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Review: X-O Manowar #31

XO_031_COVER-A_ALLENAric of Dacia has laid waste to entire planets and defeated the universe’s most skilled hunters, but how can he kill what he can’t see? A strange new foe with a fiendishly familiar leader has unleashed a relentless offensive on Aric of Dacia, and he doesn’t even know it yet!

Valiant has marched X-O Manowar as one of the titles the Valiant comic universe revolves around. The formation of a Vine invasion, Unity, Armor Hunters, Aric of Dacia aka X-O Manowar has been at the center of many of the main events that have shaped this world. That makes the latest story arc, Enter Armorines, so fascinating. It draws back the scale in a way, and focuses on the fallout of everything that’s happened.

There’s powerful alien technology out there, and as nations figure out what to do, nimble corporations can move much quicker to deal with this new world. That in a way is the basic story, with a character named Zahn, and his enhanced Armorines on a mission to take the most powerful weapon on earth, Aric’s armor.

What’s great is how the story is compiled and put together. There’s what you think is a side story that plays into the meeting between Zahn and Aric, a nice twist to what you’ve read. It also shows a bit of the larger gamesmanship that’s been playing out throughout the series. Writer Robert Venditti sprinkles events throughout each issue, and it all builds upon each other. He doesn’t clearly lay things out, instead preferring to let the story unfold organically and a little over time. It’s great in that you don’t always see what’s coming, and that’s on display in this issue.

Venditti is helped by the art of Diego Bernard whose art is sharp and fantastic, giving us a style that mixes east and west in the design of suits, and technology.. Valiant consistently provides art that matches the quality of the stories.

Valiant as a whole has put together a comic world that’s not matched by any other company. It’s clear, clean, makes sense, and organically evolves. Each piece works on its own, and there’s the greater whole. X-O Manowar as a series shows that off. While this seems to be a storyline focused on X-O, I’m prepared for its greater ramifications upon the Valiant Universe. This is a solid issue to read, and for long time fans, they’ll enjoy where things are going. For new readers, it’s not the best place to start, hence the “read” below. As a whole, the series should be checked out, especially for folks looking for superhero comic alternatives beyond the big two.

Be here for the deadliest foe X-O Manowar has battled yet, as the Armorines continue their march towards Aric’s destruction!

Story: Robert Venditti Art: Diego Bernard
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review