Storyline: A+

Artwork: A

Aric is building up to what is most likely to be one epic battle as he fights for the rights of his people, but the threat is a lot bigger than Aric can even begin to fathom. Is Dacia safe in the hands of its fearless leader?

So it looks like Dacia will be going to war with the entire world as Aric refuses to relocate his people from their homeland, a homeland he believes was promised and belongs to his ancestors. The story opens with the Russian’s making an important discovery that they believe will put them and the Visgoth on equal footing. But what the world has not accounted for is Aric’s determination and his strength of will. He will bow down to no man. And this issue shows that he does not need to. As Aric is in negotiations with Alexander, it is made known that Alexander is not exactly human. He is a member of the Vine, the alien race that had enslaved Aric and his people for those thousands of years. Alexander is a Vine mind in a human body, allowing him to be the perfect informant for Aric and a strong ally. However, Aric cannot accept his invitation to abandon Dacia and his people, even though his people may have hidden agendas of their own.

It is Aric’s determination that is not only his strength but it is also his biggest weakness. His stubbornness does not allow him to think further than his life in the past. Aric does not think about his life in this present modern world. This leads to an uprising amongst his people as they find the ways of old to be obsolete. And it is during this internal skirmish that the world finds an opportunity to conduct their first strike against Dacia. And if the global threat was not enough, we see the introduction of a lead villain from another Valiant title. Let the crossover awesomeness begin!

The art in this issue is great and it features some exciting and impressive action scenes. What is great about the action scenes is that it involves tactics, making it seem so real. Especially as Volo and his followers fend for themselves going against what was expected. The X-O armour continues to be impressive and the Clayton Crain cover art on this issue depicts Aric and the armour in all their glory. It highlights the fact that even though this is a story of alien technology and science fiction there is still a sense of realism to it and that the subject matter is not far-fetched it is in fact relative to our world today.

This title continues to impress with each issue and with the introduction of a new, major threat and the world going against Aric, the future of the series is looking so bright that a visor on the X-O armour is finally making perfect sense to me! This is yet another great read that forms part of an exceptional title!

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