Let’s start this review by saying I am coming in completely cold about Valiant and X-O Manowar. I do know this is second incarnation for this title and company, and this is the extent of my knowledge. Yes, it sounds limiting, but I kind of missed Valiant as it happened when I was traveling around. So… This is all from first impressions and frankly I am impressed.
There is no lead up, there is no monologue or ground laying that you would expect from a reboot. We are thrown directly into the action as an army of Visigoths take on the Roman Legions. This is not glorified action, the Visigoths are fighting a desperate rearguard action, and it is bloody violent affair. But it does not dwell on the violence like many other titles would, it deals with it in a matter of fact war just as it would be at the time. This sets up a series of conflicts that leaves you pulling for our revealed hero Aric, as he goes up against increasingly powerful overwhelming foes ending with him facing off against the Vine Aliens that sets us up for the first look at the Manowar armor.
The book did its job leaving me wanted to learn more and find out what happens next to Aric and why the Aliens are leaving Doppleganger Babies on Earth when they clearly have the power to overwhelm the 400AD Roman Empire. The story style reminded me more of the 2000AD titles and a long form story telling, the art is nice to look at and the panel pacing is not overwhelming or trying to be flashy. It is a good solid comic book that I hope has the time to tell the story within it.
We are treated in the back of the book at a preview of Harbringer the next title coming up from Valiant, it has a Wolfe Smith feel to it which I like. It seems Valiant isn’t trying to wow us with explosive panel image blasting style and is instead going to settle back with solid story telling… It is refreshing… Take a moment to pick up this title and give it a chance, you are going to be pleasantly surprised.
4 Thumbs Up out of 5