X-O Manowar #20
By Robert Venditti, Cary Nord and Vincente Cifuentes
One of the great things about the Valiant Universe is that, unlike Marvel or DC, it’s not extremely convoluted and bogged down with continuity issues. The events from Unity continue to play a part in several on going titles in the Valiant U, and they are all spot on. This is how a new universe should be handled **cough cough DC New 52 cough cough**.
Livewire has taken control of the X-O armor and Aric is left vulnerable, or is he? Gilad tries to talks sense into him, but we see that Aric’s armor does not make the man. The armor listens to him and soon the team must fight one of their own and really band together if they want to get out alive.
There is a reason that X-O Manowar was the first title Valiant launched when they came back into the fray and it’s because Robert Venditti’s story and talent make this an intriguing read every month. Venditti really shows us that Aric is more than just some power hungry brute this issue, we get to see a little bit of his brains. He should also be commended for writing characters from other books consistently. This can be tough to do sometimes, but Venditti pulls it off with ease. The relationship between Aric and Gilad also sees a little development, which is always great to see. Venditt’s story telling packs enough action and drama to please any reader.
Cary Nord is responsible for the art this issue, but is helped by Vincente Cifuentes with the finishes. This issue’s art and colors take a step forward this month, last issue was drawn well, but the colors seemed to be off. Nord is getting back into his groove again and it’s adding another level to the book. That being said, there are a couple of panels where a character looks a bit deflated or misshapen, but that is bound to happen from time to time. Nord excels on on a gigantic explosion in the beginning of the book and makes great use of close ups and showing the eyes of several characters, making it very personal.
This issue does an excellent job of fleshing out some of the events and characters of Unity. Valiant treats us to a tie-in that actually matters and builds off of the main story, something readers have been burned by with other publishers. This is why the re-launch has been so successful and fans new and old are loving Valiant!