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Review: X-O Manowar #49

XO_049_COVER-C_PHAMWitness the last stand of Earth’s greatest champion, X-O Manowar! With the world besieged by the Torment, Aric of Dacia has united his bravest allies and fiercest enemies for a last ditch effort to avert Armageddon. But will even their combined strength be enough against the seemingly infinite powers of this this unfathomable comic race? It’s the beginning of the end as the greatest battle in Valiant history starts here!

The in a nutshell spoiler free review: an exciting, if somewhat by-the-numbers, comic.

I don’t envy Robert Venditti‘s position. After telling the story of Aric Of Dacia, the man known as X-O Manowar, for the past 48 issues, he’s faced with a comic that has to lead into what is one of the most hotly anticipated issues in the series run. X-O Manowar #49  isn’t a bad comic, but it does nothing you haven’t seen before in another comic, movie or television show when the shit has hit the fan and your heroes are mounting the last ditch offensive to protect everything – but it’s not the final act just yet, so you know that something will get worse somehow.

To Venditti‘s credit, despite the familiarity of this specific issues story beats, they’re done very well.

He has some brilliant interplay between Aric  and Commander Trill within the issue as well as several speech balloons that made me chuckle out right – in a good way – at the absurdity of the contents, and the large scale chaos is written very well. But it’s tough when you’re telling a catastrophic story on this level not to have some familiarity about it in some way, but familiar doesn’t mean it’s bad. That you’re able to follow the comic as easily as you are able to allows your eyes to pick out the details in the art.

I mentioned already the amount of chaos an destruction within the comic, but it’s Joe Bennett‘s art that shines as he draws the colossal Torment casually wreaking havoc on the face of planet Earth.  The sense of epicness this issue conveys is tough for comics to capture, but Venditti and Bennett do so effortlessly in the exciting familiarity on display here. In many ways, that familiarity is also the comics biggest strength, allowing new readers – or those unfamiliar with the story so far – to start reading the series at the penultimate issue with very little problems.

X-O Manowar #49 may echo around your brain and make you think of the other times you’ve read, or watched, this particular chapter in a similar story before, but the comic sets up the final confrontation (and issue) very well.

Plus, there’s a free art print in the print copy.

Story: Robert Venditti Art: Joe Bennett
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

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