X-O Manowar #9
Written by: Matt Kindt
Art by: Clayton Crain (with Khari Evans)
Published by: Valiant Comics

REVIEWED BY: RYAN MCLELLAND

I never imagined I would be reading a X-O Manowar comic that would be full of war, economics, and political intrigue. Valiant Comics, more specifically writer Matt Kindt, has taken this book to places I’ve never dreamt possible. Even if I could dream it, would I want it? Do I want a X-O Manowar book where post-war a planet has fallen into chaos, people go hungry, fighting still rules the land, and Aric has to try and figure out how to do the right thing? If the question is do I want it I would say no. No I don’t want it. But then I read X-O Manowar #9 and see how brilliant it is. Thing is I didn’t know what I wanted it. But Matt Kindt knew. Kindt knew what to do. He didn’t need me. He has a vision. That vision has continued to take a simple premise of a Visigoth in a robot suit of armor and take it to all new heights.

Even with the Emperor defeated in the last issue there are still many waring factions. There are many who want revenge. Many who want to right the wrongs by using their swords. Even the slave labor who has been freed from their jobs in the fields are out for revenge. The only justice on the planet Azure right now seems to be death. Death and destruction. All of the inhabitants are out for blood. Aric is now suited up. He finally has that Shanhara armor. What does he see and hear with the armor on? He sees and hears all the wrong that are going on. All the death. All the destruction. All the chaos. All the starvation. There are no spoils of war here. There is only continued destruction and death.

This issue is not about Aric reentering the fray. This issue is about Aric trying hard to figure out how to fix things and do so quickly. He helped free this world and, in doing so, helped cause the endless chaos that has been ensuing. Aric can fight. He can kill. But now that it is over and so many factions are doing their own thing, Aric is lost. He has no clue what to do. He can fight. He can kill. But can he make the decisions that will help ALL of these aliens and creatures? It doesn’t seem like it. At least not yet.

This book is so incredibly deep. I’ve read every iteration of X-O from Englehart to Giffen, from Waid to Venditti, and I’ve never read a book like this. I went from the first few issues of the 2017 X-O Manowar going “Waaaaaa! Where’s the X-O suit? WAAAAAA!” to being on the edge of my seat with every single page, every single panel. There is so much depth here and #9 makes that depth even more evident. You knew Aric was going to come in to save the day. Did you think Aric would now have the weight of the world on his shoulders as he deals with the aftermath of this war? I never did. That is what makes X-O Manowar so special.

I’m sorry but there is no other regular series being printed today that is better than this book. I’m looking at you Walking Dead. That includes you Saga. No Jane Foster Thor or Gerard Way Doom Patrol can get close. X-O Manowar has risen above the lot. It’s not just the best monthly series to come out from Valiant. It is the best monthly series of 2017. Point blank. Period. Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain? You should pat each other on the back. Every issue reads and looks like a billion dollars. I can’t state how great Kindt’s writing is and I feel like every issue I review of X-O I call Clayton Crain a damn genius. Well I’ll say it again. He’s the Bruce Lee of comics. There is no better.

If you aren’t reading X-O I would get your butt to the comic store. Point your browser over the ComiXology. Go look for some trades over at Amazon. Because if you love comics and aren’t reading this book you are just wrong. Rectifying that by reading X-O Manowar may be the smartest decision you will ever make.

RANK: A+

WATCH OUR VIDEO REVIEW OF X-O MANOWAR #9 BELOW!

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