A Strong Return To Form For X-O Manowar #19

by Josh Davison

[**Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Colonel Jamie Capshaw’s life is falling apart in the aftermath of Harbinger Wars II. The Loveboat, G.A.T.E.’s mobile command base, has crashed, and many of its personnel are dead. Jamie’s partner has left her, and her boss is putting her through the ringer. She has one last chance to keep her job: she must get X-O Manowar to help G.A.T.E. with an alien incursion in Australia. So, Jamie goes out to meet Aric in New Dacia.

X-O Manowar #19 cover by Kenneth Rocafort, Alan Quah, and Komikaki Studio's Sean Lee
X-O Manowar #19 cover by Kenneth Rocafort, Alan Quah, and Komikaki Studios featuring Sean Lee

X-O Manowar #19, as you can likely glean from that description, is just as much about Colonel Capshaw as it is about Aric himself. It is an engaging read; we get to see the slow degradation of this strong military woman due to forces far beyond her control.
Aric himself is almost catatonic in the wake of Harbinger Wars II. He speaks very little and has been torn apart by his wife’s departure and newfound romance with one of Aric’s closest friends.
The coordination between Aric and Capshaw is the teamwork of two broken people, and that tension makes for a compelling read.
The threat in Australia is a throwback to one of writer Matt Kindt’s other Valiant stories, and it’s cool to see it continued.
X-O Manowar #19 art by Juan Jose Ryp and Andrew Dalhouse
X-O Manowar #19 art by Juan Jose Ryp and Andrew Dalhouse

Juan Jose Ryp’s artwork is a nice-looking 3-D rendered style which grants the world of X-O Manowar depth and appeal. The detailing on Aric and his armor is especially well-done. There are some moments in the uncanny valley, as is often the case with this art style. That said, they are few here. Andrew Dalhouse’s color work suits the book well, giving it a vibrant and bright color palette.
X-O Manowar #19 is a return to form for the book that follows up on the catastrophes from Harbinger Wars II. Both leads are fractured and hurting people, and the book carries that well as it moves onto its next story arc. This one is worth a recommendation, and I suggest checking it out. It’s a good jumping-on point for new readers too.
X-O Manowar #19 comes to us from writer Matt Kindt, artist Juan Jose Ryp, color artist Andrew Dalhouse, letterer Dave Sharpe, cover artists Kenneth Rocafort, Alan Quah, with Komikaki Studios featuring Sean Lee, and variant cover artists Mico Suayan, Renato Guedes, and Whilce Portacio with Raymund Lee.

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