May 20, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Comic Review: X-O Manowar Volume 2

Aric of Dacia tried to find peace by becoming a farmer on an alien planet, but war has a way of always finding him.

I used to read a lot of Valiant trades.  When Comic Bento still existed, they sent them rather often.  I dug them.  They were often well-produced superhero stories.  But since Comic Bento is no more, I haven’t been able to keep up with the different Valiant books.

But every so often, I get another one.  And here I am with the second volume on what I think is the most recent X-O Manowar subtitled General.

Aric of Dacia left Earth to find peace.  He settled on an alien world and became a farmer, leaving the X-O Armor secluded away.  However, war has a way of finding Aric.  In the first volume, he was drafted by one tribe on his new adopted home to fight another, and his general skills showed he was better than mere cannon fodder.  Now, as an officer, he’s making strategies to win the war and making allies with a third tribe that the other two tend to distrust.

The funny thing is, Aric finds making allies rather easy because the people he approaches just know he will always keep his word, something his own superiors, beings he didn’t ask to serve, are seemingly incapable of doing.  With threats headed Aric’s way from people on his own side, he’s probably going to be needing that armor really soon.

Writer Matt Kindt seems to be responsible for many of the better Valiant books I have read.  He’s got a good sense of character and pacing.  Artist Doug Braitwaite is also doing some top tier work.  As always, I was happy with a Valiant trade.

So, why was it only three issues long?

That is the one thing I never really liked about Valiant’s books.  Just as something really starts to get my attention, it’s over, and it always feels like it’s in the middle of a storyline.  I get that the point there is to get me to get the next one, and it’s not a bad plan from a business perspective, but as a reader, I would prefer a trade that had more than three issues even if the back quarter of the trade is a bunch of character sketches and alternate covers.  Forget that stuff and give me some more story, will ya?

8.5 out of 10 endings that came too soon.