Aric of Dacia survived the threat of the Armor Hunters, and now is the face of Unity, Earth’s premier super team to combat powerful threats to global peace. Nevertheless, everyone’s favorite time-displaced Visigoth can never rest easy, as machinations of a corrupt businessman eat away at the roots of Aric’s life. With this new arc serving to chart the next phase of the Valiant Universe by introducing the Armorines, I eagerly awaited X-O Manowar #30 and was rewarded for my patience.
While X-O Manowar cleans up remnants of the Armor Hunters’ invasion, world leaders meet to discuss a treaty against the proliferation of weaponry created from extra-terrestrial technology. The Manowar armor comes under scrutiny, as wealthy technologist Philip Zahn is selected by the United Nations as chief inspector of G.A.T.E.’s technology. Zahn, however, has his own prerogative: gain profit by advancing his own armor technology wielded by his personal squadron: The Armorines. With Aric and Zahn on a collision course, the Valiant Universe is sure to quake!
Series writer Robert Venditti continues the X-O Manowar storyline with excellent new plot points, character development, and concepts. In the first category, we’re introduced to the concept of extraterrestrial weapon proliferation, and all that this issue entails. By bringing in the UN, Venditti grounds the story, and answers the question as to how nations would respond if alien weaponry became accessible and, potentially, replicable. Furthermore, the character of Zahn is instantly a major force in the story: the character oozes with malice, and you can’t help but love to hate him. There are certainly challenges on the horizon for Aric and G.A.T.E., and I’m intrigued to see how the Armorines will factor into upcoming issues. My only gripe is that we saw very little of the actual Armorines in this issue, but I’m sure the next installment will more than make up for this.
Diego Bernard heads the art team for X-O Manowar #30. Bernard provides striking visuals throughout the issue, lending his personal spin to characters such as GIN-GR and providing great designs for the new Armorines. Inker Alisson Rodriguez and colorist Wil Quintana, as well as letterer extraordinaire Dave Sharpe, round out the team and strengthen the art with their own skillsets. I especially liked the coloring for Rosemary’s hair; it really popped on the page and flowed like actual hair. There’s some amazing art in this issue, and that alone is worth the price of admission.
X-O Manowar #30 kicks off the next phase of Aric’s journey, and it promises to be an interesting one. After the bombastic events of “Armor Hunters,” I wondered what could follow and how it could hold the same level of interest. This new story, featuring political intrigue and the Armorines, is perhaps even more intriguing on first glance. This issue provides an excellent place for new readers to join the story, and I urge you to pick this series up if you haven’t already. I couldn’t be more excited to see what the future holds for these characters.
-serves as a jumping-on point for new readers
-Armorines teased, but we see very little of their repertoire of skills
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