Tuesday, December 18, 2012

First Impression: X-O Manowar # 8

Written by Robert Venditti
Art by Lee Garbett, Stefano Gaudiano & Moose Baumann
Valiant Comics


     The Vine has human spawn among us. And they have infiltrated many countries and worlds. And Aric and Ninjak decide to take a bunch of them out ...in MI-6. Yes. X-O Manowar and Ninjak join forces this issue to tackle the Vine spies and tear up MI-6 headquarters in the process. Alex Dorian, a human sympathizer, ends up deciding to work with our heroes as the Vine's hold on Britain gets torn apart .. . only to signal worse things to come.


     Garbett style has a somewhat similar style to Cary Nord which suits the book in terms of style and flow. This issue, Garbett & Gaudiano lay it on the line in this issue alongside Ninjak and X-O Manowar. We got strong pencils with some great inks this issue. The backdrop of England was perfect. All the characters were distinct in look and feel.
      The action had a good pace. And I like the coloring from Baumann this issue. It was darker and grittier than previous issues of X-O Manowar I read but it really worked for the book.


    All plots leading towards a few things: 1 - that Ninjak is back as a major player. (& me & Bryan of Laid Back Comics are hoping this leads to his own spin off book, 2 - that the Vine/Human offspring are not all aligned with the Vine and Alex Dorian may not be alone, 3 - Aric definitely is willing to take out the Vine alongside an alley ... even if he truly does not trust them, 4 - The set up for Planet Death storyline in a couple of issues.

    Venditti handles the multiple plots well. There was great action. Strong characterizations. A looking into how the Vine is organized on Earth. overly, a strong flow to the issue as well. What is holding it back is that ... well. Ninjak. The way the issue was structure, there are reasons why everything happened the way it did. But Ninjak is a double edged sword this issue: cause the focus on him was pretty much on par with Aric. And while that is good in many cases ... this book is still X-O Manowar. So ... it is both a good and bad thing. Cause while it was great to see Ninjak, I believe this issue was balanced between Aric and Ninjak.

 I feel  that was was slightly too much Ninjak this issue. And you don't want your guest star overshining your main character that much. Maybe just a page. I love Ninjak but when your guest-star gets so much more interesting, you'd rather just see more scenes with him than with the main character ... yeah. That is saying something. Still, very well written issue by Venditti.


   It was a strong ending to this multi-part storyline alongside Ninjak. The art was good. The pacing was great. The story was interesting and really good. Unfortunately, the guest-star shined a bit too much over the main star. And while I am looking forward to what comes next, I am far more interested in Ninjak. Venditti is a great writer with a mastery of pacing and character work. X-O Manowar is a good book. Aric is a good, interesting hero. The storylines are intriguing and you want to know more Yet, I want to see what happens next for Ninjak ... now preferably.  

I give X-O Manowar # 8 a 3.5 out of 5.

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