X-O Manowar # 1 Dekal Cover B 2020 Valiant Dennis Hallum 1st pr John Cena Movie


SKU: 14455 Category:



PUBLISHER Valiant Entertainment LLC
WRITER Dennis Hopeless Hallum
ARTIST Emilio Laiso
32 pages, Full Color

Win the battle, lose the world. Aric of Dacia, a 5th century warrior catapulted into the modern day, has been bonded with the sentient alien armor, Shanhara. Together, they are the most powerful weapon in the world: X-O Manowar. As a mysterious new villain arises to threaten the world, will this ancient warrior evolve into the superhero we need today?

X-O Manowar #1 is Another Win for Valiant Entertainment
X-O Manowar get a fresh start in a stellar debut issue by Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum and Emilio Laiso.

X-O Manowar might be the coolest superhero in Valiant Entertainment’s pantheon. For those unfamiliar, Aric of Dacia was a Germanic warrior from the fifth century who was the rightful heir to the throne of the Visigoth people before being abducted by alien colonizers. During his captivity, Aric bonds with sentient (and insanely powerful) armor known as Shanhara, which gives the warrior prince unparalleled weaponry. X-O Manowar #1, by Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum and Emilio Laiso, revisits Aric’s origin story briefly but spends most of its time giving our hero a fresh start.

Set in the present day (1600 years after Aric obtained his armor), this debut issue stumbles out of the gate in its first few pages. The relationship between Shanhara and Aric is established through front-loaded exposition that often feels a bit too ham-fisted for its own good, but it’s also far better than seeing a splash page montage of Aric’s history. Thankfully, the narrative settles into a sweet spot as Hallum and Laiso turn their attention to a hero who is living outside the edges of society and wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s a great moment where Aric hunts for food because he refuses to use the X-O Manowar armor for personal gain.

Other than a few herky-jerky lines of dialogue early on (Shanhara’s tone and attitude are a bit all over the place at first), Hallum’s script tightens up and every subsequent line of dialogue adds another wrinkle to the story. He pivots from “tell” to “show” on a dime, and the issue is better for it.

X-O Manowar #1 is a solid debut issue and a serviceable reintroduction to the character, which would be enough to satisfy most readers. Luckily, this issue does have a bit more to offer. There’s some great character work and a wonderful “down and out” subplot for our protagonist that is familiar but well-executed.

Much like the script, from a visual standpoint, the first few pages of X-O Manowar #1 are a bit of a jumbled mess. Emilio Laiso’s page layouts are cluttered like a collage of science fiction action tropes, but the visuals settle into a fun rhythm after the issue conducts some initial housekeeping.

Once we are familiarized with Aric’s place in the world, the pages feel more cinematic. The action doesn’t come in the mind-numbing gluts it had at first. In fact, the “quieter” moments of X-O Manowar #1 might be its strongest attribute. Laiso’s character design and linework are solid, especially when Aric is depicted doing mundane tasks. Ruth Redmond’s watercolor aesthetics are also a big standout. Sometimes when this sort of color palette is used, it can be somewhat distracting from the rest of the artistry, but here it only elevates the comic’s visual quality.

While not without its faults, though few they may be, X-O Manowar #1 is another winner for Valiant. Hallum has a tight handle on the character and does a mostly admirable job of giving new readers something to latch onto. Laiso’s artwork is strong when it gives itself room to breathe, and the color palette is simply gorgeous. This is one to keep your eye on. Again, X-O Manowar has a strong track record in quality overall, and this new debut looks to keep that trend going.

In September 2016, newly formed Valiant Entertainment announced a feature film centered around Aric of Dacia / X-O Manowar. Executives of the company stated that there were notable directors attached to the project, and that the film will be true to the source material. By April of 2020, John Cena teased his involvement with the film via his social media platforms.

Is John Cena Teasing an X-O Manowar Movie?
WWE superstar John Cena has posted an image of X-O Manowar on his Instagram, possibly hinting at a future portraying the cosmic Valiant hero.

Another Valiant Entertainment hero may be making his way to the big screen, courtesy of John Cena. The WWE superstar recently posted an image of X-O Manowar to his Instagram, which shows the armored hero being attacked by a legion of miniature soldiers.

If this does turn out to be a sign of an X-O Manowar movie in the works, it would mark the third Valiant hero to get a film adaptation. The first was Vin Diesel’s Bloodshot, which debuted this February, and the second will be Harbinger, currently in development at Paramount Pictures.

Created by Jim Shooter, Steve Englehart, Bob Layton and Barry Windsor-Smith, X-O Manowar is the alter ego of Aric of Dacia, an ancient warrior who was abducted by aliens. While in space, Aric came across the X-O Manowar armor, which granted him superhuman abilities including regeneration, super strength and the ability to create energy constructs. When he returned to Earth, he learned that millennia had passed. He encountered several of Earth’s heroes and carved out a life for himself as the CEO of Orb Industries.

Cena’s post had no text to accompanying the image, so his reasons for bringing up the character are unknown. Although known first as a professional wrestler, Cena has been making his way into Hollywood, starring in projects like Bumblebee and Fast 9. Portraying a character like X-O Manowar would give him the chance to enter the superhero film game properly, and his fans would certainly love it.

Aric/X-O Manowar previously appeared in the Valiant web series Ninjak VS The Valiant Universe, portrayed by Derek Theler.

Near mint, 1st print. Bagged & Boarded.