Valiant’s flagship titles continues its evolution this Wednesday with the release of X-O Manowar #35, Dead Hand part 2. Here are our spoiler-free thoughts on the book! Get more information on the book, and be sure to check out our sneak peek.

Amy’s take

I’m giving this a definitive thumbs-up. Robert Venditti did a great job of crafting the storyline, providing plenty of adventure yet continuing to show Aric’s evolution into a thinking and compassionate man. This issue cleared up a few points for me regarding how the Dead Hand robots actually destroyed Loam. Though they couldn’t have predicted the planet’s destruction, it seems that the Vine were not wrong with their strategy of seeding across the universe for survival. As the threat hurtles toward earth, it will be interesting to see how the defeated Aric and the newly determined Vine will join forces to stop the Armor Hunter’s ultimate weapon.

Martin’s take

X-O Manowar #35 is a perfect example of how Valiant is moving beyond the shadow of its previous incarnations and crafting its own exciting stories. What Robert Venditti has done for Aric and the X-O armor over the past 35 issues is without a doubt some of the best storytelling this series has had over its 22 year history and I cannot wait for more. Dead Hand is shaping up to be a fascinating arc with heavy sci-fi and cosmic elements which I’ve been dying to see since X-O Manowar came back in 2012. No doubt, this is a must read.

Scott’s take

Although I have yet to read any of Robert Venditti’s work on Green Lantern, I’d imagine it would be close to what we are getting with this arc. The “Dead Hand” storyline reads like a peak Geoff Johns-era Green Lantern: fast-paced, exciting action while simultaneously building up a mythology (in this case) around the Armor and the Armor Hunters. This issue particularly was downright Johnsian in the way that it threw out all kinds of potential story hooks for Venditti to return to in either 5 issues or 50 issues. Plus, the opening scene was incredibly clever. That alone would have been enough for my recommendation.

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