Review: X-O Manowar #30

Readers of this book have experienced aliens, time displacement, Ninjak, Unity, Armor Hunters, and, now, Armorines. Evil Mr. Phillip Zahn reveals that the United States did not supply the highest bid for the service of the Armorines.  I concluded that he was evil due to the apartment looking out over Manhattan, his desire to have a desk in his bedroom so he could screw his secretary, and the fact that he sits in his underwear to do business.  He also screws his buxom secretary with his Armorine helmet on, too.  Clearly, this guy is a dick.  Now I want Aric to kick his ass.

XO_030_COVER-B_HENRYSpeaking of Aric, he’s off in the snowy wilderness hunting game because he doesn’t like the modern conveniences of food from the store.  While he enjoys the snow and his wife, the United Nations agrees to join forces against extraterrestrial attacks.

Zahn oversees his Armorines exploding Iraq for the sake of fun and profit.  While that happens, the Colonel pays a visit to Aric to relate her dealings with politics and Aric’s future role in them.

Zahn shores up the issue with the promise of bad, bad times for Aric.

Despite being a set up for the rest of this arc, this issue provides more action and plot than five issues of other series.  So many parts move in place to make consequential moves, and all those parts do so fluidly courtesy of Robert Venditti’s craftsmanship.

Aric’s multi-dimensional character has an excellent foil in his wife, a woman who calls out the hero for using futuristic weapons while he hunts in the ‘old ways.’  Part of the appeal of the book comes from such well-written characters that provide immediate association to the audience.  Aric’s promise to his wife that they will enjoy many winters to come resounds of potential irony that foreshadows drama.  And I, personally, get worried that the promise won’t be kept.

Additionally, Venditti finds a way to make each new enemy empowered and devastating.  Although Zahn reminds me some of Veidt/Ozymandias from Watchmen, I still see in him the threatening intellect and matched physicality of a great comic book villain.

As X-O celebrates its thirtieth issue, I celebrate a comic that has yet to fail me in its execution.  Venditti brings so much to this character while always leaving doors open for future conflict that will bring strife to Aric but joy to all the page turners.

Score: 4/5 

Writer: Robert Venditti Artist: Diego Bernard Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 11/19/14 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital