X-O Manowar #1
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Tomás Giorello
Colorist: Diego Rodriguez
Cover: Lewis Larosa & Brian Reber
Aric is now on an alien planet grinding out a life with his bare hand when war comes calling. It just seems as though Aric can’t seem to avoid this way no matter how far he goes. Kind has us experience Aric more through action with most of the story being told through the words of the supporting cast. The dialogue we do see from Aric gives you small hints about where he’s currently at and what has happened since we last saw him. Kindt also lets us see that for the most part Aric is done with his old life as a hero. He’s reluctant to enter the oncoming battle and possibly forfeit the small bit of peace he’s been able to find. However, it’s when Aric has a conversation with his armor that hints there’s been some changes in their relationship over time as well. It’s in this brief exchange where Kindt does so much and delivers the first of many bright moments in this issue. One is that he’s given the armor a voice and now in my own head I hear it as a cross between HAL 9000 and K.I.T.T. thanks to Letterer Dave Sharpe.
With choosing not to fill every panel with word balloons and caption boxes we get to see more of Giorello’s gorgeous artwork. The opening double page spread gives us our first look that some time has passed as Aric looks even more battle scarred than before. It also shows the landscape of the planet Gorin heightened by Diego Rodriguez’s colors. From here there’s page after page of impressive visuals that move things along with sharp precision and detail. And no offense to Kindt but the story moves just as well when it’s strictly just panel after panel of action. No words or captions just Aric fighting a war that isn’t his alongside others in the same situation. From exploding bodies to a fight with a modified blood-beast this issue is one of the best looking comics out this week.
Aric is back and under the guidance of this creative team his return couldn’t have been better! The relaunch for one of Valiant’s most recognizable characters is not only a comfortable jumping on point but also delivers quite a bit of new for you longtime fans. Put X-O Manowar on your read list!