Review: X-O Manowar #9
A city overrun by an unstoppable threat. A clash between titans. And a diabolical plan revealed.
The epic conclusion of Dennis Hopeless and Emilio Laiso’s X-O Manowar run cannot be missed!
I’ve made no secret that I’ve felt this series has had it’s ups and downs. Nothing like a rollercoaster ride, mind, because when the series has been good it’s been very good, and when it hasn’t been good it’s still far from bad. A good part of the series being as consistent as it has been lies with the artwork of Emilio Laiso and colourist Ruth Redmond; the pair haven’t had a misstep in nine issues more often than not being the high point of each issue for me.
The concluding part in the nine issue run that Hopeless has had on X-O Manowar #9 does end on a high note. Hopeless really brought Aric of Dacia’s costume/suit/armour Shanhara into her own as a character, emphasizing that X-O Manowar is an active partnership between Shanhara and Aric by delving deeper into their relationship and underscoring what Hopeless has been hinting at for the past nine issues; Aric and Shanhara may be very capable alone, but together they’re one of the most powerful heroes in the Valiant universe.
There’s an interesting use of colour in the comic, with green being featured heavily as a background and also as the primary colour of the Singularity. For me it serves as a subtle way to give a technology based threat a natural (read organic) undertones – the shades of green used aren’t the bright neon like colours often associated with technology, but rather colours you’d see in nature (or used to colour nature in comics), subverting what you know about the Singularity. I’m sure it’s a coincidence that the two primary colours of the X-O Manowar armour are blue and (almost) yellow, too.
X-O Manowar #9 is a satisfying end cap to the current creative team’s run. At the end of the day, you can say that Hopeless and Laiso’s run with X-O Manowar took the character to places that we haven’t seen him in before. They re-grounded Aric and established a life for him outside of the military life he’d led. Personally, I think it was a great direction for the character, and I wouldn’t mind seeing it explored a little more in the future.
Story: Dennis Hopeless Art: Emilio Laiso
Colors: Ruth Redmond Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Read
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review