Review: X-O Manowar – Birth
The fourth series to come out from Valiant Comics in the 1990s, “X-O Manowar” mixed the barbarian archetype with the idea of a high-tech hero for “X-O Manowar.” Aric is a Visigoth, captured long ago by the spider-aliens. He finally breaks free, stealing the Manowar armor and returning to earth. But more time has passed than Aric realizes — 1600 years. He’s now in 1990s earth, as the spider-aliens stealthily invade earth by means of members of their race altered to look human.
Aric and the X-O armor seek revenge on the aliens, with few allies and less knowledge of the workings of the modern world. Valiant’s interconnected universe shows up in “X-O,” though it’s not necessary to understanding the story. Aric fights the Harbinger kids, and briefly crosses paths with Solar. A not-yet Shadowman, Jack Boniface, shows up in a New Orleans scene.
This book collects issues 0-6 of the original series, and adds a new story by Bob Layton detailing the rise of Lydia, the spider-alien running Orb Industries before Aric’s return.
Writers include Jim Shooter, Steve Englehart, Bob Layton and Jorge Gonzales.
Pencillers include Barry Windsor-Smith, Sal Velluto, Mike Leeke, Mike Manley, Steve Ditko and Joe Quesada; Layton is among the inkers.
Despite the “many hands” approach, “X-O” is thematically consistent (at least through the course of this collection), and worth a read.
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