X-O Manowar #5, from Valiant Entertainment, comes to comic stores on August 18th. Writer Dennis Hopeless begins a new story arc after lots of build up in previous issues. Penciler Emilio Laiso continues to provide out of this world imagery. Most of which would go unnoticed if not for inker Raffaele Forte. Colorist Ruth Redmond, meanwhile, provides the atmospheric mood. Finally, letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou showcases sound effects in dedication to every action.
Aric of Dacia (a.k.a. X-O Manowar) works alongside tech billionaire Troy Whitaker to keep his image positive. While Aric can handle warlords, he struggles against the press and hyper intelligent nanites.
X-O Manowar #5: Keeping The Suspense Constant
After such a long hiatus, Hopeless opens X-O Manowar #5 with all the suspense from the last issue. Aric is vulnerable with his armor, Shanhara, stuck in hibernation. So, Troy has to fill in the role of Aric’s guide. Thankfully, Troy opens up a little more as a character. He becomes more than just the eccentric billionaire archetype. Troy believes in Aric and Shanhara’s potential as heroes to overcome the nanite goop that’s been attacking them all. Because, apparently, Shanhara is the only threat to this technological singularity.
Sliding Scales Of Anticipation
Every artist in X-O Manowar #5 adds a significant layer of scale to the plot. The pencils by Laiso create scenarios where characters like Aric look so small, the weight of the situation could crush him. If not for the inking by Forte outlining Aric’s hand, readers might not even notice his vulnerable position under the nanite swarm. That includes the coloring by Redmond where the blue elements of Aric’s costume blend together with the background, except for the yellow pieces that help highlight his outline.
As for Otsmane-Elhaou’s lettering in X-O Manowar #5 gives every action twice as much life. Otsmane-Elhaou designs the word balloons with effects where regular talk features the standard round shapes, with occasional decorations like electric ripples. Other times, more chaotic sounds like coughing are shown in distorted word balloons with fonts and words out of place. But even these pale in comparison to the tailored illustrations of sound effects with exaggerated lengths and size. All of which emphasize the actions taking place to an absurd degree.
Check Back In For X-O Manowar #5
X-O Manowar #5 sets the stage for a science-fiction epic with artistic suspense. Each bit of art adds levels of excitement ready to engage readers for issues to come. In all consideration, it was well worth the wait for this new chapter.