I’ll be honest with you: I wanted to like this issue much more than I did. X-O Manowar is always one of my most anticipated titles each month, but the past two issues – indeed the entire Kill List story, really – just haven’t grabbed me in the way I was with the previous arc. The tension of the last arc hasn’t been as present (yet) with the current story line, but while this issue may not have been as good as the previous few, I get the feeling that it signals a change of pace for the current story arc.
And that, honestly, makes this a bit more tricky to critique than previous issues in this series. I’ve already said that X-O Manowar #45 is not quite as good as some of the recent issues in Valiant‘s armoured hero’s series, but to put that in context it’d be like saying somebody giving you $5 isn’t as good as somebody giving you $50; both are better than a kick in arse, but one is preferrable. X-O Manowar #45 isn’t a bad comic, but at the same time it’s not brilliant either.
This is a transition issue, and while it will probably be an important chapter in The Kill List once it’s all said and done, as an individual comic it’s a slower pace than we’ve seen before, which not only makes sense considering the events within the comic, but isn’t entirely unwelcome; this is definitely the calm before the inevitable shit storm that’s been hinted at throughout this arc, and as a set up piece it works pretty well, but it didn’t leave my jaw on the floor (and to be fair I may have inflated expectations of the series after Exodus, which was one of my favourite arcs of last year).
In conclusion: not the best X-O Manowar issue but when it comes to being a part of a whole, this may be the fulcrum the story hinges on.
Writer: Robert Venditti Art: Robert Gill
Story: 8.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read
Valiant provided a FREE copy for review.
Also published on Graphic Policy