X-O Manowar #1
The book opens in the middle of the action. We see Aric, a savage human fighting a bunch of spiderlike aliens ... naked. He makes his way to the armory where he finds a suit of armor. Passing it up at first as being to small to protect him, he passes it up.
In a moment of desperation and need, he grabs the Armors key ( a ring ) and puts it on. The armor surrounds him, and he easily dispatches his foes. He makes his escape from what we find out is a spaceship in Earths orbit.
When he lands he discards the armor and takes up residents at a near by village. At first he looks upon them with mistrust, but ends up living there and falling for a young woman. After some time away, he returns to find that the aliens had been there, and they killed everyone in the village.
Aric gets a message, that the aliens want the ring. They are in New York, and they want him to deliver it. Promising vengance, he uses the ring to find the armor.
His travels takes him through a south American town. There he is attacked by the spider aliens. After the battle, he meets Ken, a homosexual man, who takes an interest in the naked Aric. Ken brings Aric back to his house and cleans him up.
Joining Aric on his trip they take a plane to New York. When they get off the plane, Ken tries to warn Aric of an attack. Apparently, Ken was at first an agent for the aliens. Yet Arics friendship turned him. During the attack, Ken loses his left hand.
As the battle grows worse for Aric, he hears a voice in his hand, a voice that is seemingly calling to the Armor. At the last second, the X-O Armor arrives, and Aric is able to defeat his enemies. Knowing his armor will protect him, Aric Gathers his wounded friend hoping to save his life.
There is not a lot of characterization in our Hero. He does not change in the least from page one to twenty two, yet maybe this is a bit much to ask considering it is only part one. We do get to meet an interesting character in Ken however. I would like to find out how he came to be in the services of the Spider Aliens.
Bob Layton draws a pretty good book, yet a couple of times characters faces change in dramatic ways from panel to panel. I can't say the story is exactly gripping. However it is able to hold interest on a slight level. I would like to see where it goes, and I hope to see some solid improvements.