I just read the first issue of the new X-O Manowar series from Valiant Entertainment. The new series kicks off from Matt Kindt and Tomas Giorello and puts Aric of Dacia on an alien planet where he is trying to survive as a farmer as a war is fast approaching. My initial thoughts?
It's brutal, bloody and brilliant!
I wasn't current on the last X-O series that ended with the 50th issue not too long ago, which left me pretty much clear going into the new series. It's a great entry point into the character as everything around him is new and we just get hints of his past. He is now Aric of Urth, a simple farmer with a woman he loves… who has a tail that can do some interesting things… and no desire for war or even for his armored suit. But Aric knows that in life war is inevitable no matter how much you want to avoid he. He forcibly takes a piece from his suit and fashions it into a ring… the suit explains it could of done that, but Aric wanted to take it, not be given it.
What follows is a vicious battle where Aric is expected to be nothing more than cannon fodder, standing in front of the enemy's fire so the real soldiers could live. But even without his suit, Aric is a man of war, not only surviving the suicide run but going further than any before him. His reward for taking singlehandedly taking out some of the enemy's defenses? A new suicide mission to go on the next day… and for this, he calls upon his armor.
Reading this series I got the same feeling from it that I got when Dark Horse started doing Conan comics with Kurt Busiek and Cary Nord or Planet Hulk with Greg Pak, Aaron Lopresti and Carlo Pagulayan. Even some touches of classic Edgar Rice Burroughs with John Carter: Warlord of Mars. A war-weary hero being forced back into the fray by people that don't truly understand what they have.
X-O Manowar #1 pulls you in almost instantly, giving even new readers what they need to know quickly as the story shifts into high speed pretty early on. The story and art are extremely compelling and sets up a series that I eagerly look forward to seeing more of. Kindt is at the top of his game here… and Giorello's art is absolutely gorgeous and holds up well next to the aforementioned Cary Nord.