The lesson from the past continues as a warrior born decides how to act on current events. How will echoes from the past affect the decisions of the future? Find out in X-O Manowar #16 from Valiant Comics.
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Trevor Hairsine
Colorist: Diego Rodrigues and Jose Villarrubia
Cover Artist: Lewis Larosa, Diego Rodriguez
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in X-O Manowar: Aric has decisions to make, and the sentient armor Shanhara tells him a tale from his own past that will help his decisions. But what happened so long ago that could be relevant to present events? How does a runaway slave and an attempted rescue figure into Aric’s future?
LEARN FROM THE PAST…
Shanhara’s lesson to Aric continues as the sentient armor relates more of the story she began last issue. We return to 393 A.D., this time to India, where we find Sabbas, the laborer (i.e. slave) who escaped from the Zambian copper mines, trying to secure a new position. Unfortunately, his choice of employers leaves something to be desired, and he is quickly set on the run once again. This time, his flight lands him in the boat of a poet/storyteller who is having issues finishing a tale. Luckily, Sabbas has some skills in this department, but will he get to utilize them with his pursuers breathing down his neck?
We then shift to Aric’s part of the tale and pick up where we left him, battling Hun soldiers and being separated from his companion, Gafti. Captured, he soon escapes and finds that the circumstances of the Visigoth people have changed, but is it a change of the better? On our way to find out, Aric will be deep in the land of another, and possibly have a fateful meeting that will unveil new truths.
… TO DECIDE IN THE FUTURE
Matt Kindt (Divinity, Ninjak) continues his tale of ancient choices with this issue, and it is still as entertaining as when it began. Through a series of events, we slowly begin to see the hints of a meeting between our two protagonists lead to a meeting, but we still are not sure on what exact term that meeting will be. I like the story frame if having Shanhara “reminding” Aric of a lesson he has already learned, and Kindt has used it several times throughout his time with Aric to great effect.
Trevor Hairsine (Judge Dredd, Divinity) continues to give a great showing of art as he illustrates Arci and Sabbas’s journey to Rome. The elegant grit is still there, and his action scenes are wonderfully fluidic. It feels right for the period.
BOTTOM LINE: THRILLING SWORD AND SANDAL STORY
As I said, this issue continues the standards set for it in the previous one, but there was one problem that nags at me, and that is in the timeline. We are told that the story is taking place in 393 A.D., but as Aric arrives in Venice, we are told it is 390 A.D. At first I thought it was another time jump, but the dialogue and the events show it is to take place after the events of 393 and Aric’s battle with the Huns. Since this is anno Domini, then timeline should be proceeding higher and not counting down. It’s a little thing, but it pulled me out of the story for a moment as my mind tried to reconcile. Please correct me if I am wrong.
That little hiccup excluded, the story is moving along nicely and I cannot wait to see the connection between Sabbas and Aric, and what it will lead to.
X-O MANOWAR #16 leads you deeper into Aric’s past and helps give a sense of the decisions he has made to get where he is. Pick it up today!