Valiant, CGC and Geppi’s Entertainment Museum Celebrate 1,000,000th Copy of X-O MANOWAR

Today, representatives of Valiant Entertainment, the Certified Guaranty Company (CGC), and Geppi's Entertainment Museum are joining together at the Cadmus publishing plant in Richmond, VA to celebrate the 1,000,000th copy of X-O MANOWAR sold since the series' 2012 debut. The 1,000,000th copy will be removed directly from the presses today at Cadmus by Valiant representatives during the printing of the upcoming X-O MANOWAR #49 and subsequently entrusted to CGC's renowned team of preservation experts for grading and encapsulation. The one-of-a-kind, 1,000,000th copy – totaling all copies of X-O MANOWAR sold across print and digital in the United States and abroad since 2012 – will then be placed on display at Baltimore Comic Con 2016 before entering the permanent collection of the Geppi's Entertainment Museum in Baltimore, MD alongside the world's rarest and most valuable comic books. Valiant will also be offering fans at Baltimore Comic-Con 2016 the chance to join in the celebration of X-O MANOWAR’s 1,000,000th copy sold with the X-O MANOWAR 1,000,000th COPY COMMEMORATIVE SEAL. Fans who purchase or provide copies of X-O MANOWAR #49 (any cover) at the Valiant booth (#2008) will be afforded the opportunity to have their copy embossed with an official Valiant 1,000,000th copy seal – designed in honor of X-O Manowar’s legendary achievement and forever commemorating a new milestone in Valiant history – free !


"Valiant is privileged to enjoy a storied history with many millions of comics sold, legions of fans around the globe, and tremendous successes spanning nearly three decades. We're excited and proud to be adding to that legacy with today's milestone. This achievement, in particular, is noteworthy because it affirms the success that comes with a commitment to storytelling," said Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani.

“Since the first issue hit stands in 2012, we had always envisioned X-O MANOWAR as an epic, long-term, 50-issue story for our signature hero. Today, as we stand on the cusp of that achievement, we are able to reflect on a title that has not only been one of the best-selling and best-reviewed books in comics every month since its launch, but one that is also about to print its 1,000,000th copy. That is simply incredible, and we owe a huge congratulations to Robert Venditti and all the artists and creators who have contributed along the way. Their work on X-O MANOWAR stands as a massive feat of long-form narrative and creative vision that is virtually unrivaled by any other series in recent memory.

As the launch series of "THE SUMMER OF VALIANT" initiative that defined the Valiant Universe for a new generation, X-O MANOWAR #1 by New York Times best-selling writer Robert Venditti (Green Lantern) and Eisner Award-winning artist Cary Nord (Conan) debuted as the most successful independent series of 2012 and went onto to produce four sold-out printings of its first issue, as well as a myriad of year-end awards, nominations and "best of" citations from the industry’s most prestigious outlets. As the impetus for best-selling storylines like "ENTER: NINJAK" and "PLANET DEATH" and major crossover events UNITY and ARMOR HUNTERS, X-O MANOWAR continued to anchor the backbone of Valiant's award-winning publishing line over the course of writer Robert Venditti's unprecedented 56-issue run and set the tone and scale for the rest of Valiant's acclaimed series that would follow in its wake.

Now, Robert Venditti’s epic tenure is set to conclude with the 64-page X-O MANOWAR #50 series finale on September 28th and, with time, the title that forged the Valiant Universe anew has distinguished itself as one of the longest running and most renowned superhero series of the modern era.

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Born into battle, Aric of Dacia – heir to the throne of the Visigoth Empire – never knew peace. Raised under the oppressive thumb of the Roman Empire in fifth-century Europe, Aric’s entire existence was spent fighting a never-ending insurgency against history’s most brutal empire…until a far more terrifying enemy revealed itself and changed his destiny forever.

Abducted by a brutal race of extraterrestrials known as the Vine, Aric was forced into slavery on an alien world. Torn from his family, his people and his nation, he spent years plotting his escape…until the day came that he was able to seize a weapon of incalculable destruction – a sentient suit of alien armor – and become X-O Manowar!

Returning to Earth only to find that 1,600 years have passed during his journey across the stars, the world’s most primitive man now wields the universe’s most powerful weapon. Working in concert with Earth’s governments and other super-powered heroes like himself, Aric has defended the planet, brokered peace amongst the powerful, and even rebuilt his kingdom from the ashes of history.

But now he faces an unthinkable new foe far more terrible than any that have come before… They are The Torment – and their name means death. Thought to be a legend by the Vine, they have now become Earth’s violent reality. As old as the universe itself, they have traveled for eons to reach us…in search of Aric of Dacia and the unstoppable X-O Manowar armor. Can Aric challenge a seemingly omnipotent threat with motives beyond the comprehension of mortal men? Will the armor truly be our world’s salvation, just as the Vine’s myths foretold? And is this the beginning of the end for X-O Manowar – or the beginning of something even bigger?

Join the history-making celebration live as it happens today on all of Valiant's official social media accounts (Twitter | Facebook | Instagram) as Valiant's staff travels from New York, NY to Richmond, VA to pick the 1,000,000th copy right off of the publishing line alongside special guest Robert Venditti and representatives from CGC and Geppi's Entertainment Museum. Use the hashtag #XOONEMILLION to follow the 1,000,00th copy of Robert Venditti’s X-O MANOWAR sold on its journey from the printing press and into the annals of comic book history!

Finally, X-O Manowar’s march into the history books continues on September 28th in X-O MANOWAR #50 – the final issue of "LONG LIVE THE KING" and a blockbuster tribute to the series that set the Valiant Universe in motion from longtime scribe Robert Venditti and extraordinary artists Joe Bennett(52) and Roberto de la Torre (Daredevil)! Plus: Don't miss special guest appearances by Cary Nord,Doug Braithwaite (ARMOR HUNTERS), Diego Bernard (NINJAK), Rafa Sandoval (Green Lantern), and Robert Gill (BOOK OF DEATH), Jody Houser (FAITH) & Javier Pulido (Amazing Spider-Man),Matt Kindt (DIVINITY II) & Tomas Giorello (4001 A.D.: WAR MOTHER), Philip Tan (Suicide Squad), and more along the way!

Also running through each issue of “LONG LIVE THE KING," Valiant is marking the road toward X-O Manowar’s landmark issue #50 finale with the X-O MANOWAR #50 COUNTDOWN GIVEAWAY, running through each issue of “LONG LIVE THE KING“! For no extra cost, each issue of “LONG LIVE THE KING” comes bagged with one of 50 exclusive, 4-by-6 inch “micro-prints” featuring the one and only X-O Manowar as realized by a sensational cast of comics’ biggest talents – or full-blown, beautifully rendered original artwork randomly inserted in each issue!

Review: X-O Manowar #48

Last issue saw a great deal of action and a new, unstoppable villain in The Torment. This issue, on the other hand, we have a whole series of uneventful events.  Aric sulks that he could do nothing to stop The Torment.  He rips Ninjak a new one for doing nothing when the Torment tore up the Visigoths.  While donning the X-O helmet, Aric has a vision of the Torment that reveals a little something to him, but not much to the audience.  A whole panel is dedicated to Gin-gr admiring a flock of seagulls.  And in the last two pages, the action hits.

I know the anticipation lies in the buildup to the big fiftieth issue, but this issue feels like such a placeholder that I wonder how the master storyteller Robert Venditti allowed this banal issue to slip XO_048_COVER-A_KANOby.  Don’t get me wrong: X-O, even at its lowest point (like this issue) far exceeds in quality over 95% of the books on the shelves.  But I know Venditti can do better than what happened in issue 48.

We, the readers, felt the dread and despair in the wake of the Torment’s attack last issue.  We did not need a whole chapter of X-O dedicated to Aric and the others sitting around and crying that they just got their asses handed to them.  For 47 issues Aric rose above the most insurmountable odds with a never-surrender attitude.  This version of the Visigoth king feels like a brooding and whiney individual.  If this is intentional for the sake of the upcoming events, then I applaud Venditti for developing a deeper side to Aric’s character and making him the modern equivalent to Odysseus lamenting over the need to go off and adventure.  Hell, Venditti is a great writer, and I will more than likely be eating my words.  For now, I just don’t get the point of X-O #48.

Because this book is so much better than so many comics out there, I have no basis for comparison of judgment, save for other issues in this series.  Therefore, compared to other X-O chapters, issue 48 struggles from lack of any action that propels the plot or explores character.

Achieving one issue of a comic is a milestone.  Getting to number fifty deserves accolades, especially when the book redefines the action comic genre.  But I will not let Venditti off the hook when he offers a placeholder episode like this.  Work up to a big story milestone, like you have done before, Mr. Venditti.  Do not temper your pacing with such a lull prior to the big moment.  Build action with action.  You have achieved it so well before, don’t let us down now.

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X-O Manowar #48 Writer: Robert Venditti Artist: Joe Bennett Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital