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X-O Manowar #1
By Hervé St-Louis
June 10, 2020 - 13:41

Valiant Entertainment
Writer(s): Dennis Hallum
Artist(s): Emilio Laiso
Colourist(s): Ruth Redmond
Letterer(s): Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover Artist(s): Jeff Dekal, Rod Reis, Greg Smallwood, Raúl Allén

Aric, prince of Daria lives on Earth as a superhero bum trying to help people, but his help tend to create more chaos and annoy the helped. From one blunder to another, Aric dons his living symbiotic armour, equipped with a snarly “personal assistant” to save the day. While on a mission in the Ukraine, some of X-O Manowar’s old alien foes come to retrieve the armour they believe is theirs. Can X-O Manowar survive this sneak attack?

This issue is half humorous and a good introduction to the world of X-O Manowar. The banter between Aric and Shanhara, the artificial intelligence reminds of the interaction between the original X-O Manowar from 1992 and his own armour but with more insight into digital assistants thrown in. The plot seems eerily prescient with the almost fatal shooting of black teens by cops and the involvement in the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Goof comics don’t often shy away from a good dip into politics.

While the artwork is clear, many of the action scenes are not. The storytelling in such a series that switches locals often is important. The series is not often easy to follow and I should not have to rely on the speech bubbles to figure out what’s happening in the page. I’d recommend getting a storytelling to do the breakdowns before letting penciller Emilio Laiso finish the illustrations. I’m think the cover features a very dark alien ship reflected on the visor of X-O Manowar but it looks more like a bat-signal. It’s odd and breaks the cover.

Rating: 7/10

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