Picking up right from the events of issue 26, X-O Manowar #27 is a flashback story of how Primary Reebo and Malgam became involved with the Armor Hunters and the the results of their first hunt.
While I’m a huge fan of Aric and he has been missing from the book since issue 25, I have been very pleasantly surprised with the back story Robert Venditti is crafting for the Armor Hunters, though really I shouldn’t be. X-O Manowar has been one of my favorite titles since the Valiant relaunch and Venditti continues to write an exciting tale with this Armor Hunters flashback.
There are many important revelations in this issue which are sure to gain more meaning as the Armor Hunters events continues. It was great to finally get a little information on the origin of the X-O armors, and reinforce some of the thoughts I’ve had since the Planet Death arc. The armors are sentient part-organic part-technological entities born out of plants (which was referred to in the aforementioned arc).
This issue introduced quite readers to all the current Armor Hunters team as well as some we’ve seen before, such as the squid-faced Hunter from the Armor Hunters preview, as well as some new ones which don’t make it past their first hunt. The star of this story is Primary Reebo and I am really enjoying it. Venditti is doing a terrific job blurring the lines between good and bad guys and there are times where I can’t help but root for Reebo – even if he did order the deaths of millions with the destruction of Mexico City.
Diego Bernard continues to be one of my favorite artists at Valiant and he is just write for this book. The character designs are excellent, and while some panels lack some detail, the book as a whole is great overall. One of my favorite panels of the issue is when the five Gin-Grs return from an unsuccessful hunt – more Gin-Gr please!
As much as I enjoy Bernard’s pencils, the art is really set off by Allison Rodriguez’s ink and Brian Reber’s color work. This art team is really kicking it up a notch with their story telling and I hope we get to see more of this team up.
X-O Manowar #27 is a great issue for anyone following the Armor Hunters summer event. If you’re new to the book you may want to go back and reread the previous issue to get some back story, but current readers will be very please. Aside from a few minor issues, the story and art are fluid and engaging. Robert Venditti continues to expand the X-O mythos with a compelling narrative that continues to pay off.