Gilad stands in Aric's way of the crown to lead his Visigoth people in new Dacia, which is actually Romania. Their history is explored a bit more and there's a bit of one on one fighting here.
Once again, this is another issue of extremely strong dialogue from writer Robert Venditti. He is doing a fantastic job with developing this relationship between Eternal Warrior and X-O Manowar. The dialogue is natural and very gripping. You'll be on the edge of your seat as these two characters discuss Aric's future and the future of his people.
Readers will get to see a bit more of their history together, as they're treated to a scene of Gilad training Aric in the rain. The lessons Gilad teaches there translates well into current events. Once again, it's really awesome to see what many see the hero of this story (Aric) look like more the antagonist than anything else. He's hard-headed and set in his wars. He thinks he deserves to be king in a world that no longer has them.
The art team on this book is amazing. Lee Garbett (pencils), Stefano Gaudiano (inks), and Moose Baumann do a stellar job. One of the opening pages of this issue is this great looking piece of Aric charging into battle in the past. Everything about this panel is fantastic, from the colors to the inks to the little details like the rain falling. While this may be more of a dialogue heavy issue, this creative team tells the story, visually, beautifully through the emotion in these characters faces to their body language.
The reveal page is awesome. It's been something X-O MANOWAR fans have been waiting for. No spoils here, but fans will be super-excited for the next issue.
There's a few cases of disappearing backgrounds in this issue. At times, it's a nice highlight to the scene, where the reader is really focused on a singular piece of action, but it gets used to a point where it loses its purpose.
It's a lot like the last issue, with some history sprinkled in. All-in-all, it's still great but more of the same from issue #15. This will read much better and more fluidly in trade, since both of these issues really flow well together, but separate, it feels repetitive.
X-O MANOWAR continues to deliver some of the most entertaining story telling in comic books. It's a fun mixture of the more traditional comics that so many people are used to and a little something different: month to month awesomeness. This is all building up to UNITY and it's just getting more an more exciting. The creative team here is dynamite, and if you're not reading X-O MANOWAR, you're insane... point blank. Overall, I highly recommend this issue.