File Size: 127914 KB
Print Length: 112 pages
Publisher: Valiant (December 5, 2012)
Publication Date: June 11, 2014
Recommended for any fan of sci-fi adventure and whoever might be getting a little fed up with whatever marvel and dc water pump out, First rearing his mighty head back in early 90s, X-O Manowar became recognized as being on the most crucial, if not the flagship character, of the Valiant titles. Typically the premise was simple: A Visigoth Warrior kidnapped by aliens and forces to toil for them, he escapes confinement and is able to steal their most powerful weapon- A sentient suit of struggle armor. He escapes with it and returns to Planet, only to find that time has advanced significantly, and he is now in the current era.
X-O Manowar relaunched in 2012 as the first of the Summer of Valiant books. Valiant has enjoyed success in line with the common themes in their new books that made the original works so endearing. This first volume of X-O Manowar, By the Sword, does an amazing job of reintroducing the world to Aric of Dacia. Luckily, more time is put in on Aric’s plight at the hands of the aliens, making them far more three dimensional as foes, and truly deserving of Aric’s wrath.
Robert Venditti weaves a great introductory tale, and Cary Nord’s pencils have defined the look followed by all other artists who have worked on the subject. Trust me; this is definitely the first part in what has become a long and epic story. Seeking back, I am amazed at how far things have gone, and the threats Aric has got to endure. Give this a read, and I think you’ll want to find out just what I’m talking about., The Short Version: Below the guidance of a solid creative team and strong editorial direction, X-O Manowar Volume 1: By simply The Sword emerges as a great story-driven story propelled by a strong lead character, good writing, and the solid, expressive linework of Cary Nord. If this sounds an example of the level of quality expect from the "new" Valiant Comics, we have great items to look ahead to.
The Review: Typically the comic book industry is certainly dominated by DC and Marvel, with a multitude of companies appearing over time to try and problem the crown of "The Big Two. " A few, like Dark Horse and IDW, have carved out their own niche in the industry, Others have come and gone... and a few even then come again. Valiant Comics is 1 of those companies. Founded in 1989 by former Miracle editor-in-chief Jim Shooter (after he and a party of investors unsuccessfully attempted to buy Marvel), Valiant was known for roping a number of young, fiercely creative talents from Marvel and producing a line of comics that were fresh and impressive at the time. Valiant was a titan, selling over 50 million duplicates and leaving the industry with some "new classics" all its own. Its impetus was lost not artistically but from the business side when the company was sold to a video game company, more considering producing console games with the characters than comic book heroes.
Flash forward to spring 2012; after having a number of bogus starts Valiant Comics lives again under a spirited content team and a party of solid comic book creators. Their first offering, X-O Manowar: By Typically the Sword, which collects the first four issues of the rebooted title, brings back Aric the "barbarian" who is kidnapped by an alien race, just to escape them wearing a suit of armor that is also the most powerful weapon in the universe. It is an expected choice; the title was among Valiant's most popular (and recognized) when the company first launched, and a superhero in armor attracts more interest than it used to thanks to the Iron Man and Avengers movies. It also turns out to be a great choice; the smoothness, as re-conceived by writer Robert Vendetti, Aric is a Visigoth in whose village was sacked by Rome and who now seeks revenge on those who have enslaved and slaughtered his people.
Vendetti writes a brash and impulsive Aric, a guy of bold (and sometimes foolish) action whose motives are understandable and whose plight even evokes sympathy in the reader. When the Visigoths are faced with overwhelming opposition in the first issue, the Visigoth leaders call a retreat, but Aric rallies them to a charge that ends in the slaughter of any number of the Visigoth soldiers (including Aric's own father). Later, Aric must make another try to engage the Aventure, as they were able to get close enough to the Visigoth camping to seize a number of the women and children, including Aric's own wife. Mention is not made of the truth that, got Aric likely not brought the earlier charge, the Romans would not have had the capacity to get near enough to kidnap anyone.
As the story continues Aric and a band of his men are captured by an alien race called the Vine, who are shown "seeding" humans with Vine babies (essentially changing toddlers with ones imprinted with human DNA). Activities happen quickly from there, as Aric and his fellow captives plot their escape, which results in Aric being bonded with the Manowar armor, which - longtime readers know - is the most powerful weapon in the universe. I will leave the reader to uncover the rich story points that lead someone to the conclusion of the tale.
I've enjoyed the Valiant material in the past, and as much as I love DC (and like a lot of Marvel) I'm always looking for fresh alternatives to those well-known and visited universes, therefore i was well-read on what to expect (or at least what the editors and creators at Valiant wanted me to expect) and I found that X-O Manowar fit my expectations perfectly: it is a story-driven comic with solid writing and art that at least fits (and even exceeds) a number of the B-level books being produced at DC and Marvel. Vendetti's style is straightforward; his dialogue is realistic and won't ever sink to saying. These Valiant books are focused on being more "story-driven" than "character-driven" so none of the supporting characters really emerge in three dimensions, such as in the work of Scott Snyder or Rob Lemire or Ed Brubaker, but Aric is a well-rendered character of driven purpose. Though he is from another time and of another, more violent, attitude, someone still will enjoy following him and sympathize with his plight.
Supporting the writing is Cary Nord, whose pencils remind me of Aaron Lopresti, are usually detailed with good compositions and well-defined numbers - a must when handling action scenes. Unfortunately the inks by Stefano Gaudiano are sketchy at times, which muddies and even clashes with Nord's clean lines. Colour work and lettering are of the same excellent quality as can be found at a much larger amusing company.
All-in-all, X-O Manowar is a strong reinterpretation of any modern classic and sets a high bar for the Valiant publications to come. There is certainly much to admire in Valiant's story-driven approach; X-O Manowar feels like a amusing in which the creative team was left alone to do strong work with minimum editorial interference (unlike a number of the DC New 52 books or the Marvel NOW! books), and we all profit from it. at a . 99 introductory price, this is a particular must buy for enthusiasts of strong, story-driven superhero comics., Once the original "X-O Manowar" turned out, I was really young and not reading comics at the time, therefore i never realized about this comic or any of the Valiant lines, outside of minor mentions from friends who have read comics extended then myself.
So when the new Valiant reboot, I practically miss out on this again. However, based on the good person to person I had been hearing on this and the other Valiant books, I decided to check this out.
What a cool idea for a amusing, to have a man out of time tale, with a Visigoth warrior from the 402 AD to obtaining high tech alien armor.
This first trade really sinks it's hooks into you. It may just be the first 4 issues, but after reading it, I'm ready for the next trade.
You don't have to worry about reading the old comics, to understand what is going on. Fantastic read for both new and old comic enthusiasts, and at , is actually a great deal.
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