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X-O Manowar #1

By Andy Frisk
April 30, 2012 - 07:26

I have waited for this moment for almost two decades. Valiant Entertainment comic books are finally here. X-O Manowar #1 by Robert Venditti and Cary Nord will be on the stands shortly and The Comic Book Bin has been graciously awarded an advanced look at the entire first issue of the new Valiant’s flagship book. After reading it, I, as a life-long fan of the original Valiant books, can only say that…

X-O Manowar #1 is everything that I’ve been hoping for!  With its opening descriptive page of the historical conflict between the Visigoths and the Romans, its realistic portrayal of warfare and life circa A.D. 400, its attention to the development of Aric’s character, its introduction of The Spider Aliens, and, of course, the “Good Skin,” X-O Manowar #1 has the feel and tone of an early 1990s Valiant comic book. If you’ve ever read an early 1990s Valiant books then you already know that this is the best thing that can be said about any new Valiant offering. The original Valiant books were some of the most compelling and interesting comic books ever published. In fact, the early Valiant books were described as being the most important comics published since the early Marvel Universe books of the 1960s. Can lighting strike twice under the Valiant moniker? It certainly looks like it will if the quality of X-O Manowar #1 is any harbinger (pardon the pun Valiant fans) of things to come in the next few months.

Robert Venditti (Surrogates, Homeland Directive) is a proven sequential art storyteller of great ability, and he brings his penchant for strong character development and tight plotting to his first issue of X-O Manowar. Venditti paces the story well without revealing too much, and lays a solid foundation for the next few issues. He also knows how to capture the reader’s interest and make them want more. His tantalizingly supplied glimpses of the X-O armor are brilliant and the complications and mystery surrounding it and its function are well laid out.

Artist Cary Nord (Daredevil, Conan the Barbarian) brings Venditti’s resurrection of Valiant’s high profile hero to crisp and realistic life. His command of his trade is excellent and he is a master of realism. His work is reminiscent of Butch Guice and Bettie Breitweiser’s (Captain America, Winter Soldier) highly realistic artwork that makes wild and crazy colored superhero costumes and out of this world creatures (like Spider Aliens) look believable and frightening.  Nord’s pencils are also reminiscent of David Lapham’s pencils from the original 1990s’ Harbinger series. Again, for original Valiant fans, the comparison of Nord’s work to Lapham’s speaks for itself. There isn’t much higher praise that I can bestow upon the look of X-O Manowar #1. Also, Nord is Valiant's first exclusive artist. They couldn't have started out better.  

The wait is finally over and the debut first issue of Valiant Entertainment’s X-O Manowar is just days away. This first issue will re-introduce long suffering fans to the brilliant and highly engaging comic book universe that is the Valiant U and will attract scores of new readers who will be rushing out to get on the ground floor of what is sure to be the rebirth of one of the greatest shared super hero comic book universes of all time. Let the Valiant Age begin…again!


Rating: 9 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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