Issue: X-O Manowar (2020) #4
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Emilio Laiso
Colorist: Ruth Redmond
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Published: January 27, 2021
Publisher’s Summary: Does Manowar make the armor? A new threat towers over X-O. Will he have the strength to bring the titan down? Dennis Hopeless and Emilio Laiso’s epic journey brings X-O to a stunning crossroads!
“I wouldn’t sweat it, yo. Your boys probably just ran to the corner for some Hot Cheetos. No way that crunching was them getting pounded flat–by the time traveling super warrior you just whole ass–underestimated.”
Ukrainian terrorist, General Vlad Yakiov, hellbent on taking down X-O Manowar, has set a trap in the heart of a Harlem neighborhood. Whether Yakiov is physically defeated doesn’t matter to him so long as he is able to further influence the public’s perspective on Manowar…
Dennis Hopeless drops readers into a battle-torn Harlem landscape, immediately setting the tone of the issue while also making it clear exactly what is at stake. While the legitimacy of costumed-vigilantes has been called into question throughout the history of superhero comics, Hopeless’ approach, here, feels timely and appropriate. The emphasis on the importance of the public’s opinion, as well as the power that the media holds in shaping our perceptions of everything, adds depth to what already was a solid superhero tale.
The creative collaborative efforts from Emilio Laiso and Ruth Redmond have made for a visually exciting issue. While the conflict that opens the book works well, the issue’s second half is packed with attractive illustrations and stunning color work.
The final moments of X-O Manowar (2020) #4 are especially impressive, as the predicament that Manowar is left in is a dire one that coerces readers to the edges of their seats and then leaves them there…. But, more than just providing readers with reason to eagerly await the release of X-O Manowar (2020) #5, the last six (or so) pages of this issue are gorgeously illustrated/colored and brimming with energy and conflict. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how one successfully ends a comic book.
The Bottom Line
Out of the frying pan and into the fire, X-O Manowar successfully fends off one foe and then immediately finds himself in the grasp of another. X-O Manowar (2020) #4 moves at an impressive pace and ultimately leaves readers rocking at the edges of their seats, eager for more–eager to find out if X-O lives to fight another day.