|Aric gets his armor on in X-O Manowar #3|
Issue # 3
The Road to Rome
Written by Robert Vendetti
Art by Cary Nord, Stefano Gaudiano & Moose Baumann
Review by Frankie Rodriguez
At this point, Aric, Gaft and the other members of their clan have been enslaved for what seems to be years. Aric now has the X-O Manowar armor on and he leads his group of humans against their alien oppressors. During the course of the issue, we find out why Aric is the only one to escape alone and how he makes his way into the present with the Manowar armor.
We say goodbye to Gaft and we find that while some of the Vine think the Manowar armor blessed, others feel that is a curse. And Aric is more than happy to prove it a curse than a blessing.
Lot of good solid writing by Vendetti as we see Aric's escape, learn a bit more about the Vine and work in how he gets to the present all at the same time. There some interesting character moments between Gaft and Aric, setting up Aric up as this great warrior. While the story over all was enjoyable, the pacing seemed a bit weird. Aric gets his hand back which helped give credence of how powerful the armor is does well. Also, Aric taking out Commander Trill, who enslaved him in the first place also felt a bit rushed.
Nord's pencils and Gaudiano's inks really compliment each other extremely well. The Vine look ... alien; the armor looks high tech and amazing. The humans look out of place on the ship. The backgrounds are really vibrant and suck you in. There is a grandness of what is going on and Baumann's colors just add to the spectacle. From an alien ship, to outer space, to the Colosseum in Rome ... everything was well rendered and visually appealing. A great job done by the Nord, Gaudiano & Baumann.
X-O Manowar was the first book in Valiant's relaunch and it is still a solid book. A very interesting, multifaceted main character and a journey that has just begun, I am looking forward to Aric's adventures this time. The art is great and really works for the characters and story. The only real negative of the issue is the breakneck pace. It is understandable why it is paced the way it was this issue but it did hurt the story over all. If there was a little more time with the great healing abilities of X-O Manowar armor and a battle between Aric and his chief jailer, it would have been perfect. Still , a great job from the X-O Manowar creative team.
So I give X-O Manowar a 4 out of 5. Still looking forward to Aric's adventures and what will come.