Tuesday, April 2, 2013

X-O Manowar Volume 1: By the Sword by Robert Venditti - Book Review

From the publisher: “Aric of Dacia is a brash warrior and heir to the throne of the Visigoth people. He has lived his life under the heel of the Roman Empire, but now a far more terrible enemy has come to subjugate him. Taken from his home and family, Aric is enslaved aboard a starship belonging to a brutal race of alien colonizers known as The Vine. If he is to have any hope of escaping and returning to Earth, he will have to steal the Vine's most powerful weapon - a sentient suit of indestructible armor - and become X-O Manowar!”
I read some of the previous X-O series during the ‘90’s, but didn’t really remember much other than the concept.  Because of Valiant’s usual quality, I looked forward to reading this new incarnation of X-O Manowar.  This collection contains the first four issues of the new series, and acts as an origin for Aric/X-0.  After having read it, I really don’t have much to say.  The synopsis above pretty much sums the story up.  I really felt like four issues weren’t enough to get a sense of who Aric was and what the Manowar armor is capable of.  This book is the equivalent of watching Spider-Man until Peter Parker becomes Spider-Manand then stopping, without exploring what he can do, etc.  It is a fine introduction, but would have benefitted from another 2-4 issues of story.  Fortunately, the second volume is releasing in April.
The writing was fine and the art served the story well.  I’m curious where Venditti is going with this, as the “fish-out-of-water” story of a Visigoth with a super-powerful suit of armor in modern times is intriguing.  I’ll definitely read another arc of the story before I make my final judgment.
I would recommend this story to Valiant fans or to a reader looking for something a little out of the ordinary superhero-style graphic novel.
I received a review copy of this book from Netgalley and Valiant Entertainment, LLC in exchange for an honest review.

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