X-O Manowar is now deeply in Valiant’s big Unity event which started with issue #1 earlier this month. The good news is as a reader of X-O Manowar you won’t be lost if you didn’t pick it up. The issue blends the events it has been previously building to that tie into Unity while still managing to stand on its own two feet.
Robert Venditti brings Aric into a full on war with the rest of the Valiant universe. It’s a bold departure from the previous version of X-O Manowar but fixes the issue I had with it in the 90’s. In the old Valiant Universe, if he was a barbarian who was almost god-like in the suit then why was he always eager to be buddy-buddy with everyone. The new Valiant seeks to show the ramifications of when Aric tries to put the rest of the Valiant Universe in their place. All he needs is his own theme by Motorhead. Aric plays by the rules of great villains while still managing to be heroic. In his mind he’s only doing what’s right for his people; it’s downright selfless. The rest of the world doesn’t see it that way and they’ll go to any lengths to stop him.
Cary Nord’s art is exquisite as usual.Though when compared to previous issues it can feel like it lacks a bit, but not enough to hinder my enjoyment. As usual the action is framed like a storyboard for a film, composition is spot on and everything just feels so smooth and pleasing to the eye. Nord is just plain good.
Valiant’s flagship has been a quality book since issue one and pushes the boundaries of conventional storytelling while keeping things familiar to readers.