X-O Manowar #17

Writer: Matt Kindt
Artists: Trevor Hairsine, Ryan Bodenheim
Inker: Brian Thies
Colourists: Diego Rodriguez, Andrew Dalhouse
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Publisher: Valiant

Review by Josh Rose

This has been a long road to Rome for Aric. Then again, it is a long walk from what is now Romania to the city of Rome. X-O Manowar #17 finally sees Aric of Dacia meet Sabas, the slave who followed his dreams. After escaping angry Venetians, Aric and Sabas travel to Rome where they go their separate ways. As Aric explores the city searching for his friend’s brother, he finds himself reunited with Sabas and awaiting their turn to fight in the gladiator ring.

Stories are important. Especially histories and dreams. As Shanhara is retelling Aric’s past to him, Sabas is telling young Aric about his dreams. It’s a story within a story. And the idea of stories itself has been a popular trope in some of Matt Kindt’s work. This has been a character study of Aric of Dacia long before he was abducted by the Vine and acquired the X-O Manowar armour. I’m curious to see what lessons modern era Aric will learn from examining his past.

Trevor Hairsine and Ryan Bodenheim’s pencils are so eye grabbing; they’re a pleasure to look at. The first page right off the bat draws your eyes to the center with Aric diving deep into the water to escape an angry mob. And I love how dark and moody Brian Thies makes this issue. But it’s Diego Rodriguez and Andrew Dalhouse’s colours that seal in the beauty of this book–particularly the oranges and blues from underneath the water on the first page and when a bunch of Roman Centurions are floating after a shipwreck.

The Verdict: Buy It.

This story arc hasn’t been as particularly fast paced or action packed as Kindt’s first few arcs on the character. But it hasn’t been the least bit boring either. X-O Manowar #17 is another log on the slow burn that is the barbarians story before the explosive finale.

Josh Rose
Basically a hobbit, Josh is always enjoying food and drink, and going on unexpected adventures. Beware if you see him without a cup of coffee: caffeination deprivation makes this boy go loco.

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