X-O Manowar #4

by lucstclair on August 27, 2012

As the Vine recuperates from Aric’s explosive & violent jailbreak, he finds himself in modern Italy where he attracts the attention of the authorities and a secret society of Vines living among the humans.

The Team

Written by Robert Venditti ( The Surrogates Vol. 1, Blue Bloods : The Graphic Novel, The Homeland Directive), Cary Nord (Conan : The Spear & Other Stories, Star Wars Tales Vol. 5, Secret Invasion : X-Men), inked by Stefano Gaudiano & coloured by Moose Baumann. Cover by Doug Braithwaite (Punisher Max Vol. 3 : Mother Russia) & Don Kramer. Published by Valiant Comics

The Pros

This series never gets boring, as once again, the setting & surroundings keep changing as we first started in ancient Northern Italy to the vastness of deep space and now to modern times. We learn more about the alien race known as the Vine, as we see their chain of command unfold and their roles on earth, past & present. The plot becomes a fish out of water story as Aric, alone & confused defends himself against what he thinks are still Roman enemies. Donned with the powerful armour of Shanhara, the action is cranked up as he fights cops, S.W.A.T. teams, jet fighters & missiles and discovers the armour’s ability to morph & get psychic flashes which gets him up to speed on his current predicament. The Vine’s modern involvement gives the story a sense of conspiracy of aliens living among us, which feels a little cliché and that we`ve seen before (V, Secret Invasion, They Live, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers), but still adds a little spice to the series. Writer Robert Venditti always keeps a steady pace with the plot and keeps the action at warp factor 10, but never ever feels monotonous.


Penciller Cary Nord’s hich-octane illustrations keeps your eyes glued to the pages with every intense panel, filled with the rush of high flying explosive action. I love Moose Baumann’s choice of colours for some specific pages, the inside of the Vine’s ship, particularly the bridge has a creepy red lighting that sets the tone of the scene and makes the aliens look more sinister. I also liked Alexander’s council meeting with a handful of Vine individuals, the blue dream like setting was a nice touch. This issue also offers a sneak peek to issue #5, featuring the return of another beloved character from Valiant’s past… the deadly Ninjak!

The Cons

It’s far from a perfect series, but damn if it’s not fun.

The Outcome

This is a really good series. Some would argue that it’s nothing more than a remake & a replica of the old series, but from what I can remember of that series, this one comes up with new & different ideas & that’s what a good creative team can accomplish

Our Score:


A Look Inside