REVIEW: X-O Manowar #37

Written by ROBERT VENDITTI
Art by DIEGO BERNARD
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Release Date: 06/17/2015

Do you remember back before your voice dropped and you had weird feelings about girls?

You could buy a comic for 15p (about 43,768 dollars in today’s money) because its cover showed a space knight fighting a mutant with claws on the moon and it didn’t matter if it was part of a massive ongoing storyline, you were just happy in your own little world watching a superhero save the day. Ahhh Nostalgia.

Well that’s how I felt when I read X-O Manowar #37, without those nagging feelings about gym skirts. It’s a solid read with a glorious climax, like your first porn mag’, ahhh nostalgia.

I’ve never read a Valiant title, though they’ve always beckoned to me, like Amanda Booth at the school disco, but now, like then, I’ve always hung around in the corner mouthing the words to ‘Don’t turn around’ by Aswad, which isn’t a good look in your local comic shop.

Diego Bernard’s art captures the expressive variety of all the different armored aliens led by the titular character and contrasts them with the cold emotionless drones of Dead Hand, a robot army out to rid the universe of all the XO suits of armor, known in the comic as Shanhara. Get me catching on with the lingo! His designs for the good guy aliens give the Green Lantern corps a run for their rings including one that seems to exist in two dimensions.

Robert Venditti’s story is simple but that’s because it’s the action climax to a four part story and he sacrifices complexity for clarity and a full spirited sprint to the finish line, which has everything you could want from a sci-fi space war. If I had one quibble it would be that at no point did I feel the heroes were in jeopardy, but some dialogue and a closing scene make it clear that future stories will grow from this and to be honest it was just plain fun to see a superhero battle this clean cut.

While it is standard superhero fair, the core concept of X-O’ is an elegant blend of Iron Man, Captain America with a splash of Thor. A time displaced honourable warrior in a suit of power armour. I love all three of those characters so the simple pick up and read of this appealed to me, the recap at the start was succinct and clear and made me want to pick up the rest of the series, in trade.

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