When you’ve taken a man away from his family, cut off his hand, and enslaved him for years, the last thing you want is for him to don a suit of mystical armor and go on a rampage. This is where Venditti allows for some payback, and from start to finish it was great seeing the Vine aliens get their butts kicked. This is the issue that many have been waiting for, and Venditti delivers some great fun and quality storytelling along the way. This is one passionate battle, and through it all we get some great visuals of what the Shanhara armor can do. Though, the entire issue isn’t about huge explosions and revenge, as there is clearly a divide among the Vine regarding the Shanhara. Seeing how Venditti has this play out in later issues will interesting, along with this great cliffhanger he left us with. Especially when you go back to the first issue and remember what the Vine had left on Earth all those years ago.
The artwork is yet another plus for the series, as Nord continues to make sure the book looks as good as it reads. The graphic nature of the fight is carried over from last issue, but doesn’t get in the way of the action going on. Everything flows pretty well, and he does even better getting the emotion over, especially during several close ups of not only Aric but the aliens, as well. Also, that crash through the Coliseum was a great two-page spread!
If you’re new to X-O Manowar, there is a great recap page in the beginning to get you up to speed. However, I suggest going to your local comic shop and just picking up the first two issues, because they’re just as good as this one. Which goes to show that Valiant is serious about putting some more quality comics on the shelves for your enjoyment!