It’s Thursday and that could only mean one thing – it’s time for another throwback review! This week, we’re exploring X-O Manowar #2. Be sure to check out all our throwback reviews for the Valiant first issues.

The Story

Robert Venditti continues telling this origin tale and never fails to deliver.

X-O Manowar #2 is a much more emotional and engrossing issue than the first as we start seeing more of the living and working conditions of the abducted Visigoths among the Vine ships. There is plenty of character exposition for Aric here as well, and we start to really see how headstrong he truly is. Even through years of hard labor, and having his hand cut off for insubordination, Aric still has the will and passion to want to escape from the conditions he and his people are in. After all, Aric believes has grown up in a world filled with violence, and he strongly believes that a good leader is only one who must continue to battle those who would hurt his people through any means necessary.

There is also further expansion of the dueling factions within the Vine ranks and it is now obvious that the military leadership sees the use of the X-O suit very differently than the ranks of the clergy do. The final panel of the book with Aric finally putting on the armor and the reaction of the Vine is so satisfying, it makes me want to read the next issue immediately to see what’s going to happen.

The Art

Cary Nord continues to impress with X-O Manowar #2. While Nord’s pencils are well suited to the heavy action sequences of this title, he does a beautiful job at showing off the more human side of the book as well. Most of the book takes place on the Vine spaceship which gives us plenty of aliens and exotic environments, but the scenes of Aric and the Visigoths in the ship’s prisons are just as beautiful and full of emotion. The color work continues to perfectly accentuate the mood of each panel and enhances the art nicely.


Issue #2 starts off slow, but the action quickly heats up and we finally get to see Aric in the X-O Manowar armor, my one pet peeve with the first issue. Venditti is taking his time with this origin tale and it is paying off. If you’re not reading X-O, you need to pick this book up as it becomes central to the Valiant universe with the current Armor Hunters event!

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