The “Man out of Time” epic adventure continues in X-O Manowar. The potential threat that is lying ahead rears its ugly head in issue 17. But how will Aric cope with these new-found pressures? Will Aric stand up for his people and rebuild Dacia?
The story opens with a flashback to a day in Aric’s youth. Robert Venditti gives us a short little story that really adds to Aric’s character. The reader is given an opportunity to see how he was raised, how his father raised him to be a warrior ahead of his time. It allows the ready to understand why it is that even on the brink of war Aric remains undeterred. The reader gets the opportunity to see that Aric is not always pig-headed and that some of his decisions have been ingrained into him by his parents. His father was the best sword smith in Dacia, a man who prides himself on his roots, instilling into young Aric that he should never forget where he came from. He enforced that amidst all the confusion and that it is of utmost importance that Aric remain true to himself. It is now in the present that an old friend and ally appears to test the Aric’s character, as he challenges the very lesson that his Aric was taught by his father. Sure Dacia may be on the brink of war as a result of Aric’s actions and decisions, but fighting is all Aric knows. He prefers to let his fists do the talking and decision-making.
Baumann does an extraordinary job of colouring this issue. The flashback in the opening creates a beautiful 4th Century world that you actually wish you could live in, even if only for a day. Lee Garbett does a great job on character expressions, you find yourself becoming the young Aric as you view Dacia through his youthful eyes. The father and son interaction is made believable as the pictures flow so naturally from panel to panel, really drawing the reader to pay attention to what Aric’s father teaches his son. Even though this issue is completely different to #16, as it features no energy bursts or major explosions, the art remains clean, expressive and spectacular.
Even though X-O Manowar #17 hardly contains any action scenes whatsoever, especially if you compare it to #16, it creates the perfect setup for what lies ahead. But this just goes to show that even without violence, action and gore, X-O Manowar is still a well put together read. This current run of X-O Manowar showcases some exceptional talent and it will leave you wanting… wanting to get hold of the past issues!