Robert Venditti knows how to do comics. He understands what the illustration in a panel will tell and just the right words to provide narration. And that is why the introduction to the Valiant summer crossover event reads quickly but delivers with a deep, pensive story. And that is why you need to buy this book. Move over Aric of Dacia. Step up, Dawes of Newark. Actually, I don’t know where the new pilot of the X-O Jaeger-sized armor comes from, but I know his story is just as great. In the Valiant Universe of one hundred years from now, the New Japan space continent breaks from its moorings and threatens the rest of the world. Using technology gleaned from the original X-O armor (in its dormant, ball shape) the countries of the world replicate the armor and create building-sized robot armor units.
A one-sided battle ensues, courtesy of interference from a technological invader. While Dawes never leaves the hanger, the ramifications of the story come clear: the war will change things—in a big, big way. A two thousand year time jump occurs. Thus, the start of the crossover begins with this swift yet telling introductory chapter.
I enjoyed the excellent execution of the book, and I only hope that the other parts of the crossover read through with such depth. I know that Venditti cannot write all of the books, but he did do a hell of a great job with this opener. Clayton Henry’s art is crisp and refined to give readers a great new look to the X-O armor. Story wise, there are narrative twists that are unexpected and different. I like the new variation on the armor, and I like how it paid homage to Pacific Rim without encroaching too much to be a rip-off. Best of all, there are so many story possibilities waiting to unfold. I wish this would become an ongoing, stand-alone title.
4001 AD: X-O Manowar kicks off the crossover with a boot to the ass of action and a firm push in the direction of robot debris filled panels that scream out the summer of 4001 AD came 1,985 years early, thanks to Valiant Comics.
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4001 AD: X-O Manowar #1 Writer: Robert Venditti Artist: Clayton Henry Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 5/11/16 Format: One Shot; Print/Digital