I’ve recently joined an excellent community where I can share my passion of comics and comic books and one of the first titles I had the pleasure of reviewing for them was X-O Manowar #40 which you can read on the CBC Google + page here. X-O Manowar is a man literally out of his time. Captured by an alien race (the Vine) prior to the birth of Christ, X-O after his escape and return to Earth finds a world and people very different to the world he left. Overall lots happening in this issue with X-O forced to mediate between Humanity and the Vine while at the same time a parallel story is occurring with some loyalist Vine infiltrators.
It’s been a long time since I last read X-O Manowar (probably over 10 years) but it was surprisingly easy to get back into this book and I think that’s for a couple of key reasons!
- The interior art of the book is really, really good. I wouldn’t put it at the same level as Jim Lee or John Bryne (my personal fan favorites) but its clean, crisp and neat with some extremely good shots and sequences that not only pull you into the action, they help make it real.
- The initial recap and precis at the beginning of the book is short and to the point, but it gives you just the right amount of detail to help you know what’s going on, who the key characters are and why they are fighting or helping each other. I’ve read many novels that are nowhere near this concise or clear and its a real pleasure when you are exposed to a book that gets right to the point.
While I’ve made a point of mentioning the interior artwork, one particular scene definitely jumped out at me and that was when one of the Vine infiltrators dressed as a police officer removes a civilian from her way. When I saw that sequence I realized that comics had definitely come a long way and the independent books like Valiant are more than willing to go that extra mile to show the story.
Unfortunately while the interior is excellent the exterior cover of this book is nothing less than extremely boring. By itself I probably would have given this title a pass if that’s all I’d seen of the book, but fortunately I had the chance to see what else this title had to offer and I’m extremely glad that I did. There are many other sequences in the book that could have been used instead of the one they selected and I’m quite disappointed that the cover selected was the one that they used.
That being said the story itself was quite intriguing and while I wouldn’t say that its unique (this isn’t Days of Future Past or anything that completely changes the whole Universe) it was interesting and I’d be interested in seeing where this one goes next.