Sunday, August 28, 2016

X-O Manowar #49 Review

Did We Just Become Best Friends?

Written by: Robert Venditti
Art by: Joe Bennett, Marcio Loerzer, & Ulises Arreola
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 31, 2016
Review By: Branden Murray

Someone smarter than me once said, “all good things must come to an end”. This proclamation is accepted as something most people seem to agree with and there’s plenty of evidence in comics to suggest they are right. X-O Manowar is the most recent example of a good thing ending I can think of to prove my point. Issue forty-nine is our penultimate issue in this entire series as it prepares to leave us like a college girlfriend who suddenly realized she could do better.  So, let’s open this puppy up and see what goodies we have left to enjoy as breakup music slowly serenades our ear drums to ease the coming pain of the end.  My suggestion...It's Raining Men.

When last issue ended, New York City was being attacked by the Torment as they continued their rampage. This was also just as Trill, with his army the Vine, seemingly returned to attack the “Rally Point” of X-O Manowar and his team.  Well, half of that actually ended up being true because it appears Trill and the Vine are throwing curveballs and maybe even a knuckleball or two.  

Since the Vine want Earth to themselves one day, they don’t want these Torment fellows smashing too much of it up. So instead of team Trill catching fists from team X-O in a battle for the world again, they’re offering jumping high fives and the option to team up against this new unstoppable force they both hate. The enemies of your enemies are your enemy’s sort of thing going on here. 

X-O isn’t so sure of the proposition, so to prove their team-up worthiness, the Vine return a special someone to X-O and company who they had previously thought dead. Turns out this special someone, I won’t reveal for spoiler sake, was a stowaway on one of the Vine ships unknowingly to them and never a prisoner or deceased after all. 

This gesture unites the opposing units for battle against their common enemy, the Torment, who continue to consume people and destroy everything. Not ideal houseguests these fellas. With a newly assembled super team, they quickly take off for and arrive in New York City looking rough, tumble, and ready for war. 

For most of the remaining issue we get some beautiful full pages spreads and back and forth battling. Our team of newly assembled heroes takes it to the Torment rendered with extreme care by Joe Bennett, Marcio Loerzer, and Ulises Arreola.  The drawings, colors, and panel sequences here are a treat to look at and easy to follow which really allow a reader to take in the gravity and stakes of the situation at hand.  

Just as it looks like our heroes are beginning to find a weakness and make some progress against the Torment, the unthinkable happens … but that also needs to wait until Wednesday because it could be a game changer going forward and a big part of our last issue coming up.  

Bits and Pieces:

Overall I’m sad to see the publisher and creative team of X-O actually go through with their plans to stop the series at fifty issues, but I love how they are going out with a cannonball style splash.  The story is crafted perfectly with all the players in X-O’s universe uniting to make a last stand and fight off an ultimate threat to this planet.  If you’re a sucker for canon and continuity, Venditti has it all coming together here in a nice little package as our final arc wraps up leaving me excited for the big conclusion. As they say all good things must come to an end


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