Review: ‘X-O Manowar’ #1 Gives Valiant’s Flagship Hero A New Beginning

by Tony Thornley
Cover by Christian Ward

For nearly a year, Valiant’s flagship hero has been off the table. Now X-O Manowar returns with a new take on the hero and a new direction for his world.

Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum, Emilio Laiso, Ruth Redmond, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou bring Aric of Dacia to humanity in X-O Manowar #1.

Aric continues to be Earth’s greatest guardian. However, he is also trying to connect with the people he protects. It leads to some of the first real connection he’s made since his return to Earth, however it may also make him more vulnerable than ever before…

Hallum jumps right into the series with exactly what Aric has been missing since the Valiant relaunch nearly a decade ago. He’s been the star of a superhero epic, and a scifi war story, but he’s never really connected with average people before. It’s a humanizing plot element that the story needs to real make progress. On top of that it’s an exciting scifi superhero adventure with some interesting set-up for future.

Laiso and Redmond step up their game. Laiso’s line work is smooth and fluid, which makes even Aric hunting a deer seem pulled from a sleek future, but he is also able to create real connection between the characters, allowing Aric’s new status quo to flourish. Redmond leans into the premise and gives the series a futuristic sheen. The two combine to create a world that’s realistic but also fantastic, a difficult balance they strike just right.

Aric is back, and it’s off to a great start.

X-O Manowar #1 is available now from Valiant Entertainment.

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