X-O Manowar #12
Written by: Matt Kindt
Art by: Ryan Bodenheim and Andrew Dalhouse
Published by: Valiant Comics

Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

X-O Manowar #12 starts out with a buck naked Aric of Earth chilling in the desert. His face off with the bounty hunters last issue didn’t go so well. They took his armor and just left the man to rot in the hot sun.

Why not kill him? Was it a choice? Or was it orders handed down to the bounty hunters? The bounty hunters certainly don’t care either way. They just want their money for a job well done and want to sell Shanhara to the highest bidder. Honestly I expected the bounty hunters to be even more badass. I expected one hell of a fight last issue. Thusly I hope they return in subsequent issues. I truly like the characters.

As for Aric, it doesn’t take him long to find some clothes, find a ride, and head back to the Capital City to find out what the hell is going on. Had his own people paid these bounty hunters to take him out? And if they did…why?!??! Would Aric not have stepped out if asked? Is it truly Aric’s power trip or just some jerkoff who wants all the power for him/herself?

Don’t worry, folks. I’m not going to answer those questions, but Matt Kindt answers them in this issue. It’s an amazing turn for Aric in his adventures far from home. It is pretty much a return to form. This is the X-O I’ve been expecting since the issue one relaunch. Denisovich once said, “You only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything he’s no longer in your power — he’s free again.” I think this is very applicable for Aric. This issue becomes a turning point. This issue shows what happens when you try to take a man as powerful as Aric down. I cannot wait to see the repercussions that will come.

What are you going to do next, Matt Kindt? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO!?!??!?!

To call this comic phenomenal just isn’t enough. It is one of those titles that I can take out a thesaurus and sprinkle praise on over and over again. This book takes risks with a character that is truly amongst the most powerful figures in the Valiant Universe. I love that in this book Aric always seems to be the underdog. Everyone around him sees him as the underdog. On the Planet Azure he overcame every single obstacle thrown at him and still came out victorious. Still people think they can take him down. It’s going to be a pleasure reading how wrong they are.

Verdict? X-O Manowar is must reading. It is the best book on the market today and I dare you to throw any other title out there against X-O. Because at the end of the day, this book has some power and passion. It’s a goddamn work of art. I have a feeling that it is only going to get better and better.  Every time I think it can’t get better I am proven wrong.  Feel free to prove me wrong once again, Matt.


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