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Review: X-O Manowar Annual 2016 #1

XO-ANNUAL_2016_COVER-A_JIMENEZJoin the adventures of Valiant’s flagship hero here with 64-pages of armor-busting action on the front lines of the Valiant Universe in X-O Manowar’s first-ever annual!

It amazed me that there hasn’t been an X-O Manowar annual before now, to be completely honest with you; the character is widely hailed as Valiant‘s flagship character so I had always expected there would have been an annual before this week.

I digress.

As with most things Valiant, this annual was a hit for me. By combining two of my favourite things in comics, the anthology style collection of stories and the title character. I’ve said before how my first reaction to X-O Manowar was to roll my eyes at the idea of a time displaced man who was a slave on an alien world wearing a mech suit. It seemed pretty stupid, I thought, as far as comics go.

And then I read it. Then I realized that while the time displaced man was indeed a slave, the X-O Manowar armour was far from a mech suit, and the character was far from the cringe-worthy abomination I expected. Far from it, actually, and over the past year Aric Of Dacia has become one of the most interesting characters in comics, which is something I never thought I’d have said a year ago. This annual gives us a look at a time before Aric of Dacia wore the armour, back when he was just a child, as arguably the main draw of the comic.

Honestly, that story is worth the price of admission alone. It has a message that, having moved continents a decade ago, I sometimes need reminding of personally (and because I want you to read the comic, I’m not going to tell you what it is. I know, right, I’m annoying), and in the current international climate, one we could all remember on a more global scale. You don’t need to be a fan of X-O Manowar to enjoy this, but it certainly helps. Especially with the other stories within the comic.

With the main series ending in a couple of months at issue #50, this isn’t the best introduction to the character, but it does contain a very good story, and there’s also some pretty interesting pieces of the Valiant puzzle revealed here as well.

Definitely worth checking out.

Story: Robert Venditti with Amy Chu, Jody Houser and J.G. Jones Artists: Various
Stories: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy 

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

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