Review by Nolan P. Smith-Pastrami Nation
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Lee Garbett
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Valiant has been showing that they are back in a big way. This was no flash in the pan relaunch where the steam gave out after the first arc. No, Valiant was out to show the world that they could make quality books of art and substance just as good and at times better than the big two. This review is a little late, as the book has been out for a minute now, but I really want to share what Valiant has cooked up for the second arc of their flagship hero, X-O Manowar.
So, to catch people up on who X-O Manowar is: he’s a warrior from a simper time who ends up in possession of the most sophisticated suit of armor in, perhaps, the universe. Thrown from his time and into ours, he’s grasping at what happened, that everyone he knew is ancient history, and what exactly the armor is. So, I like to think of it as Conan in Iron Man’s armor: he’s not going to know how to use it at all, so he uses it out of reflexes and with blunt force. Which fits perfectly since we see the introduction of an old Valiant favorite with a very different fighting style: Ninjak.
The master assassin has been hired to bring down this new “threat” of X-O Manowar, and his benefactor has other motives than simply stopping a threat. What writer Robert Venditti gives us is a classic clash of the titans: brute force against a technical mastermind in combat. I won’t blow the news on who wins, but it’s a great way to kick off this new arc. Lee Garbett provides the visuals, and wow: what visuals they are. Violence, gore, and ninja awesomeness is bursting off the page, just the way I like it. This issue has me already thinking that the second arc will blow the first one right out of the water, and that’s saying something since the first four issues were excellent. Highly recommended, I give X-O Manowar #5 a perfect @@@@@ out of FIVE.