X-O Manowar #14 (Valiant)
This has to be one of the BEST covers of the year!!! I also love that the art inside is now back up to a gold standard. The last several issues, the art had been pretty sub par. I’m happy to say, every panel of this issue looks beautiful.
Aric returns to Earth, just in time for the Harbinger Wars 2 Event that starts next month. We don’t know where the battle lines are drawn but I’m willing to bet that LiveWire and Capshaw are on alternate sides here, both vying for X-O’s to join their side. We also get to see how the armor has grown in character too. I like that the armor can now speak, it makes for more character depth as the armor really is another aspect of the X-O character. You should definitely pick this one up!!!
Saga #51 (Image)
This starts out as more of an in between issue for our characters. We get to see daily events pass as they wait for the reporters to come through on the identity changes for Robot and his kid. Yet, don’t think it is all just normal life playing out. We lose a character in this book and I’m willing to bet there will be some major fallout in the next issue. Saga is still one of the BEST books out there and you can’t help but to be moved by these complex and interesting characters every month. Pick it up!!!
Saga #50 (Image)
I can state with 100% authority that Saga is my favorite monthly book to read. This issue starts out with… sex. Specifically Marko going to town down under on Alana. Hey, it’s date night!!! They discuss whether they should really run or if they should take the reporters deal for a new life. They know they have to run run though because both Alana and Hazel would never be able to stay satisfied with staying on one planet for the rest of their life while in hiding. Meanwhile Robot and his son are handing over the political intrigue to the reporters so they can take the deal and get a new life, hidden from King Robot. Hazel takes in some practice fighting and magic time and is disappointed that the “family” is splitting up and she blames Robot for taking the deal. Robot’s son is planning on doing what “all adults do when they get into trouble… runaway.”
The quality of this book is like no other. On the one hand, I WANT more every month but on the other, I wouldn’t want to hurt the quality of the book by having more rushed out. These characters really have become as close to real as characters can get from the page. This book is simply amazing. Pick it up and pick up the entire series. It is worth it!!!
Spawn #284 (Image)
My second favorite read of every month is Spawn. This issue is CREEPY. The art is wonderfully horrifying too. We the reader don’t know what Spawn’s plan is right now but in this issue, he allows the police/government to capture him. Though, they can’t get his mask off, take X-rays of him, or identify him in anyway. So the police fly off the handle and beat him when he refuses to answer questions. With no pulse, and not moving, they take him down to the morgue to be autopsied and have his mask cut off. The last panel is of the saw getting closer to the mask. What a way to end on a cliffhanger and leave me wanting more!!!
X-O Manowar #13 (Valiant)SMDH… It’s the same rudimentary art from the last issue. None of the beautiful paintings or sweeping scenes that this series started with. And the really bad part… This doesn’t explain how the armor broke free of the force field in the last issue. It makes the stand alone bounty hunter issue completely worthless because it wraps up their story in a much too easy way. It wraps up the entire series 1 – 13 to date with a tidy bow even offering up the reason why Aric left Earth in a couple of panels. It’s like, they had to wrap it up quick and neat and do it as fast as possible in this last issue before Aric heads back to Earth for the coming Harbinger Wars 2. It even goes through several panels dedicated to wrapping up all of the politics of the world that Aric failed to rule when he was on the throne. Everything is pretty damn perfect there now.
This second volume of X-O Manowar started off promising but over the last several months completely went off the rails. The last several issues (since that wasted bounty hunter set up) have felt scattered and now completely rushed. Why can’t we have a better artist for this too??? The art looks like it would fit better on the Sunday newspaper comics panels. It just doesn’t live up to the art that this book started off with.
We’ll see how the next book goes. I’ve been waiting for this next one (issue #14) just because the cover art looks so damn good, but if the interior art is more of the same and the story doesn’t quickly move to something interesting… I may end up dropping it. We will see…
Spawn #283 (Image)
Another month another excellent Spawn cover and beautiful interior art. In this issue, Al and Cyan are returning from Japan, where things didn’t go so well, as far as protecting Cyan was concerned. We also get to see some new powers that Cyan can use. Is it just me or does a spin off book or series starring Cyan seem to be making more and more sense now?
To protect Cyan from the evil that wants her, Spawn comes up with a new idea, one that requires him to kidnap a rapper, who seems to be part of that evil, and then get publicly linked to him via pictures and every social media known to man. I’m not sure what the overall plan is but color me intrigued!!! Also, the return of an all new Violator is coming next issue, so this promises to be an interesting direction. Spawn is by far my favorite book right now. The quality of art, occult horror story, and reality (the way dialogue is spoken) based dialogue make it such an interesting book to follow. I’d encourage anyone who likes adult based comics to get on board!!!
X-O Manowar #12 (Valiant)
X-O Manowar recently has been… “Damn look at the awesome cover art!!!” Then open the book and … “Oh… well this is somewhat regular.” Issue #12 is no different there. I’m really underwhelmed by the inside art and layouts. We start out with a naked Aric by a pond who is set upon by some stragglers. There’s a fight, he takes their clothes. Then he sets out to confront the council who deposed him. Meanwhile, there are panels of the bounty hunter group discussing what to do with the X-O Manowar armor, followed by one of them wanting to try it on, which is yet again another retread of what happens when someone not suited for the armor tries it on. When Aric confronts the council, Bruto gets the drop on him after the bounty hunters show up. All but one on the council is struck down and then Aric welcomes the armor back to him as a second skin. There are no panels to show the armor escaping the containment field it was in, or flying to the council room, or even a hint of how it got there.
The best way for me to describe this issue is “janky.” I get the feeling that the bounty hunters will be disposed of in the next two issues which really makes that bounty hunter origin issue a complete waste of time. This second volume started out really well but has since dropped off with the current story. Like I said in an earlier posting, Valiant is spinning wheels in prep for the Harbinger War 2 event and as such the monthly’s are suffering for it.
Saga #49 (Image)
I can’t review this yet because I’m not caught up with my past reading but issue #49 of this excellent series came out today and this series is a no-brainer to pick up because it so damn good!!!