Events in the second issue begin to speed things up a bit, as Aric and the others that have been captured and made into slaves plan their escape. They have had years to become acquainted with their captors, and after tending to their gardens and watching good men die, it’s time to rise up and fight.
There’s just plenty of good things to say about this issue, as Venditti makes it more than just about a prison break. There are subtle character moments scattered throughout that are just terrific and quite moving. Most of this is attributed to the dialog, as it comes off a lot more realistic than in other superhero books. Aric just wants to get home to his wife and his people, and Venditti gets that clearly across. If he keeps up this level of storytelling, there is no reason that X-O Manowar shouldn’t be a contender with some of the better known books out there.
When you have a group of warriors planning to overthrow their alien captors, be prepared for a brutal fight. Nord is able to bring that excitement and graphic nature of the fights without going over the top with the violence. This is also balanced out by several of the quieter moments in the story that come off just as strong if not stronger at times. What’s also great is that for the most part, the X-O armor looks the same as it did in the 90s, though it’s a bit more streamlined.
The cliff hanger in this issue brings quite a few questions as to how Aric is going to react to his captors. The aliens revere the armor he now wears, but after the years of brutality, Aric won’t be in the mood to be kind or forgiving. With these two issue being this good, it really makes waiting for the next one that much harder. When all you can ask from a comic is that the story and art delivers quality worth the cover price, then X-O Manowar definitely answers back with a resounding yes!