Dead Hand is finally here as X-O Manowar hits the ground running with issue #34 this week. Here’s what our crew had to say about the book!

Amy’s take

Lots of action in this book. It was a fast read for me, likely because of the emphasis on action rather than dialogue. This issue is more sci-fi heavy than normal with unmistakable homages to both Star Wars and Star Trek. Venditti gives us a peek at the origin of this latest threat – a threat larger than anything we’ve faced before – and a glimpse into what Loam has become now that the military no longer is in control. A major event takes place which raises many possibilities – none of which bode well for Aric.

Jesse’s take

Remember VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT’S massive ARMOR HUNTERS event this past year? It was hard to miss for anyone not living under a rock. Spanning multiple on-going series, as well as multiple mini-series and even an published ARMOR HUNTERS: AFTERMATH, the event reached every corner of the Valiant Universe at the time. The ripple effects are STILL being seen to this day.

The DEAD HAND (Part 1) story arc in the pages of X-O MANOWAR #34 continues the ARMOR HUNTERS saga, and begins to answer the inter-galactic questions that remained following last summer’s event. Prepare to return to Loam; prepare to cross space and time once again; prepare to see what has become of Control and his war against the Armors. But most of all, prepare for the glory of battle, the honor of a Visigoth King, and the might of X-O Manowar…

Paul’s take

This issue made the last issue make a lot more sense. I’m excited to see X-O in an environment that we haven’t seen him in for some time, as well as seeing the return of the Vine to Valiant stories. The concept of Dead Hand is very intriguing; a failsafe for when the Armor Hunters fail. Its power seems massive, and we still don’t quite know what it’s capable of. Once again, Robert Venditti has me wondering why I have to wait another month to read the next installment.

Scott’s take

After having read this issue, #33 makes a lot of more sense. That issue allowed the reader to take a breather in between story arcs. X-O Manowar #34 starts with a bang and, for the most part, doesn’t let up for nearly 20 pages. Yet, in addition to the sheer relentlessness of the issue, there are also a lot of hints that some of the series’ mythology, established during Planet Death and Armor Hunters, will play a major role in this arc. After taking an issue off, Diego Bernard returns to art duties, and his work is just as strong as ever. The design of one of the new entities definitely seems to be homage to the most famous and popular science fiction franchise of all time as well, which elicited a smile from me as I was reading it. Altogether this may have been one of the single best issues of X-O Manowar that I’ve read so far. Considering that it’s usually my favorite title, that’s high praise indeed.

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