Written by: Matt Kindt
Art by: Ryan Bodenheim
Left for dead by a mercenary band of bounty hunters far more twisted and devious than any enemy he’s faced before, Aric of Dacia has managed to cling to life…and a thirst for revenge. Now, his campaign of retribution against those who have wronged him can begin in full force…and, when the dust settles, the alien world of Gorin will rue the day it ever brought the savage sword of X-O Manowar crashing down upon it…
Kindt has told a fantastic story throughout this current arc, a political tale filled with deceit, betrayal and intrigue. The culmination of that sublime story telling is here, in X-O Manowar #12. Kindt masterfully wraps up some of the underlying issues that Aric has been facing, his acceptance of his new role and life as well as exactly what his armour truly means to him. The exciting culmination of these realisations in the last panel leave the reader wanting more as Aric exacts his revenge on those who have betrayed him and what will he do with access to the armours ‘Full Capabilities’ and what are they?
The art work by Bodenheim is fantastic and his character work, particularly on facial features is evocative. Again looking at the final panels as Aric’s acceptance of Shannara, his armour, as agony gives way to acceptance and relief as the armour spreads across his skin, giving the impression of a living organism and the merging of two lifeforms, rather than just donning a suit of armour.
I’ve been a fan of X-O MANOWAR throughout it’s recent incarnation and whilst there’s been a variety of artists the tone has generally been kept similar, however I think the pairing of Kindt and Bodenheim, particularly in these last two issues has probably been my favourite and I can’t wait to see where Aric goes next.