X-O Manowar #1 (2017)

Born under the oppressive thumb of the Roman Empire, Aric of Dacia learned warfare at an early age. It was amid such violence that he was abducted by an alien race. Forced into slavery, he survived where others perished. His escape would come from bonding with a weapon of immeasurable power: the X-O Manowar armor. With it, he returned to Earth…only to find himself stranded in the modern day.

But that was a lifetime ago.

Now, far from home on a strange and primitive new world, Aric has begun a new life. Liberated from his past, he tends to his crops. Free from war. Free from violence. Free from the armor.

But the machinery of death marches his way once again. Conscripted into an alien army and thrown into an unforgiving conflict, the fury inside him finds voice as he is forced to embrace the armor once more. With it, he will decimate armies, topple empires and incite interplanetary warfare as he rises from SOLDIER to GENERAL to EMPEROR to VISIGOTH. They wanted a weapon. He will give them war!

I’m not sure what Valiant’s doing with X-O Manowar 2017. It’s not a reboot, but they seem to have jettisoned their numbering convention…maybe like the man himself, they wanted a fresh start for the character. Too bad he’s right back in the mess again.

Aric is back in top form, showing he can kick ass without his armor  – for a while at least. I’m interested in the relationship between the man and his armor, which wasn’t explored in the issues I’d read previously.

The art here is excellent; the X-O Manowar series has been consistently well-drawn. There’s not a huge amount of story here, but it’s not really necessary. At any rate I’m happy there wasn’t a truckload of backstory to deal with – the all-new local and situation allows us to see the story unfold, instead of having unresolved plotlines dangle off the character like gigantic leeches everywhere he goes.

Whatever it is – restart, reboot, revamp – it’s pretty good. I’m interested in reading more. Hopefully they’ll continue the theme of Man vs. Armor, which is quite interesting in and of itself.

Final Verdict: 3 out of 5.

X-O Manowar #1 can be found at Valiant Entertainment.

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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