X-O MANOWAR is awesome. It's a great super-hero book that's easy to jump-on to that is developing an exciting new world. The issue, from start to finish, is a lot of fun, and we get to learn a bit more about The Vine and their plans for the planet.
We get a few great action sequences in this issue. Now, they may not have been as awesome as the last issue (no grenades to the gut here) but we get to see how Manowar does up against someone who can actually fight, Ninjak. It's a great battle between these two characters here. They seemed pretty evenly matched, which is the complete opposite from last month's issue where Manowar just killed everyone with no problem at all.
Ninjak is a truly cool character. Ninjas may be over done, as well as assassins, and we've seen a lot of this in comic books over the past ten years, but Ninjak feels right here. Plus, I love how he integrates advanced technology into bag of tricks. It's a mixture of what we all used to love about ninjas with the awesomeness that is technology.
My favorite part of this issue is the over-looming doom headed X-O Manowar's way. I love the Vine, and I especially love they have human agents. I enjoy the numerous scenes over the past few issues of these human agents interacting with the Vine as well.
Writer Robert Venditti has done an amazing job with this book so far. He's got tons of brutal scenes for the action fans all while developing this full world complete with numerous, well-written characters. The story flows seamlessly, and it will leave you wanting more.
I did not like the inks on this issue. It seemed a bit shaky throughout the whole book. Sometimes, it looks great, and other times it's a bit of a mess. There's one point of the issue where Manowar is fighting Ninjak and the ink lines look crisp and clean, and on the very next page, it looks like someone else inked it because the lines aren't very straight and the heavy inks don't match the page prior.
While all of Valiant's revamped books are great, X-O MANOWAR stands out above the rest, barely beating out ARCHER & ARMSTRONG. While this issue may not be the best jumping on point, it's still pretty new reader friendly. This issue was a ton of fun and filled with great sequences of action as well as fantastic story development.
My only problem with this issue was that the inking wasn't consistent, and I felt it was just ok. It didn't live up to the pencils or writing here.
Overall, an incredibly solid issue that I recommend you check out.