Writer Robert Venditti continues to deliver some dynamite storytelling in this issue of X-O MANOWAR. The whole issues leave a TON of questions in the reader's mind. Everything is changed since it's pretty obvious that if there's two X-O Manowar armors, then there has to be more. This gives "Armor Hunters" a new meaning. As far as where this story is going, it's fantastic and very exciting. Aric has a ton of stuff to deal with. Not only does he have to lead the Visigoths, work for the American government, and show other countries out in space who is in charge, but now he has a new threat.
The pacing to this issue is fantastic and feels incredibly natural. Readers will feel right there with Aric as he heads into space. There's a natural progression to the story and the suspense heightens into the second half, which leads to some dynamite action. This is really the first time where the reader is a bit unsure if Aric can handle what he's up against, and it's simply amazing. Plus, the readers are treated to some pretty brutal action sequences, and that's always a plus because it's never over-done.
The art is pretty fantastic here. Diego Bernard does the pencils, Alejandro Sicat is on inks, and Brian Reber is on colors. It's consistent and wonderful. It does seem like the inking gets heavy, at times, but Sicat is really just matching the light source of the sun on these characters, and sometimes, things just look really dark, which is what the scene would look like if it was in space.
There's no sound in space, yet an explosion makes a noise. Also, an alien can talk in space. I have a few other small problems with other space elements and how bodies are affected by decompression as well, but thee problems are very small.
X-O MANOWAR always pushes forward towards something greater and that's what makes this just not a top book at Valiant, but also a top book in comics in general. This next arc kicks off with a bang, and while there were some small problems with things going on in space, most folks won't even notice it. This is a book you need on your pull list because it's not only a ton of fun, it's also a very satisfying read. Overall, I highly recommend this issue.