Friday, April 28, 2017

X-O Manowar #2 Review (Valiant)

Writer: Matt Kindt
Art Team: Tomas Giorello, Diego Rodriguez,
Release Date: April 26, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99

… It’s The One Armed Man!

I’ve done my personal best to champion this Valiant title, both past and present iterations, to all the members in the Get Fresh Crew (whoop whoop) and much to my delight it seems to be catching on. Everyone who has dipped their toes into X-O’s waters has come out the other side loving the experience. If you’re still on the fence well last issue you missed Aric, our title character, being unwittingly recruited into a war he has no business being involved in. The results were nothing short of spectacular, as we watched poor X-O forced to tear his way through this battlefield, only to find out the war has only just begun, thus has to call on his old friend, Shanhara his sentient alien armor, for help one more time.  Interested yet?  Well I think the issue here may be illiteracy then.  For the rest of you join me inside and let’s see how our main man Aric keeps on keeping on.

Events pick up where we left off last issue joining Aric having a little personal one on one time with Shanhara where we really get a sense of the feelings Aric has towards the armor.  New and long-time readers of the character can both appreciate the back and forth here, only sparking the building tension, as we see how much blame X-O places on Shanhara for what its brought into his life. The armor, now shaped into a ring by Aric, shoots back with a coincidental response, taking Aric by surprise while touching on something I NEED to know more about. However the ‘two’ are interrupted by a soldier calling X-O back to camp to discuss their next mission.

At the war meeting Aric is informed he will lead a team of five into battle, all various characters serving different mission purposes of course, who will aid X-O in gaining access to the fortress. The plan seems like a long shot to work at the best and once inside the team will have to destroy generators powering a shield that surrounding the base while also taking out a targeting tower at the heart of the city. Aric heads off to make his ‘preparations’ for the latest battle.  

X-O and his team of warriors enter the fortress, after a slight alteration in plans, thanks to a heads up from Ironside about certain details. As they progress through some tunnels they are quickly forced to go on the offensive against a group of guards, which the team handles in beautifully drawn fashion, but not without injuries to one of their ‘big guns’.  Aric leads the team, literally on his back, as they press on and discover their ‘fearless’ leader has a few more tricks up his sleeve. The team at this point decides to separate and complete both assigned tasks by the Captain in as quick a manner as possible before drawing more attention. 

Our issue enters its final act as X-O grapples up to the targeting tower, while fighting off the big bad awaiting his presence, putting an end to the system once and for all, just as his team meet up to inform him their end of this suicide mission is also complete.  Just when it looks like our group is free of trouble and they can wait out help Wynn chimes in to inform Aric Captain wants the team to continue forward and now capture the Cadmium Emperor (the leader of the city they’re attacking). While Aric initially refuses to take part any longer, it appears that unless they can complete this newly assigned task by the Captain, the team will die in any attempt to fight their way through the approaching hoard. What is the owner of a sentient alien armor to do?

X-O Manowar is really a complete comic book that’s friendly and enjoyable to both old and new readers alike. Each of the first two issues by Matt Kindt have been able to find that perfect mix of story, with a dash of intrigue, some epic action sequences sprinkled throughout, all topped off with stellar art to gawk at. That's the combination for a winner in my corner of the world. There’s really not much I can find to say to criticize the title but I did enjoy the scale of the art in the first issue a little more and how it provided a larger sense of our hero up against the odds than it appeared here. Other than that nitpick I really have no reason not to suggest this title to anybody who’s a fan of the super hero action genre. 

If you’re really all in and in the mood for some added bonus material I would suggest looking into the pre-order bonus packages available at your local shops, it’s totally worth it!

Bits and Pieces:

X-O Manowar #2 continues to bring what comic fans want to the table and I’ll be back for thirds next month and fourths the month after that.  The story, the art, and the action it’s all here and it’s with my strongest recommendation you give it shot.      


1 comment:

  1. I very rarely give perfect scores, but I agree that this issue, along with the first issue, deserves it. Incredible art and great story.Nuff'said.