Returned to Earth from the stars with the ultimate nuclear deterrent – the indestructible X-O Manowar armor – the champion of socialism has single-handedly consolidated the state’s military and political superiority at home and abroad. But when a surprise attack from the Deadside shines an untoward light on the modern-day Soviet Union’s darkest secret, will Aric pursue his mission…or justice for the quiet dead of an empire’s oppression?
The first question you’re probably going to want answered is whether this tie-in is going to be essential reading if you’re loving the Divinity III main series thus far, or if it’s merely a pleasant distraction?
The good news is that it’s a bit of both.
We get quite an interesting take on X-O Manowar, complete with some scenes lifted straight from the fourth issue of X-O Manowar, that allows us some insight into Aric of Dacia’s state of mind in the Stalinverse. Although it remains to be seen how much of an impact this comic will have on the remaining three issues in the main series, getting the peek into his mind via the narration boxes we get is still interesting.
If you’re an X-O fan already, you’ll probably really enjoy this comic’s alternate take on one of comicdom’s most underrated characters – I did. Likewise, if you’re loving the overall Stalinverse. However, it’s unlikely that unless you’re already reading Divinity III or you’re already a fan of X-O Manowar, that you’ll actually find anything here beyond an enjoyable story – which isn’t anything to turn your nose up at.
You’ll notice I purposely avoided talking about the story because I don’t want to give anything away when it comes to the plot that has an incredibly interesting moment midway through that will make several Valiant fans happy.
For X-O fans this is bordering on a must-read comic, for those reading the main series, you’ll want to check this out for the moment mentioned above, and for the rest of you? Well, that’s on you. This is a well written, wonderfully illustrated one-shot comic from one of the most exciting publishers around right now.
Story: Joe Harris Art: Cafu Colourist: Andrew Dalhouse
Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy