Review: X-O Manowar #26

As the “Armor Hunters” crossover advances in all the Valiant books, X-O takes a step backwards in time.  In issue #26, readers learn some secretes about the leader of the Armor Hunters, Reebo, and his one-time bounty hunter companion, Malgam. You read that correctly.  Ties between the characters arise, once again showing that Robert Venditti concocts a brilliant interconnected plot to this world of the X-O Armor.

The two bounty hunters battle an unknown armor on the surface of a planet.  They throw everything at it—and fail. Miserably.  When nothing else proves effective, the two leave.  That’s right, they do the logical thing that anyone would do.

Diego Bernard’s pencils illustrate a strange world and make it interesting and dynamic.  The look of the aliens, the angst on the faces of the characters (particularly Wince), and the exotic locations come through in stunning detail courtesy of Bernard’s talent.  Best of all, I never once stopped in the midst of the action to review a panel in order to understand what occurred.

XO_026_VARIANT_HAIRSINE copy 2Two things I don’t like about this issue.  First, this is the flagship title.   I feel this issue should be a story told in one of the second tier books.  Yes, it’s integral to the overall arc; however, we need Aric to be the focus of the core book.  Speaking of Aric, the titular hero does not appear once in this flashback issue.  Sure, that’s a minor point to make against a really cool story.  This and the previous issue have been devoid of the Visigoth King.  I’m starting to go through withdrawals.

Those are really debatable points, though.  What I need to explain, as mentioned before, is that Venditti does a hell of a job connecting plot elements.  No detail feels insignificant in this series.  What does this mean to a reader?  This shows that the writer has taken time to create an elaborate tale with orchestrated parts that converge into a greater story. And that’s worth notice and your hard earned money.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Robert Venditti Artist: Diego Bernard Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 6/25/14 Format: Ongoing, Print/Digital