They are The Torment – and their name means death. Thought to be a legend by the extraterrestrial empire called the Vine, they have now become Earth’s violent reality. They have traveled for eons to reach us…in search of Aric of Dacia, the unstoppable X-O Manowar. How can Aric of Dacia defeat an omnipotent threat nearly as old as the universe itself? Will the X-O Manowar armor truly be our world’s salvation, just as the Vine’s myths foretold? Is this the beginning of the end for X-O Manowar…or the beginning of something bigger?
Here it is: the beginning of the end for X-O Manowar. And I gotta say, things aren’t looking too rosy for ol’ Aric Of Dacia, and while that means we could be in for an apocalyptical story, it also makes for some awesome comics.
The comic starts out with a nice bit of background information concerning the faith of the Vine, which gives the reader just enough information to hint at how dangerous a foe The Torment will prove to be, before breaking into a run that takes the characters off at a pretty breakneck pace. The frenetic pace of the comic gives you an excellent feeling of the shit hitting the fan, which is a great juxtaposition with the actions of The Torment in the first few panels of their appearance.
Valiant have made no secret that X.O. Manowar will end with issue #50, and that’s actually one of the most exciting things about this comic. Knowing a series will end as one of the most deadly foes the title character has ever faced appears leaves the reader with a genuine sense that the inevitably large death toll could very well include some characters we’ve come to know and love – including the man currently wearing the X-O Manowar armour himself.
Something else that I’ll mention: the comic that I read for this review is a pdf that Valiant kindly provided ahead of theJune 29th release date. I mention this because the publisher will be including bonus material in the polybagged print versions of the comic; there’s one of 50 different prints, or a chance you may get an original sketch from one of the many talented artists at Valiant Comics. What you’ll get is pretty much a mystery until you open the polybag, and as such we don’t have any hints as to what that’ll be yet, but the cover price of the comic itself isn’t changing so whatever bonus you get is just that: a free bonus. I also picked up a print version out of curiosity and got a .free mini print by Adam Gorham.
It’s a decent print, but I’ve heard rumblings that the mini prints can damage the comic’s front and back cover – though mine is in great shape.
Removing the print may prove tricky, because it’s attached to the inner back cover with some kind of adhesive, so I haven’t done it yet, and I may never do so. We’ll see.
If you’re a fan of X-O Manowar and you haven’t been reading his solo series, then the exclusive extras may entice you to grab the single issues. If you have been reading the solo stuff, however, this arc seems to be tying up a lot of threads that have been dangling over the past several issues – whether that ends up being the case or not, we’ll find out in the 50th issue.
Although Valiant have promised this is an all new jumping on point, that may not be strictly true seeing as how the series is coming to a close, but the Robert Venditti penned Long Live The King is going to be one hell of an ending to the series if X-O Manowar #47 is anything to go by.
Writer: Robert Venditti Pencils: Joe Bennett
Inks: Marcio Loerza Colours: Ulises Arreola
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review, but I also purchased this comic on Wednesday.