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Review: X-O Manowar #8

XO2017_008_VARIANT_ICON_JONES“War has returned to the world of Gorin – but, this time, the planet’s ravaged armies face a threat from the stars, not within! Now, as the intergalactic assault reaches a critical peak, it falls to Gorin’s newly coronated emperor, Aric of Urth, to fortify not just a kingdom, but an entire world! With his sentient armor to aid him, the earthborn warrior once known as X-O Manowar will confront the conquering force known as the Mono Men on the field of battle…but if he doesn’t act fast, his reign will end just as quickly as it began!”

I’ll be honest with you: I’ve never been partial to stories set in the far reaches of space. It would be fair to say that for the most part I’ve actively avoided them (I really only saw the Star Wars movies properly in the last couple of years), especially when it comes to comics. The reason I tell you this is because I hope that it provides a little context when I express my feelings toward this series.

There will always be one Valiant comic a month that I’ll forgo reading the review copy and wait for the print version from my LCS (hey, I buy most of the comics Valiant puts out, why not actually read them once in awhile?), and this month the comic I physically read was X-O Manowar #8, written by Fred Van Lente with art by Clayton Crain and Renato Guedes with special thanks to Khari Evans. I’ll  be completely honest with you: I don’t know specifically the contribution of each artist to the comic, only that the final product is remarkable.

Although the issue details the end of the planet encompassing war that Aric has become embroiled with as he rose through the ranks from soldier to captain to general, the war itself isn’t the main focus of the comic – but rather a fantastic backdrop to an intense character study as the most powerful man in the war discovers more about who he is.

X-O Manowar has been one hell of a ride so far as Van Lente and the art team give us a comic where the story is just as exemplary as the art work in each issue. Truly one of the best series on the shelves right now.

Story: Fred Van Lente
Art:  Clayton Crain and Renato Guedes with special thanks to Khari Evans
Story: 9 Art: 10 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

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