I remember reading a couple issues of X-O MANOWAR in the 90s. I can't say I recall too much about the character except he eventually went on to star in a notoriously bad video game with Iron Man. Now that Valiant Comics has returned, they are ready to bring back one of their most popular characters. You'll find that this story goes back to the beginning. In fact, I forgot that the story begins during 402 A.D. I was under the impression that this was a futuristic sci-fi story. But being patient, you can enjoy the harsh battles set during this time period.
The nice thing about this is we are seeing the story unfold. They could have easily had us jump right in with some guy wearing the armor and let the action begin. Knowing that there is a background to the characters and a history before gives everything a stronger feel.
Cary Nord's art is what you'd expect if you've seen it before. There are some battles between the Visigoths and the Romans and they are as grand and epic as you would hope. While I was impressed with it all, I kept wondering if I was somehow reading the right comic. But it all makes sense as you continue through the issue.
The art and action were great but there were times the colors felt like they were too much. During the battles, there were some flaming attacks and in order to depict that, it ended up with a lot of yellow and orange on the page. Yes, this is a comic book but there are times when the colors are too bright, especially when there should be a gritty feel, that it pulls you out of the action a little. I have the same problems when it comes to sci-fi stories. As the action shifts to the X-O armor, hopefully it won't be as much of a problem.
The story is setting everything up. I mentioned how this was a good thing but those looking for pure X-O Manowar action might be a little disappointed.
I have vague recollections of X-O Manowar. I wasn't the biggest fan of the character but was happy to hear Valiant was bringing him back. This issue is the perfect jumping on point. We're seeing everything from the beginning. The story starts off as a surprise, set in the past during a Roman battle. The art and pacing serve the story well and it was enough to win me over. I wasn't sure if I could become invested in this series but I do want to see what happens next. This is just the beginning and if the action here is any indication of what's to come, it's going to be even crazier once the character is fully established.