Weekend Warriors: X-0 Manowar #11

by Batmanaruto on January 27, 2018

Welcome to our Weekend Warriors, where we do reviews in a similar way to how we do our Collective Consensus reviews. The staff do a review of one book, that we didn't get the chance to cover during the week. The book would be a one-shot, start of a new series or the start of a new arc, just so that anyone can jump into the book. The multiple reviews allows readers to get a wide range of opinions and the sense of how the book is.

Valiant solicitation: " Aric of Dacia’s bone-crushing climb to the throne of an alien world earned him scores of allies…and a legion of scorned enemies. Now, stripped of his crown and cast out of his kingdom, the man known as X-O Manowar must return to his roots as a sword-wielding warrior of Earth if he is to survive the relentless band of intergalactic bounty hunters that have been hired to kill him cold. But with few places left to turn, could the last Visigoth’s best hope be the all-powerful...but insidious...weapon he once swore away: the X-O Manowar armor?"

Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Ryan Bodenheim
Colorist: Andrew Dalhouse 
Publsiher: Valiant Comics

Aric gets betrayed to a pack of bounty hunters so that we can kick off a raw "even without his armor he's the most dangerous man in the galaxy" story … eventually. Ryan Bodenheim's art certainly makes the
opening act look great; the visuals have a sleek Euro style that works thanks to scrupulous, faultless detail. 

It is Matt Kindt's script that gives me pause. It's a new storyline and it's full - too full - of "don't worry, li'l newbie, we'll explain everything as we go" material. In fact, the story pulls up sharply after the first plot point to immediately review and dissect it for the benefit of us slow learners. I appreciate the idea, but the execution just kills the momentum of the story. 

In the effort to make his story as accessible as possible, Mr. Kindt has accidentally made it less satisfying. And that's for me, a guy who barely knows his Aric from his Iron Man. I'm betting this slow pace will be positively torturous for a faithful X-O reader. 

Though I appreciate the hand-holding this issue is doing, I recognize it has to stop if this story is really going to take off. If the pace picks up in #12, this arc could easily become something great. It's just not quite there yet.

Being a lapsed reader of X-O Manowar I was anxious to see if I could jump back into the title with little to no difficulties. I’m happy to say yes I was able to and not only that but I had a fantastic reading experience. Between the recap page and the storytelling I never once felt lost. 

The world has changed a lot since I last read X-O and the cast of characters are not ones I remember besides Aric but enough detail and time is spent with each that I felt immersed in their role in this universe. The story had some nice twists in it that I wasn’t expecting. The art and colours suited the story to perfection. The landscapes and backgrounds emphasise the harsh world this story takes place in. I also loved the facial expressions on the characters. They reinforced what was going on throughout the issue. 

I have nothing bad to say about this issue. I think long time readers will enjoy it and as a returning reader I found it to be a real pleasure. I will be continuing the series in the future.

X-O Manowar has been one of my favorite comics for the last year. I love the story of a superhero in space rising in the ranks of a revolution and eventually becoming their emperor. And much like a true revolution, X-O Manowar doesn’t seem to know what to do with itself after the war is over. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a good book but it’s no longer the great story of a retired hero reluctantly being pulled back into violence he sought to escape. It’s now about a hero in over his head after becoming the most powerful politician on the planet and that story is simply not as interesting. Ryan Bodenheim joins the team for this issue and I’ve seen a lot of people correctly point out that the dramatic shift in visual style is jarring. Bodenheim is a fantastic artist and I would love to see him do a monthly X-0 book one day, but this is not that book. Despite rotating artists, X-O Manowar has had a very consistent art style. The incredible realism the previous artists brought to the war was almost unparalleled by any other comic on the stands. Bodenheim’s just isn’t consistent with that tone.


Those are all our reviews of X-O Manowar #11! Our staff are very positive on this issue, however those that read the series regularly do feel that it holds your hand too much, however it is great for a new reader. The art is also spoken of highly. What do you think? Tell us below, on Facebook, or on Twitter!!!


Our Score:


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