Friday, March 8, 2013

Flashback Friday: X-O Manowar #1 - #4 (2012)

      Been a bit since I have posted and even longer since I brought you loyal few a Flashback Friday.  I went a bit different for this Friday Flashback.  It is a more current comicbook, summer of 2012 current.  It was a reintroduction of the Valiant Universe and their armored character X-O Manowar.  I went to a local touristy antique place in my town and browsed the comics that get placed there by a booth owner.  I found issues #1, #2, & #3 for half the cover price.  This helped me to pick it up.  Had the book been less than $3.99 when it came out back in the summer it could have been added to my pull list.  Price has been my reason for not reading or trying this book.

     I will give them some props for one thing.  If you are going to do a $3.99 book, then at least make it worth the price.  Most comics are 32 pages long with 22 of those pages being used as story.  When I was a regular comicbook reviewer one thing I was constant about was the number of pages devoted to story and the content of those 10 pages not story.  Valiant is using the same format, but the 10 pages not story are devoted to in-house advertising and information about the Valiant brand and books.  In #4 there is a six page preview of issue #5 which introduces Ninjak to this new generation of readers.

     X-O Manowar was always an interesting idea.  Take a Visigoth, for those that don't know those were fierce warriors of our ancient past.  They were at times employed by the Roman Empire after being conquered as the protectors of the far flung interest of the Empire.  Problem was the Romans at times would neglect to pay the Visigoths for there work in these rural and remote areas.  So the Visigoths would then attack the Romans.  There was a long history of this near the end of the roman Empire.  These were strange times and the idea that the main character is a Visigoth does not jump out as normal.  The idea throws in aliens and an armor that is devastating in its power.  Take one man out of time and give him the power to destroy worlds and let the adventures  begin.

     Valiant did a good job with this re-launch of there old product.  It is a very beautiful book with art that really looks cool.  The logic behind the story lets one suspend disbelief and enjoy the fantasy of a man yanked from the past and returned to a future that is really different from the world he left.  Much of the story really sets up the strength of Aric as a leader of his people.  We get that he is a hot head and makes rash decisions, but he also shows the resolve and inner fire a good leader needs.  The journey from being captured to his return to Earth makes for a great origin story.  It was a case of cutting corners to get to action quickly and that is good in this instant gratification world we live in.

     X-O Manowar is a good example of how to take a known property and bring it back to life.