Although we did get a chance to review issues one, two, or three of this new X-O MANOWAR series, I can tell you they've all been fantastic. This is my favorite of all the Valiant books out, and yes, I've read them all.
As Aric gets back to Earth, he ends up not in his time of 402 A.D., but in contemporary times with a piece of technology on that far surpasses anything we have on Earth. That's where issue three picked up, at Rome's Colosseum, with a whole bunch of guards pulling guns on him.
We're blasted right into some amazing action as Aric gets shot at and "blown up" my the military. This scene has some great pacing and is a ton of fun. Cary Nord (pencils), Stefano Gaudiano (inks), and Moose Baumann (colors) do a great job here, and there's a fantastic splash of Aric going up against a jet, high above the sky that does a great job of showing depth and it has a great perspective for the page.
We get to learn a bit more about the armor throughout these action sequences. Aside from the green blasts, the suit can take a direct hit, he can fly, and a few other cool things, and that's just the physical part of the suit. I also like the idea that it's much more than an offensive weapon or a defensive tool. It can give the user knowledge about the world around him. We get to see a bit of that in this issue, as we did with issue three.
Finally, I really enjoyed how the issue ended and how it brings back a classic Valiant character. This book has a great updated feel to it and so do all its characters thus far. Fantastic issue.
The opening four pages of this book make for a pretty slow start to the overall issue. It's a lot of explaining about the Vine (the alien race, not this website) and they're future plans, but it feels like it drags on just a tad too long. It felt a tad repetitive and I felt I knew what they were going to do halfway through the second page.
X-O MANOWAR 4 delivers. It's great to see this character back in action, and this issue really establishes where this book is going to lead us. I loved the action sequences in this issue and the art team did a solid job and kept the panels fresh for the reader's eyes. I enjoyed learning more and more about the armor just from how it reacts to the world around it, and I loved the ending to this issue which brings back a classic Valiant character.
On the down side, I felt the opening four pages were pretty slow, and I felt like I was ahead of the dialogue.
Overall, I highly recommend this issue and this series.