Review: X-O Manowar #4
Does Manowar make the armor? A new threat towers over X-O. Will he have the strength to bring the titan down? Dennis Hopeless and Emilio Laiso’s epic journey brings X-O to a stunning crossroads in X-O Manowar #4!
The last issue of X-O Manowar wasn’t the best in the series; frankly, it was a touch disappointing after the first two. The good news with X-O Manowar #4 is that it’s better than X-O Manowar #3. It’s not as good as the first issue, granted, but at least the downward curve was clipped before it really began – a good thing with a series that’s becoming somewhat divisive among long-time fans of the character. Personally, I’ve enjoyed the new direction the character is heading as a way to branch out from what we’ve already seen (not that Venditti or Kindt’s runs were anything but excellent, mind you).
Perhaps one of the strengths of This X-O Manowar is just how much story that writer Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum is able to cram into the comic. Even with the ups and downs of the series, that’s been a solid constant. This issue sees flashes of the Aric we’ve seen before as he acts less like a punch happy simpleton and more like the tactical warrior we know and love; it certainly gives me a reason to hope for the future issues in the series. Hallum is able to effectively cram two comics worth of content into this book without sacrificing the quality or cohesiveness of the story as X-O Manowar returns to New York to face a terrorist invasion.
Given Hallum’s willingness to bring up social issues through the eyes of a time displaced warrior, I’m curious to see whether he’ll follow this story up with a domestic terror threat eventually.
Emilio Laiso‘s art combined with Ruth Redmond‘s colouring is once again a high point in the comic, and they’ve plenty to sink their teeth into here; that Laiso can keep up with Hopeless’ story is impressive as the artist never once seems overwhelmed as the action flows with a smooth grace. The final panel in the book is breathtaking in its simplicity, and yet Laiso and Redmond deliver upon all the emotion you’re feeling and splash it down on the page (no spoilers here, because you need to get the full impact).
This issue is a step in the right direction when it comes to rebounding after X-O Manowar #3, and leaves you wanting more. It’s unlikely to be the best book you read today, but it is certainly entertaining and ultimately that’s what matters when it comes to comics.
Story: Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum Art: Emilio Laiso
Colors: Ruth Redmond Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Story: 7.4 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Read
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review