Written by Dennis Hopless
Pencils by Emelio Laiso
Inks by Raffaele Forte
Published by Valiant Entertainment
X-O Manowar is a comic about Aric of Darcie, a fifth-century Visigoth prince and an alien sentient armor named Shanhara. Aric’s body is bonded to the armor, but not like Eddie Brock and Venom. Aric’s suit is not embedded into his body. He can get in and out as he pleases. The bond is more of a mental and physiological one.
The cool thing in this issue, and I’m sure this has been done in previous issues is that the first page has a ‘memory log’ from Shanhara in which she goes over what has been happening over the past few issues and also names the key players in the story. It’s good for those of us who have not read the previous issues.
Apparently Shanhara has been damaged and is slowly repairing herself with the help of Aric and Troy Whitaker, owner of Whittech. The duo of Troy and Aric is similar to the dynamic of Tony Stark and James Rhodes. The story does some time skips and shows Shanhara has gotten better, but her personality has changed a little, she’s becoming more aggressive.
While Aric wears the armor, he doesn’t have much control over some of his actions. Shanhara can pretty much decide how much power can be used. Upon investigating a series of strange landforms hovering over Tibet, Shanhara bonds with the alien landforms against Aric’s will.
The time jumps in the story aren’t too long, but long enough where you still wonder what did they do in the time in between? Just hang out and watch Netflix? The story was easy to follow, but I was a little confused about Shanhara as the armor. At times we see her. Does she turn herself into the suit? Are we seeing what she used to look like and now it’s her spirit or essence that’s inhabiting the suit? Have Aric or Troy seen her as Shanhara and not just a suit of armor?
I don’t know if these are questions that were addressed in previous issues or will be addressed in the future, but I’m curious.
The art is really good. Colors and shading all make the world and characters look like they all fit in together.
This gets a 4/5 from me. I’d recommend it.
Thanks, and happy reading!