By Robert Venditti, Diego Bernard & Brian Reber
Valiant is full steam ahead for the upcoming Armor Hunters miniseries/crossover, and if this issue is any indication, it just might be their best one yet. With this issue, we get a little more light shed on just what Malgam is and a glimpse at just what Aric’s armor might be, or what it might mean down the line. The possibilities and what it might mean are insane, and it’s only going to make the wait for more X-O Manowar and the upcoming Armor Hunters even more excruciating.
As always, Venditti is in top form. X-O Manowar is his baby and he’s creating something very, very special here. It really feels like now, more than ever, X-O Manowar is on the verge of something big; something that will change the landscape that we’ve known and loved for the past twenty-four issues and that anticipation is at an all time high. Even with all of this going on, and all that’s going to happen, Venditti still finds time to build his characters and even add in a touch a humor like everybody’s fascination with running tap water in their tents. It just feels like a complete issue from top to bottom, story wise, which leaves the reader dying for more. Thanks a lot, Robert.
Once again art is handled by Diego Bernard and Valiant mainstay colorist Brian Reber and once again this duo impresses. The initial fight sequence between Aric and Malgam is fantastic, particularly the color for Aric’s light-sword—for lack of anything better to call it—and the striking contrasts between these two characters and the dull, lifeless rock in space they’re battling on. It seems the more work we get to see from Bernard, the better it is and after an issue like this, where he really kicks it into high gear, he can easily be placed among the best to tackle this series. Hopefully we’ll get more from him in the future because he really seems like the perfect fit right now for Venditti’s X-O Manowar and the direction it’s headed.
Even though it’s already been said a hundred times, here’s one more: You, yes you, the reader, need to go out and pick up X-O Manowar. Even if you just start with the last issue or you go back and get all the trades or you start with the special 25th issue next month. However you do it, do it. Venditti and all artists involved are crafting, and have crafted, something excellent. It might be bold to say, considering the quality from Valiant, but X-O Manowar is their best title and it shows no signs of slowing down.