The tension continues to rise as the master of strength and the master of espionage battles it out.
XO reluctantly teams with Alexander, who is also a vine who found passion in Earth and does not want the planet destroyed by the invasion. Though Aric is not at fault for the upcoming situation, the armor that bonded him is main reason behind all of this. Alexander helped Aric to escape Ninjak, but only temporarily as he’s able to track them down. Ninjak is unable to hide due to XO’s armor sensing him and while things looked like it could get worse, they actually come together after the truth is told to Ninjak, who then shares a common enemy and moves quickly toward their destination.
They’re not the only ones being proactive as the Vine are also being trained by Commander Trill, using the Commando armor as well as the prisoners as their unfortunate target practice. The Vine priest is at odds with what’s being taken place however, Trill stands his ground, wanting his fleet to be prepared for the Shanhara armor.
The chess pieces are being set and moves are getting ready to be made. If anything, this issue is the set up for things to come and things are going to be tense. We learn more about the Vine and their motives as well as their disappointment (possible understatement) of Shanhara being bonded with Aric. There’s also more Ninjak, who should definitely have his own series.
Robert Venditti is crafting a wonderful arc together and preparing for the best in Valiant’s first event, Planet Death. The story is engaging and very easy to follow and we’re able to learn more without feeling like we’re missing some details. The interactions between the characters are natural and I can’t be the only one who loves the “extended” truce between Aric and Ninjak. The Vine continues to be a species of interest as well, despite them abducting humans for slavery and training purposes. Trill has a genuine concern for his troops and it’s known by how sincere his dialog to the priest is.
The team of Lee Garbett, Stephano Gaudiano, and Moose Bauman are carrying out the art duties behind the series. The color tones are appropriate for the set pieces and the action sequences are handled with finesse. Everything is finely detailed and did I already mention the action sequences? The skirmish between Aric and Ninjak continues to impress in this arc.
XO-Manowar will be on sale November 21, just in time before Thanksgiving. Do yourselves a favor and pick up this title. It’ll be something else you’ll be thankful for.
5 out of 5
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