Review: X-O Manowar #2 – Sadly un-savage…

Issue: X-O Manowar #2
Writer: Robert Venditti
Pencils: Cary Nord
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Release Date: 6/6/2012

Held captive by the alien species known as the Vine, Aric of Dacia must survive the brutal pens of a massive ship is he has any chance to return to Rome to free his family. Joining forces with the other prisoners, he devises a scheme to get his hands on the only weapon that can free him: the X-O Manowar armor! He’ll need every ounce of his Vigigoth courage and warrior’s training, but all his efforts may be in vain, because the armor’s history holds a dark secret, one that could be Aric’s undoing!
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Story: 7.5/10 • Artwork: 8.0/10 • Overall 7.8/10
X-O Manowar #2 continues the origin story of the series. Aric of Dacia and his friend Gaffi are captured by aliens named the Vine and then enslaved to take care of the Vine’s crops. Since this a reboot and I’m a child of the 90’s the story seems average at best since I know the ending and the writer, Robert Venditti doesn’t do anything to distinguish Aric’s character. Venditti doesn’t make Aric likable. There is no real sense of passion for Aric to get home. There is no scene that displays Aric’s warrior spirit or never give up attitude. There is just no personality to the characters in the book. Even the aliens use generic terms that the reader has heard before. On page five of the issue, the aliens call the humans “A soft species.” This would have been fine is Aric had risen up and proved that the humans are not soft but Venditti does not develop the story enough. The plot just goes through the motions with no surprises. You get to the last page and you’re like “Yep, that was supposed to happen.”

What saves X-Manowar #2 is Cary Nord’s artwork. I don’t want to spoil anything but there is a battle in the book and Nord’s work is fluid and has a nice motion that works with each action scene. With that said, the last page of the book looks very stiff. This is a huge bummer because this page that’s supposed to get you excited for the next issue and it doesn’t. Nord, show the reader something new, try a different angle, take some chances. That is what inspires readers to buy books.

X-O Manowar #2 plays it straight and because of this the book comes off flat.

Follow Matthew Sardo on twitter @comicavult

Matthew Sardo
Matthew Sardo
As the founder of Monkeys Fighting Robots, I'm currently training for my next job as an astronaut cowboy. Reformed hockey goon, comic book store owner, video store clerk, an extra in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon,' 'Welcome Back Freshman,' and for one special day, I was a Ghostbuster.

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