X-O Manowar #43 kicked off a new four part story arc guest starring Valiant‘s high-tech MI-6 ninja Ninjak entitled The Kill List. After the outstanding six part epic, Exodus, the next arc has a lot to live up to. And honestly? So far it hasn’t.
That’s not to say this is a bad arc, (and with it only two issues in, there’s still time for The Kill List to kick things into gear), but it’s just not as good as the previous one. Aric Of Dacia seems to have more of a backseat role to Ninjak for most of this issue, although there’s definitely a set up for a fantastic encounter building for the conclusion of this arc, which will hopefully be more enjoyable than the first half has been so far.
But it’s without a doubt the last third of this comic that is the best part of the issue Which leads me to perhaps the most interesting thing about this issue – the conflict within the Vine themselves, and the competing – and conflicting – philosophies of the two factions of the aliens. With one side counselling war, and one side urging peace… depending on how that conflict is played out, and more specifically how Robert Venditti handles the repercussions, is where I think this arc will shine – or not.
We’re only starting to see glimpses of the two sides to each coin type of conflict that I think will play a bigger part in the following two issues, and while I may be unfairly harsh in my review X-O Manowar #44, the truth is that there is still a lot to enjoy here; whether it’s Ninjak delighting in sending a specifically direct message, or the distinct differences between the two hero’s philosophies and their methods.
It’s not the best X-O Manowar issue, but it is better than the last issue. I’m hopeful that The Kill List will end on a high note.
Writer: Robert Venditti Art: Robert Gill
Story: 8.25 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read
Valiant provided a FREE copy for review.
Also published on Graphic Policy