Aric of Dacia is attempting to reclaim a small portion of Romania and reestablish Dacia, the ancient kingdom of his people. Parking a Vine ship in the middle of Romania's capital city and loosing upon the local park the survivors of Aric's people from Loam isn't exactly the way to pursue the resurrection of a forgotten empire though. Gilad Anni-Padda/The Eternal Warrior, and former teacher of Aric's from their time together 16 centuries ago, tries to persuade Aric to listen to reason. Aric is a man out of time and Gilad can help him pursue his goals of resettling his people in a way that will keep at bay the "enemies" who are "already shaking hands to ally themselves against you." Aric is a stubborn man though. It looks like those enemies will have no choice to come calling upon Aric.
X-O Manowar is the perfect vehicle for showcasing Robert Venditti's excellent storytelling skills. His mastery of a solid sense of history and character development makes each issue of X-O Manowar a joy to read. He has crafted an interesting and dynamic protagonist for this book and is developing a well rounded supporting cast, as well. Having the greatest character in the history of the Valiant Universe (well, in my opinion at least), The Eternal Warrior play a guest supporting part is simply icing upon the cake.
Lee Garbett's rough hewn pencils ad a sense of ragged historicity to the look and feel of the book's art. While a little less detailed than I would like, his style is none the less fitting for a series starring a 16 Century old barbarian in a man out time scenario. Where Garbett excels in his artwork though is in his excellent command of body language. The panels where Aric realizes he has mistakenly crushed the ancient crown of Dacia during his museum battle with Gilad are beautifully communicative of Aric's regret at his actions.
The first of the new Valiant titles is still one of its best and shows no signs of slowing down.