By Robert Venditti, Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona and David Garcia Cruz
It’s great to have another issue of X-O Manowar so soon after the last one, and it’s even better to get an issue of this kind of quality. X-O has always been the crown jewel of Valiant Entertainment (VEI) and this is just another reason it continues to hold that title. Robert Venditti can seemingly do no wrong here, and the art is always at such a consistently high level that it becomes a measuring stick for all other titles sitting on the shelves.
Rafa Sandoval, along with inker Jordi Tarragona and colorist David Garcia Cruz, takes over for regular series artist Diego Bernard and while his style is considerably different from Bernard’s, it’s a welcome change and one that leaves a lasting impression when all is said and done. Sandoval really has great character work, particularly for a character that we’ve arguably seen the most of since Valiant returned, and the finer details and overall look is greatly enhanced by the inking of Tarragona and the layered colors of Cruz. With excellent crosshatching and shading, great color choices and layers and of course brutal and beautiful scenes—including some fantastic panels with the Vine—the three artists come together to produce one of the best looking X-O Manowar books to date.
Writer Robert Venditti uses this issue, touted as the perfect jumping on point for new readers, to, well, perfectly catch any new readers up so that they can continue with #34 next month. Really, it’s got a little bit of everything; bloody combat from 402 A.D. to an epic, and sprawling, space sequence with Aric in the armor. He even takes it back to the Vine themselves, and he does it all flawlessly. Even for someone that has been reading from the beginning, there’s lots to love here.
Fantastic, flowing cloaks, blood that any warrior would be proud of, beautifully epic space sequence and the Vine, X-O Manowar #33 just might be everything that a new fan could need to get hooked on this brilliant character and brilliant series from Valiant. Plus, it has all those things, and more, for existing fans as well! X-O Manowar #33 will get you hooked all over again, and will undoubtedly hook anybody new, while making it impossible to contain excitement for the future of this series.