X-O Manowar #16 (Valiant) picks up where the last issue of X-O left off with Aric debating whether to return to Earth and the armor reminding him of his past. So this issue is yet again, a flashback. Not just a flashback though, a flashback of things happening to Aric’s friend, for the bulk of it anyway. Then flashbacks that happened to him… all before he ever had the armor.
If you don’t know, X-O Manowar is a Visigoth King, taken from his home in the past by aliens called the Vine. In captivity, he found the armor they worship, which bonded to him and made him nearly invincible. When he returned to Earth, it was present time and he and his people had to learn to live in the modern world. Through all of this, X-O Manowar is like Thor in Iron Man armor: his action, strength, and excitement!!!
In this issue, he’s barely in it and writer Matt Kindt is focusing on these flashbacks which may amount to some lesson learned, but sure make for non-action packed reading. I feel like it is the “Superman Effect” in play here. I’m not sure Kindt knows how to write a nearly invincible character without resorting to separating him from the armor (he’s done that) to going internal and making the story about events that happened before the armor was in play. Whatever it is, I want to see X-O be X-O already!!!
This isn’t a good jumping on point. The art by Trevor Hairsine and inks by Brian Thies looks great but the story is just not happening right now. Hopefully, this arc will end soon and something more interesting will take place in the next arc.
On a side note… obviously, Aric returns to Earth because he is on Earth for Harbinger Wars 2. So I have no idea why this story is being told right now???