In 1996, I was introduced to X-O Manowar via his crossover video game with Iron Man titled Heavy Metal. Years later, Valiant has done a marvelous job of fleshing out the character in this vast comic universe that has been created.I would say this book is new-reader friendly, but any of Valiant’s books can have that designation since the back story and details on the current arc are written on the inside cover.
However, if you hate words upon words and prefer your storytelling with colorful illustrations, Robert Venditti gives a solid introduction within a new storyline that slowly burns into several intriguing avenues.
The invasion is over and the United Nations wants to police all extraterrestrial weapons and activity on the planet which means inspecting Aric’s Manowar suit. Vendtti seamlessly produces layers of tension within the story as Aric is completely opposed to letting anyone near the armor while a private corporation hired by the U.N. might not give our hero an option.
Mr. Zahan, the new emerging baddie is driven by money and fascinated even more by alien tech. The roadblocks in his way are not lost on him, but his sinister sway heavily advocates his ability to make things happen.
Diego Bernardo produces great visuals and brings a lot of life to the characters in the way he draws body language when someone leans back with their legs on the table or a face displays a stoic yet defining look that illustrates the sentiment of the situation.
Also, for my money, no one draws a destruction scene better than Bernardo. The carnage he unleashes on the page is rife with detail that is hard not to examine.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the sleek and bold coloring of Wil Quintana which augments every page, being what it needs to me in every moment.
This is a tremendous jumping on point that will surely develop into an action packed series coupled with a pronounced story in the months ahead.
Valiant has produced some great books for quite some time. It took me a while to start reading their stuff because I didn’t think my brain could take handle the immersion into another comic book universe. I’m happy to report that I survived the trip and if Valiant was a stock, I’d buy it.
Score: 4 out of 5