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.
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 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.