Written by: Matt Kindt
Art by: Ryan Bodenheim
XO Manowar #10 is an exciting ride through the depths of space, fast paced and written to intrigue. Currently covering a prison break and an old friendship, the story is enjoyable and coherent.
With a fast paced story does come some sacrifice, perhaps a little more detail could have been given to action oriented scenes, or the fulfilment of well thought out plans.
The distribution of story amongst the plot threads was well rounded. However, perhaps because of the fast pace of the story, events happening within seemed to have a much smaller impact than was likely intended. There was no real feeling of grandness or dramatic tension, very little suspense in a story that probably needed it.
It felt rather humble, not always a bad thing, but I wonder if the writer intended it. At the same time I was surprised by how smoothly written it felt. I’m sure that there are things that could be improved, and it was a rather light read, but I can say without a doubt that I personally found it to be (in a number of ways) brilliant. The writing was well thought out and followed a proper structure, it felt natural and joyful.
Characterization was impressive, giving clear windows into the scope of each character and a little glimpse into the motivation of the protagonist of this particular issue. At the same time this issue felt introductory, and while clarity is important I hope that the writer will not sacrifice elements of intrigue and wonder (as expected in any fantasy or sci-fi book) for a perfectly clear cut experience.
This book used a highly detailed and rather unusual art style, highlighting the alien features of the characters and world particularly well. I felt that this use of art perfectly framed the atmosphere of the story, and the almost fantastical side to this adventure in outer space.
After reading this issue I found myself wanting to know more about the universe of XO Manowar. I’m really quite excited to read the next issue. In fact, I’m already hooked!