoy Unity and will most likely enjoy Armor Hunters, I am looking forward to when this title won’t tie in to other events as much. Initially I was a bit on the fence when I heard about Armor Hunters, but then I remembered that I really enjoyed Harbinger Wars so I’m more than willing to give this a go. I wouldn’t mind seeing Garbett coming in and doing a few more issues sometime as well. I really enjoyed his work prior to the Planet Death arc.
Buy It, Borrow It, Shelf Read It, or Ignore It?
Buy It. This continues to be a consistent title and even the lead-in issues are well done. Just when I start to anticipate this title losing some steam, it continues to be entertaining each month. I only wish I enjoyed Venditti’s work over in Green Lantern as much as I do here. This issue was enjoyable for me because we continue to see the evolution of a hero. I was glad to see him reunited with the armor this issue, but I admit to enjoying seeing him separated from it briefly. This is because it shows a bit more vulnerability on his part and up to this point he’s taken on armadas, psiots, and an entire race and won pretty convincingly. I’m starting to look forward to the upcoming X-O event.
Tags: Cary Nord, Reviews, Robert Venditti, Unity, Valiant, X-O Manowar