With a conspiracy tearing the Vine and Humanity’s tenuous relationship apart, Aric of Dacia takes matter into his own hands to bring peace – but at a dire cost. But when you don’t know whom to trust, you must trust yourself.
As the current four part arc, Exodus, reaches its conclusion next month, X-O Manowar #41 scribe Robert Venditti turns up the heat in this penultimate issue. With the Vine refugees that have recently landed in Nevada in a desperate attempt to seek sanctuary from the man wearing the X-O Manowar armour, and the military who had come to fend off another potential invasion, the tensions in this issue are heating up to dangerous, almost war inducing levels.
Aric Of Dacia finds himself caught in the middle between the two sides, desperately trying to enforce a truce between the people of earth and the alien race who once held him captive.
It’s an interesting position to put a character in, especially the time displaced Visigoth wearing the X-O Manowar armour. A man who has given his word that he will try to enforce a peace between the two sides, but with the way the story has progressed so far, that may prove to be harder than Aric expected. With the way that Exodus has been going, it’s certainly shaping up to have the line wide implications that Valiant have been suggesting in their solicitations.
This story has so far taken place within a relatively short period of time (maybe a few hours or a day at most as near as I can tell), with some wonderful tension building within the individual comics that has sent Exodus rushing to the inevitable conclusion. The action is certainly present, but the way in which Robert Venditti is pounding the more political nature of the encounter into the comic is, frankly, fantastic. Venditti is joined again this issue by artist Rafa Sandoval, who delivers another superb issue here; his layouts and panel design tell as much of the story as his artwork describes the scene.
This has been a fantastic story arc so far, one that has focused less on balls to the wall Micheal Bay like action, and instead focuses on a more cerebral story that has yet to rely overmuch on explosions and fight scenes (although there has been enough action over the past few issues to highlight the power wielded by Aric) which is something I’m excited about. I’m not going to say much more about the story as I always try to be mindful of just how much I’m giving away for those who are yet to read it, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the arc so far, especially the focus on the relations between humanity, the Vine, and X-O Manowar rather than three comics with nothing but mindless action.
I can’t wait to see where it ends up.
Writer: Robert Venditti Artist: Rafa Sandoval
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5
Valiant provided a FREE copy for review.
Also published on Graphic Policy.