July 19, 2012


X-O Review-O-War: X-O Manowar #3

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What a low key issue.

Clearly I’m going to have to explain what I mean.

(Thar bee spoilers ahead)

Aric charges

Aric charges!

After all, there is a lot of explosive action in this issue. Aric goes on a head shot killing streak. His armor grows him a new hand. He is worshiped by Vine priests. He single handedly opens up a giant mecha armor suit like a bag of chips. With a Freaking Lightning Sword. He gets blown into space. He travels across the galaxy nearly instantaneously. He smashes into the Coliseum of Rome after re-entry.

This is the most exciting, action packed issue of X-O Manowar we’ve seen.

But when the armor grows Aric a new arm, he doesn’t stop to admire it, talk about it, or just think too hard that ““By my Visigoth Gods, this armor just built me a new freaking hand!” Nope, Aric presses on to find a way to get himself, and his fellow captures home.

When a Freaking Lightning Sword appears out of thin air in Aric’s hand, he doesn’t marvel at this new weapon, he just pops open Trill’s mecha suit like a tube of Pringles, and goes after the man that kept him from his wife.

Aric's wife, Deidre

Aric remembers Deidre

And when he gets blown into outer space, there is not time to stop and marvel at the fact that he is in outer-freakin-space, Aric’s thoughts remain on one thing, home. Take me to Rome! Take me back to Deidre.

That’s what I mean by “low key”, the action in this book, while big and explosive, was downplayed. In its place was the character of Aric, his thoughts, and his actions to do what he can and fight for his life. Aric stays by Gafti till the end, and when he has a chance to pull out his Freaking Lightning Sword and slice the ship like hot butter, his thoughts return to getting home, to his wife.

That’s what I love about this issue. With all the craziness going on, the story is still about Aric. It’s about him, what ticks inside him, what he wants to accomplish, and why.

It would be easy for the action to become the centerpiece of this issue, and to have this issue be a celebration of the awesomeness of the X-O Armor finally cutting loose and wrecking devastation down on The Vine.

The action isn’t the centerpiece though, Aric is the centerpiece. With all the action going on, this book remains a story about a man, and no amount of explosions and head shots detracts from that.

Those Two Vine

vine aliens

Those two vine

What are we gonna call them?

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? Quantum and Woody? Sven and Olaf?

Anyway, those two Vine soldiers.

How many times have we seen those characters in TV, in movies, the two minor characters that get swept up in the main story events. Those two Stormtroopers that happen by while Obi Wan is deactivating the tractor beam. Those “Ordinary Joe” characters that complain about their job, hobble along, and are unwitting victims of the story’s main events.

I knew what was going to happen. It didn’t hurt that I glanced at the whole page when I started reading the book, it was clear though. They had a big X-O Bullseye on them from the moment they showed up on that first panel.



Still made me laugh, even seeing it coming.


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