X-O Manowar #4
Does Manowar make the armor?
X-O steps into a brand-new suit... and just in time to face his biggest villain so far on his path to becoming the hero we need.
Dennis "Hopeless" Hallum and Emilio Laiso's epic journey brings X-O to a stunning crossroads!!
The newest series for Valiant’s flagship character X-O Manowar puts the character maybe even over his own head as the dilemma surrounding Troy Whitaker and upgrades to Shanhara boil over the edge. With X-O Manowar #4 we get an action-packed issue with all the right twists and turns to get you hooked for more.
If there is one thing Hopeless and company have accomplished with this new X-O Manowar series, it’s an excellent understanding of pacing that allows the series to get better and better with each new issue. Any hesitation about the direction of X-O Manowar under this creative team can be easily put to rest following the release of issue #4. It’s a powerful and epic representation of what the character brings to the publisher’s lineup and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
The real strength of the issue is undeniably found in the artwork from Emilio Laiso and Ruth Redmond’s outstanding visuals with Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou’s remarkable lettering. It’s an undeniable force to be reckoned with in comics and Hopeless’s scripts continue to elevate the story. Here we see Aric and Shanhara fall deeper into what feels like a trap from Whitaker, plain and simple. I’ll follow up on this when the time is right, but let’s just say I don’t trust him right now. But we can’t get to that just yet because of conflict from Vlad Yakiov who thinks he has X-O all figured out. The story unfolds in classic X-O fashion with some stellar superhero moments before we return to things just going all sorts of wrong with the recent tech enhancements leaving us with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger.
As amazing as the artwork is and with a story that is getting more and more exciting, it’s difficult to find any complaints with X-O Manowar #4. It seems to be finding its footing in a strong way, casting aside any doubts I might’ve had about this new take on the classic character. From small details like the color palette in the lettering and design to the obvious problems like being trapped in a nanite beast, this issue does a wonderful job exploring the lore of the character while staying engaging for every type of fan from those looking for just a fun time to those willing to dive deeper for clues on what’s to come.
There are still some things I’d like to see, like a firmer connection to the greater Valiant universe and some type of explanation to strengthen the connective tissue to previous runs, but for new readers and those seeking a bit more accessibility, this series remains a great option. There is even a moment of less than desirable dialogue showing how vulgarity might not always add to the story, but none of the issues are enough to make you put the book down. It’s an entertaining and truly well executed comic that inspires hope that the best is yet to come.
X-O Manowar #4 delivers on action, intrigue, a unique chemistry between Aric and Shanhara and so much more. Be sure to head to your local comic shop and pick up your copy ASAP because you don’t want to miss out on where this issue leaves us. It will certainly have you eager for the next issue!
Plus, who wouldn’t want to own that *incredible* cover art from Christian Ward!
X-O Manowar #4 delivers on action, intrigue, and a unique chemistry between Aric & Shanhara all while inspiring hope that the best is yet to come with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger. I can't wait to see what's next!
X-O Manowar #4: The Belly of the Nanite Beast
Writing - 9/10
Storyline - 9.5/10
Art - 9/10
Color - 9.5/10
Cover Art - 9.5/10
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