Written by ROBERT VENDITTI
Art by RAFA SANDOVAL
It has been a while since I looked at an X-O book, and it seems that I have missed quite a bit.
There is a tumultuous peace in place between the Vine and the humans. But whilst it seems that each side has advocators of a long term peace, there are factions that want war especially given the reveal of an enemy thought long gone.
Writer Robert Venditti has been with the book since its inception, playing the long game, broken into mini arcs. Sometimes, especially with a long running book, it can seem that the mini arcs do not push the main story along. I can think of a number of books that have a long arc type of story, that recently have felt like fillers. This is not the case here. Venditti is ensuring that each segment plays to the larger script he has in his head. The dialogue is solid throughout with a number of different characters clearly having their own voices, from the more peaceful contemplative Aric, who shows a savvy side in the peace meeting, to the mewling plantling with a convincing Lady Colonel and Vine priest.
Rafa Sandoval provides the pencils on the book and does a decent job with his work looking better than it did on Catwoman. Granted there may be some sort if mandate when drawing Catwoman, the number of broken back poses for example, so it is good to see Sandoval revert to a more traditional style. Sandoval is helped by long time collaborator Jordi Tarragona, who provides a nice mix of inking styles, heavy at times, lighter at others, that seems to bring the best out Sandoval’s work. The pair are helped with some strong colors from Ulises Arreola who seems to use shadows to accentuate the panel rather than the color
This book is an easy enjoyable read. Even after missing a number of issues I was able to fit right back into the story. To some, this may feel like a bad thing, after all if its that easy to fit in, then nothing much must have happened in the last few issues. However, I would it has to be a good thing, allowing new readers to pick up the issue and fall right into the action. The Valiant (although not exclusively) style of mini arcs does allow for easy collection of issues for trades, but also means that if you pick up an mid arc story, you should be able to pick up the preceding issues from your Local Comic Book Emporium, which I heartily recommend.