September 28, 2023

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Comic Review: X-O Manowar Volume 4

Aric of Dacia returns home...and conquers Romania.

There are some thoughtful questions at the heart of the fourth volume of Valiant Comics’ X-O Manowar.  What would a modern day Visigoth do if he had the power to do as he saw fit?  What does a good leader do?  Should we listen to immortal men?

Those questions aren’t directly answered in this volume, subtitle Homecoming.

In the four issues reprinted here, Aric returns and with the aid of flashbacks, we see why Dacia is so important to him.  As a very small boy, he watched his people be pushed off their homelands by the Huns and become pariahs to the Romans.  They’ve been fighting ever since.  Of course he wants Dacia back.  Nothing else will do, and he’s not interested in twenty-first century living either.  He has the most powerful individual weapon system in the known universe.  He can just take Dacia back and leave the Visigoths he liberated to…farm like it’s still the fifth century.

By the way, Dacia is modern-day Romania, and Aric pretty much just flies in and takes the place.

Warning lights go off when first the Eternal Warrior, someone Aric recognizes, comes by to suggest he’s doing this wrong and he’ll just get people killed, his former ally the exiled Vine alien offers him refuge in the United States (Aric turns it down), and even one of the liberated people he brought back from the planet Loam (the former leader of the clan as it turns out) points out Aric really doesn’t know what these people want, and why can’t they use modern conveniences like indoor plumbing and supermarkets?

The whole thing goes violent at some point, and while Aric and his people are victorious, the next call may be for Toyo Harada to come in with a new Unity team.  Writer Robert Venditti is ratcheting up the tension, and Aric’s shortsighted “might makes right” way of thinking is bound to lead to tragedy.  Nine out of ten new girlfriends.