If X-O MANOWAR were a meal, it would be filet mignon covered in bacon with a Guinness and served on a plate made of gold you can take home by the ghost of Freddy Mercury who wants to go on an adventure with you to find the lost city of Atlantis. Now you understand how I feel about this book.
X-O MANOWAR 7 is full of set-up done right. The issue moves incredibly smoothly, and writer Robert Venditti, who has done wonders with some of the action sequences prior to this (Gut Grenade), proves that a book can be just as awesome and exciting with people just talking things out. The issue focuses heavily on Aric and Alexander working together while trying to evade Ninjak, who is working for the Vine in order to return to Manowar armor to them. While there are a few scenes of fantastic dialogue, the stand-off between Aric, Ninjak, and Alexander was, by far, my favorite part of this issue. These are two very honorable characters (Aric and Ninjak) and the dialogue and actions prove it, even though they are trying to kill each other. I wasn't too sure how I felt about Alexander and Ninjak, a characters, in previous issues, but issue 7 solidified my outlook on them. They are just as fantastic as Aric is as a character.
Without giving too much away, we get to see some great set-up for two stories here. On one hand, we have Aric, Alex, and Ninjak and the journey those characters, together and separate, are embarking on, and on the other side, we get to see what The Vine are up to in space. While the focus is mainly on the X-O and crew, I like the little break here and seeing what the bad guys are up to. Both of these stories are going to lead to some amazing things, especially with the reveal on the final page of this issue.
While Aric is in a whole new world, very far in the future from the world he once knew, we catch glimpses of his lack of understanding for how everything works in the new world, especially when it comes to 21st century war. Again, we get a great little scene between Ninjak and Aric discussing this. Their conversations are fantastic. It's like watching the Odd Couple with lasers and samurai swords.
The cover alone should make you want to pick this up.
I really hate writing this in reviews because you shouldn't always be able to find something you dislike in a comic you love and you should always be able to find something you like in something you hate, but man, this comic was amazing front to back.
X-O MANOWAR 7, front to back, is a fantastic issue. I've flipped through this and read it so many times that it's already pretty beaten up. This is Valiant's best book. Sorry, ARCHER AND ARMSTRONG, but this one just squeaks by. If you start reading this, it will become one of your top five books on your pull list. There's no doubt about it. I love how this book is turning out and the incorporation of other Valiant characters here.
Overall, I highly recommend this book. Go get it now, and if you can't afford it, drop something.