Comic Vine Review

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X-O Manowar #14 - Planet Death, Part Four Review

4

It's the conclusion to Planet Death! Will Aric defeat the Vine?

The Good

The ending to X-O MANOWAR's first major event, Planet Death, is here. Aric, and the other slaves of Loam, take on the Vine. Who will come out on top?

First thing that really caught my eye with this issue was the layout of page one. We see half of Aric's face on the left side of the page, followed by three panels on the right of Aric giving a speech to the other slaves of Loam. This is where Cary Nord really stands out, with these non-traditional, very eye-popping pages. By far, my favorite piece was issue #11 with the history of Loam and the Vine. Throughout this issue, however, Nord uses the space on the page insanely well. I love when the negative space of larger panels get other panels laid over them. We see this a lot in this book. Page layouts by Nord are the funnest part of this book.

Continuing onward from issue #13, we get some pretty epic battle scenes here as Aric continues to take on the Vine. You'll be rooting for Aric and crew the entire time. There's a couple moments, with this issue, that you could call "water cooler moments," but the highlight of this issue is really how everything is wrapped up.

I'm really trying to keep this as spoiler free as possible, but the way Robert Venditti handled the final piece of this story is wonderful. Aside from the actual ending, how he handled Aric and the people of Loam is really satisfying. As for the ending, it wasn't an ending I was expecting, but it was an ending this book deserved. Not everything is wrapped up entirely, which I really like, and it leaves a few questions in the reader's mind, after the story comes to an end. I'm really interested to see the aftermath of all of this explored months down the line. It's a very satisfying ending to a pretty epic story line.

The Bad

This feels like a story that will read so much better as a trade, rather than an issue to issue story. Issue #14 contains some great fighting, but it's really a wrap up of the Planet Death events, so it is a bit of a weird read and the first half of this book feels like a better fit to issue #13 than anything else.

The Verdict

The end of Planet Death put a big, dumb smile on my face. This is X-O MANOWAR's first major story, and it was a memorable and extremely fun read. Venditti and Nord are doing a phenomenal job here, and what's best about this issue is while it wraps up the story, it also leaves a few things open in the future. X-O MANOWAR is a book you'd be crazy to not have on your pull list. You should literally be locked up in the nut house if you're not reading this. X-O MANOWAR is one of the few books most critics agree on. So, I'm not some crazy, bearded hermit shouting alone from the mountain tops for you to buy this book. There's lots of us up here yelling at you. You should start listening better.

Overall, I always highly recommend you read this book.

20 Comments
Posted by ptigrusmagus

Soooo buying this!!! Replaced Thunderbolts and Cable's X-Force with X-O and Eternal Warrior last week, I think I made the right choice.

Edited by NovaRichRider

X-O Manowar is a comic everyone should be reading.

Also, I like the Metroid inspired cover.

Posted by bladewolf

Glad to hear it's good! I'm waiting for it in trade, but I'll buy that the DAY it comes out.

Posted by Hawkguy

Let's just say this is going to be a great week...

Edited by Mild_Karl

I haven't kept up with XO Manowar since the end of the first arc/trade (issue 4?) due to limited funds but I'm picking this one up for the cover regardless.

Posted by Cap10nate

I'm excited to see this story conclude. It has been great so far but i am ready for Aric to be back on Earth and interacting with other Valiant characters again.

Posted by Dman1366

@ptigrusmagus: i ended up replacing: Uncanny Avengers, Team 7 (when it ended), and X-Men Legacy with: Harbingers, X-O, and Shadowman. Valiant books are so much deaper than any book DC and Marvel is writing.

Posted by hufnagel0

@mild_karl: Fa sho, all the 8-bit variants look great. As for the content, I've only read this planet death arc, but I dig it a lot. Fun action the whole way through.

Edited by DJ1107

@dman1366: I really wouldn't say valiant comics are deep. There more fun action then anything else

Edited by That60sGuy

This is NUMBER ONE on my pull list. Can't wait to read this and for the next story arc featuring Eternal Warrior. Plus the always awesome Lee Garbett is back on art!

Also you can tell @inferiorego really digs this book cos it's one of the first reviews out today. I bet Mat literally couldn't wait to get his grubby mitts on this! :)

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Damn Comixology, not up yet :- /

Posted by inferiorego

This is NUMBER ONE on my pull list. Can't wait to read this and for the next story arc featuring Eternal Warrior. Plus the always awesome Lee Garbett is back on art!

Also you can tell @inferiorego really digs this book cos it's one of the first reviews out today. I bet Mat literally couldn't wait to get his grubby mitts on this! :)

I put it up yesterday. That's how excited I was for it.

Posted by k4tzm4n

Can't wait to read this once I'm done with my reviews.

Staff Online
Posted by Cavemold

@that60sguy said:

This is NUMBER ONE on my pull list. Can't wait to read this and for the next story arc featuring Eternal Warrior. Plus the always awesome Lee Garbett is back on art!

Also you can tell @inferiorego really digs this book cos it's one of the first reviews out today. I bet Mat literally couldn't wait to get his grubby mitts on this! :)

I put it up yesterday. That's how excited I was for it.

i loved it! i somewhat agree they could fit this in issue 13, but then we wouldn't have seen the vine try commit mass genocide.

Posted by director421

X-O Manowar is another solid and exciting title in the Valiant universe. Planet Death revealed true character in Aric and completed his journey to wield and bond with Shanhara and use it to return freedom to an alien race who wanted to destroy him and his people. X-O Manowar is one of many Valiant titles that should be a must read for fans of great characters and exciting storytelling!

Posted by Cavemold
Posted by Reignmaker

I feel like Planet Death was a little bit of a missed opportunity. It wasn't bad by a long shot, but Cary Nord's art was much more up and down during this arc - almost like you could see where he got up to take a break and then didn't finish when he got back.

I also never got the sense that Aric was in any danger. It's like after Commander Trill failed to stop him in #10, the whole race of aliens were just kinda useless vs. the armor.