By Robert Venditti, Diego Bernard, Ryan Winn and Brian Reber
Without a doubt, X-O Manowar has been the most consistent series running and, based on all the reboots and renumbering it might even be (already) one of the longest running as well. Even if that statement is utterly false (the latter, not the former) this is one of those books that seems to develop like a fine wine; the more it ages and the longer it goes on, the better it gets.
Robert Venditti, aside from being an all-around awesome individual, is a fantastic writer. The things he’s doing, has done and will do within the Valiant Universe are the kinds of things that most writers aspire to have and create. Sure, he didn’t create Aric of Dacia, but the things that he’s done with the character and the armor has been just plain awesome. The more we learn about what the armor can do, and what Aric can do with it, the more exciting it all becomes and with this issue in particular we get to see some old friends—or, rather, we get to meet some old friends that we had only glimpsed before. Dead Hand is on the move and the army that Aric is assembling is going to be like no other and when that issue hits, when the big battle finally begins, it’s going to be one of those issues that nobody is going to forget any time soon.
The art, once again, shines. Penciller, Inker and colourist, Bernard, Winn and Reber respectively, really have this series locked down and are providing longtime fans, and new fans, with the definitive X-O Manowar look and feel. Aric, as always, is brilliant and bold and seems to always steal the page whenever he’s in the shot. Even amongst the insanely creative other batch of armor warriors, Aric stands out. Something about the way that Diego Bernard draws him, and how Winn and Reber finish everything off, that just gives him the presence of a king and a man not to be trifled with. It can’t be said enough how great this team is and how well they appear to work together. Adding Winn to the mix really seemed to allow for more time on pencils for Bernard, which will always add to the quality of the book and of course Brian Reber, the Valiant Veteran (really need another ‘v’ word that means colourist or artist or something) has yet to produced anything but top-notch work. X-O Manowar is a thing of beauty and you have these guys to thank for it.
So aside from looking great, consistently, and being one of the most consistently well written books in all of comics… wait, there’s no downside here. What more could you ask for in a book, especially one that comes out monthly? Does it need to be screamed from the roof tops before you people pick this book up, or what? X-O is brilliant, consistently, on ever level so buy it because my voice is getting hoarse.