The following is a ‘Straight Forward Review’ for Valiant’s X-O Manowar (2020) issue 1 and issue 2. This review will be broken down into three segments: the Story, the Art, and the Final Verdict. Nevertheless, let’s begin with our review…
- Writer: Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum
- Artist: Emilio Laiso
- Colorist: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
- Cover Artist: Christian Ward
- Variant Cover Artists (issue 1): Jeff Dekal, Greg Smallwood, Rod Reis, Raul Allen
This brand new story for X-O Manowar sees the ancient king Aric of Dacia who has seen so much in space and on Earth, return to Earth. To start us off this new story does not require knowledge of previous story arcs. It currently presents Aric in what could be considered a normal life, or as normal as it can be for him. Now, the first issue starts with a big fight, but quickly transitions to show Aric in a neighborhood trying to ingratiate himself among the local people. However, they seem to not trust him, as everything he tries to do to help the world and being a real hero seems to blow up in his face.
Whereas, the second issue sees Aric building off what he was trying to do before. Yet, Aric is noticing that the results of his heroics may not be to his liking, but he does not quite want to learn about other options on being a hero. However, that is as much as I can say without revealing any possible spoilers.
The artwork, itself is great! Our characters look like that right comic book mix of realistic and detailed, but exaggerated enough to pop out from the pages to the eyes. Yet, one thing about both issues, but was more prevalent in the first issue is the fact that the page layouts feel a little too cluttered. The art looks good, but it feels a little hard to follow because of the way the panels are laid out. Thankfully, the panel layouts get better within the second issue.
The story arc thus far is quite well written to the extent that it is hard to put either issue down. Aric and his supporting cast are quite likable with each of their personal struggles. What is especially enjoyable is the main story of Aric’s struggle to fit in on a modern planet Earth. The character has been through a lot in his past, and his ventures into space. So, for the character to readjust himself back to Earth, it will feature him having to unpack a lot of baggage.
Now, X-O Manowar has always been one of Valiant’s strongest titles, and with the series under “Hopeless” Hallum’s pen it seems to be in good hands. The series is entertaining, well written, and accessible to any comic book reader. X-O Manowar issues 1 and 2 get a 4.5 out of 5.