By Robert Venditti, Diego Bernard and Wil Quintana
Since it was the last thing read, let’s make it the first thing mentioned: WHAT THE HELL FINAL PAGE?! What does it mean? What’s coming now? Will Aric ever get a break? Will Aric’s girlfriend—sorry drawing a total blank on the name—ever perfect her Cherimoya?! Okay, the last one has nothing to do with the final page, but seriously. Venditti has it out for Aric (which seems to be a trend with his space-faring characters these days; someone might be jealous that these characters can do what they do) and after everything he threw at him during Armor Hunters one can only imagine what Venditti has in store for Valiant’s flagship character.
All that aside, doesn’t Venditti just rock on this book? X-O Manowar has been so consistently great that it’s getting harder and harder to talk about it. What can you say about a series that is so solid and so sure of itself that it goes far an above damn near everything else that hits the shelves, month after month. X-O Manowar is one of those books that should be competing with Batman or Amazing Spider-Man for numbers and it should be one of the first books people look forward to each month. Yes, it’s that damn good. Don’t believe this one review? Then how about checking out our very own Alex Mansfield’s reviews of Volume 1, Volume 2 and Volume 3 which received back-to-back five-star ratings and a four star rating respectively. If this, those and any other X-O Manowar review on this site don’t get you to try this book out, short of slapping you with it, nothing will. And that’s not only a damn shame, but also your loss.
The art team of Diego Bernard, who’s really come into his own and become the X-O Manowar artist, and colorist Wil Quintana deliver another strike with this issue. Everything is just spot on and beautifully executed. It’s hard to find a single flaw in the entire book. The characters are great, the scenes are beautifully laid out and even the destruction is in your face. From the Armorines in Iraq to the killer splitting of the last of the Armor Hunter’s Hounds, length wise no less, Bernard just hits all the right notes; even the scenes that are simply full of plotting and scheming stand out above a lot of other books you can buy. It’s just that good.
Yes, X-O Manowar earned another perfect score, but believe me when I tell you it earned it. This is not Saga where almost everyone throws a 5-Star rating on it month in and month out and no one is surprised (because, yes, Saga is fucking amazing). This is X-O Manowar; a book that has more than earned your attention and more than deserves it. It’s the Valiant crown jewel and it really, truly, deserves to be read by anybody who likes any of the other top books out there, month after month. This is easily a book to rival any other superhero book that’s out right now, so if that’s your kinda thing pick this up!