After reading just the first issue, I am convinced that current rendition of X-O Manowar will be celebrated by casual fans and comic book enthusiasts alike for years to come. In every way, X-O Manowar #1 is a living, breathing, stunning work of modern fiction which takes hold of its reader and refuses to let go until it’s finished. And once it is fished, I assure you that you will not look at comic books the same way ever again.
“Born under the oppressive thumb of the Roman Empire, Aric of Dacia learned warfare at an early age. It was amid such violence that he was abducted by an alien race. Forced into slavery, he survived where others perished. His escape would come from bonding with a weapon of immeasurable power: the X-O Manowar armor. With it, he returned to Earth…only to find himself stranded in the modern day.
“But that was a lifetime ago.
“Now, far from home on a strange and primitive new world, Aric has begun a new life. Liberated from his past, he tends to his crops. Free from war. Free from violence. Free from the armor.
“But the machinery of death marches his way once again. Conscripted into an alien army and thrown into an unforgiving conflict, the fury inside him finds voice as he is forced to embrace the armor once more. With it, he will decimate armies, topple empires and incite interplanetary warfare as he rises from SOLDIER to GENERAL to EMPEROR to VISIGOTH. They wanted a weapon. He will give them war!”
Okay, so I know that that ‘about’ section is significantly longer than the publisher produced descriptions that I normally share, but if you’re unfamiliar with X-O Manowar, I think that it is imperative to have some idea of what you’re getting yourself into before you start reading. That, and frankly, I didn’t really feel like explaining it on my own—this way, we both win. Anyway…
One of the first elements that readers will notice is Tomas Giorello’s pencil-heavy artwork which makes this book not only visually appealing but also causes it to stand out from the crowd of thick-lined, ink soaked comics. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against a well-inked comic book, but Tomas Giorello produces some amazing panels without the heavy ink or thick outlines, and for me, this softer, less-polished approach comes as a welcomed change.
Tomas Giorello’s landscapes captivate the senses while his dynamic character work—both in and out of action scenes—leave the reader believing that the people they see on the pages before them are living, breathing creatures with hearts and histories to match.
And much like Tomas Giorello’s artwork, Mat Kindt’s writing is worthy of great praise. This NYT best-selling author knows a thing or two about a great story, and from the looks of things, as they stand now, X-O Manowar is going to turn out to be another award-winning work of his.
Mat Kindt’s pacing is utterly impeccable, and at times throughout my read, I was completely engulfed in this issue, and when it was over, I was terribly sad that there wasn’t more. Thankfully, we will all get more in a few weeks, and seeing as though the entire first year of issues is already planned, I have a feeling that I am going to relatively pleased for the next twelve-or-so months.
At this point, all the team behind X-O Manowar has to do is keep up the good work. X-O Manowar #1 is an amazing comic book that you NEED to read.