By Robert Venditti, Cary Nord and Ulises Arreola
X-O Manowar has consistently be an interesting read due to the fact that Robert Venditti has really done an excellent job of crafting the personality of Aric of Dacia to make him a lovable hot head. As the series goes on we get to see him grow into someone who can be counted on and admired. Venditti and company continue that trend this issue. Livewire has given Aric back his armor and his people are free once again. But there is always a price for freedom, it’s never just given, and this situation is much different. What does Aric have to do for the government to sustain the freedom of his people?
Aric has been a bit of a villain in the Valiant universe of late. His antics in Unity have shown that he is a man of great passion and will do whatever is needed for his people. Robert Venditti know that every great leader must fall only to be built back up, and we get a little taste of that this issue. Venditti shows us a side of Aric we are not used to seeing, humility. This time around we see him ask the Colonel for what he needs, instead of taking it by force. Venditti is allowing Aric to grow as a character and it is working out extremely well. X-O is a character that can be a bit tough to like at times, but Venditti is writing him as well as he’s ever been written.
Cary Nord is outstanding this issue. His pencils are great in almost every aspect and he has been getting a huge boost from colorist Ulises Arreola. They are a pretty lethal combination that make the art in this issue pop off the page. Nord shines the brightest near the end of the book as he draws a flawless Russian submarine. The detail used is awe inspiring and may leave the reader staring for a couple of seconds. The Nebraska Landscape has never looked prettier than when drawn by Cary Nord and colored by Arreola. This issue will definitely be a highlight of the week for readers.
Even though this issue wasn’t as action packed as previous books in the series, it’s still extremely entertaining and wonderful to look at. Venditti is mastering the art of developing this character and it will be hard not to love the growth we’re seeing on the page. Cary Nord is showing everyone why he is one of the top talents in the industry with his consistent work on this series. X-O Manowar is a home run with this talented team.