Valiant Comics is back and with them they bring X-O Manowar, the story of a Visigoth abducted by aliens. For a Major Spoilers look at the second issue take the jump.
X-O MANOWAR #2
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Cary Nord
Inker: Stefano Gaudino
Colorist: Moose Baumann
Letterer: Dave Lanphear
Cover Artist: Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic and Arturo Lozzi
Editor: Warren Simons
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Previously in X-O Manowar: Aric, the Visigoth prince, and a number of other Visigoth soldiers fighting the Romans are abducted by the Vine, an alien race, after attacking their slave trade. While on the ship during an escape attempt Aric sees a ritual focused on a mysterious suit of armor before being recaptured.
The story starts with a brief flashback to Aric with his wife only for him to awaken in a cage on the spaceship. From their all the captives are taken to tend the Vine’s gardens and when one of them tries to eat a fruit and is attacked. Aric does the predictable thing and steps in to save him, costing Aric his left hand. After being drug back to his cell, Aric, of course, does the predictably badass thing of stabilizing himself. So far, the characters are bland and predictable while the story has done nothing to really grab my attention.
Flash forward a few years (it doesn’t say how many) and the bearded, handless Aric is in the same basic position, tending the Vine’s gardens, only now he is getting ready to lead a rebellion to the armory. The plan goes as would be expected, with “unexpected” guards and a few losses before breaking into the sacred armory to find, you guessed it, the mysterious armor that chooses its own host. I think you know where things go from here.
A STEP UP
While the story is lacking, the art is not. Nord does a good job of making the book visually appealing. The backgrounds are stunning and we do get a good transition between the years having Aric and friends show their age. He does an excellent job of creating good looking aliens too. I just wish we had a good story to exhibit this.
BOTTOM LINE MEH
While the book looks very good, that is its only saving grace. X-O Manowar #2 fails to deliver anything new and as only the art is enough to earn it 1.5 out of 5 stars, all of which comes from the artists’ work.