Review: ‘X-O Manowar’ #9

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X-O Manowar has consistently been at the top of my reading pile each and every month by maintaining a high level of quality. This issue marks the start of the “Planet Death” storyline that writer Robert Venditti has been building up to since issue #1, which is the showdown between Aric and The Vine.

WRITTEN BY: Robert Venditti
ART BY: Trevor Hairsine
PUBLISHER: Valiant
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: January 23rd, 2013

Everything has been leading to this. Vine Military leader Admiral Xylem wants the Manowar armor destroyed and is willing to let nothing stop him from achieving that goal. Admiral Xylem is also preparing for a Vine invasion of Earth to whipe out the humans and take back the sacred Shannara armor. Admiral Xylem dispatches his trained unit of X-O Commandos to kill Aric and readers get the bloody battle they’ve been anxiously awaiting.

Venditti has mastered the art of pacing and his work here is a prime example of how things should be done. Over the previous eight issues he has slowly peeled back the layers of this book like an onion, but the book has never slowed down even for a second.

This issue also marks the artistic debut of Trevor Hairsine who is filling in for two issues before regular artist Cary Nord returns to book. Hairsine brings a grittier style to the book than previous arcs, but his work compliments the fast paced action that Venditti is writing. Hairsine delivers some mind blowing action sequences here with his detailed line work of aliens getting cut in half looks simply awesome. The epic battle between Aric and the Vine was the best part of this issue and Hairsine’s artwork was a big part of the reason why.

It’s becoming more and more challenging to find new ways to rave about how good “X-0 Manowar” is every month. Writer Robert Venditti has plotted out a long-form road map for “X-O Manowar” and continues to execute his vision with deadly precision. Everyone should be on board with the direction Venditti is taking “X-O Manowar” and this “Planet Death” storyline is a great spot to join in on the action.

4/5 Skulls

Review by – Big J