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X-O Manowar Volume 1: By The Sword TP Paperback – 18 Dec 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Valiant Entertainment, LLC (18 Dec. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979640946
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979640940
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 16.5 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 320,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 100 REVIEWER on 26 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Aric is a 5th century Visigoth warrior fighting the Roman Empire who have driven his people from Dacia, their homeland (modern day Romania). During a fateful battle, he loses his father and wife thanks to his brash, immature tactics and later, while leading a rescue party, he encounters what he believes to be a Roman slave vessel only to discover it's an alien craft. The alien race - known as the Vine - abduct Aric and a number of his people, taking them to their ships to toil as slaves, cultivating their holy plants. And it's here that Aric discovers Shanhara, the legendary sentient X-O Manowar armour, one of the most powerful weapons in the universe, that has rejected everyone who has tried to wear it. Everyone - until it chooses Aric to bond with. Now after years of torture at the hands of alien overlords, suddenly the boot is on the other foot and Aric is one angry dude with one hell of a weapon to exact his revenge! But then Aric returns to Earth to make a shocking discovery...

This was the first series in Valiant's 2012 re-launch and is definitely my favourite of the titles I've read so far. I didn't read Valiant back in the 1990s so can't compare this one to the original series, but as it's a total reboot of the series, new readers needn't worry about jumping on with Book 1 - they start Aric's story all over again. This is also my first Robert Venditti book and I'm really impressed with his writing - the story could go a completely different direction under the stewardship of a less talented writer but Venditti's ideas and writing style have made X-O Manowar a hugely enjoyable read and a master-class in comics writing.
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Format: Paperback
This comic is an amazing adventure! I highly recommend it for fans of sweeping epics. The simplest summary is "what if Spartacus was brought into modern times and given Iron Man's suit." That sounds awesome, right? But the comic is waaay better than that simple explanation. Aric is a warrior, a Visgoth, in the year 402, trying to keep the Romans from killing his people and stealing more land. Aric's uncle is the king, and during the battle that opens the comic, Aric ignores his king's order to retreat, a move that gets Aric's father killed and leaves their camp open to a Roman attack, where they steal many Visgoth women and children. That night, it appears the Romans have followed them, so Aric leads a group to attack, only to discover strange new Roman weapons and armor. They attack and discover the armored foes bleed green blood and are bizarre creatures, spider aliens! With advanced weapons, the aliens known as the Vine easily overwhelm Aric and troops, capturing them. On the spaceship, Aric breaks free for a moment, and while trying to escape, he witnesses the greatest weapon of the Vine, Shanhara, the X-O Manowar armor! Years later, Aric will escape again and steal the XO armor, an armor that has killed every Vine alien who tried to don it. Aric returns to Earth only to discover it is the year 2012, his world gone, his country erased from the maps. And things only get better from here! Gorgeous art by Cary Nord and beautiful writing by Vendetti, XO Manowar is one of those books that just connects and keeps you glued to the page, wondering what will come next.
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By mars21 on 20 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback
As a newcomer to Valiant Comics, this volume was my first real exposure to who is arguably Valiant's most famous character. The premise of an ancient warrior who, after being kidnapped by aliens, ends up with the most powerful weapon in the universe sounds simple yet Venditti and Nord create an amazing beginning for the new relaunch of this classic character.

As presented by Venditti, Aric is a warrior and a husband, a man concerned about securing the safety and freedom of his people from Roman aggression. But then he inadvertently becomes kidnapped by the Vine, an alien race who seems to have some ulterior agenda for the human race. Along with friends and comrades, Aric becomes a slave, toiling away, all the while he remains focused and driven in escaping and returning to free his captured wife and other members of his people from the Roman hordes. Brave, stoic, and loyal as well, though Aric could have escaped on his own, he will leave no member of his tribe behind. When he acquires the X-O Manowar armor, the Vine's most treasured relic, he seizes the power to break free and return to Earth, only to find that time has literally passed him by. An indelible sense of tragedy is now apparent as Aric realizes what he has truly lost.

Nord's art is a perfect match for this story, drenched in battle and honor. The action scenes are dynamic (though a word of caution, some scenes feature graphic violence but nothing too outrageous nor gross) But Nord also excels in characterization, showing the fragility of age as the years take their toll on Aric and the other slaves. Nord captures rather well the pain and anger of Aric as he makes his plans for freedom.

At its’ heart, X-O Manowar is about a man searching for home and hearth, who will fight and rally against those who would seek to tear that away from him, a man who now possesses the greatest power in the universe and woe to those who dare to stand in his way.
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