X-O Manowar #4

Written by: Matt Kindt

Art by: Doug Braithwaite and Diego Rodriguez

Published by: Valiant Comics

I found X-O Manowar issue 4 to be pretty exhilarating and quite exciting.  Except for one massive flaw (which I’ve bitched about in my previous reviews of issues 2 and 3) this issue is probably just as great if not better than the first issue that relaunched the X-O brand.

Aric and his mighty group of…hmmm, they need a cool name.  Secret Weapons would have been a cool squad name but that’s taken.  Well – Aric and his mighty group of kickassers are hunting the Cadmium President.  They enter a land where they basically have to bow down to some king just to make their way through.  Aric’s gang aren’t really game for this asskissery but they (and myself) are really surprised at Aric’s humbleness.  He does what he has to do to keep going on his mission even if this king really isn’t having it.

Once into the Helio Fields, where the President is hiding, Aric and his men launch into an attack.  What follows is one massive, incredible action sequence.  I found myself at a quandary.  Do I describe the scenes that take place or do I just gloss over the details?  I’m going to gloss.  What I will say is the visuals here are amazing.  Matt Kindt may given the direction on what he wanted penciller Doug Braithwaite to draw, but Braithwaite didn’t take his words and just make a comic book.  He made a goddamn action movie.  Each panel is so intense that you have a hard time drawing your eyes away to move onto the next one.

Intense is really the best word to describe the action here. From the alien weaponry to the enemy machines, X-O Manowar #4 looks like something out of the best sci-fi movie that money can buy.  Aric is so driven on his quest to capture the President he will stop at nothing and allow no one to get in his way.  Even when it looks like Aric will succeed, the trickery of  his opponent may kill him and his crew.  The problem lies in that it might not just be the Cadmium troops that want to kill them as well.

The one thing that usually stinks about action sequences in comic books is that they are usually too quickly paced.  You pay $28.00 for a comic book these days and with a large action sequence you usually find yourself at the end of the book very quickly wondering, “This is what I spent money on?!?!”  This issue has it all from its action packed sequences to its wonderful storyline that is quickly propelling us forward.  The action doesn’t take away from the plot and the plot doesn’t take away from the action.  They couple together beautifully.

Time for my gripe…and it is a bit of a spoiler…

So if you want my ranking of the issue it’s an A.  You can stop reading.

Still here?  Good.

This is issue 4.  I think I saw 4 covers for X-O Manowar #4 and three out of the four covers had Aric in the X-O Manowar armor.  This is a X-O Manowar comic.  Says so right on the cover.  The X-O lettering on the logo is pretty fricking huge.

The gripe?  Aric still isn’t in the armor.  I’ll be honest in that this issue flowed very smooth even with Aric not wearing the armor.  I get that Aric is trying to be this badass trying to prove that he doesn’t need the armor to be a kickass warrior.  Over the past four issues he has pretty much proved this (though he does have some “help” at times).

HOWEVER its already been well established that Aric is a badass.  We love him.  We get it.  But let’s let the guy wear the armor.  Come on.  Enough with the teasing on the covers.  Let’s get him in the armor and show the planet Gorin just how much of a badass motherfucker Aric really is.