PREVIEW: “Hopeless” Valiantly tackles “X-O Manowar”

"X-O Manowar" issue 1 cover by ChristIan Ward

Writer: Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum, Artist: Emilio Laiso, Colourist: Ruth Redmond, Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, Cover artist: Christian Ward.

Being a long-time reader of comics. I had known of many different publishers. Valiant was one that I knew the least about. Bloodshot, Rai and X-O Manowar were series that I had seen, but not had the money or time to dedicate to delving into.

This changed with the latest issue of X-O Manowar. Coming fresh off Hopeless's attempt at writing one of my favourite characters, I wanted to give him a chance with a character I didn’t know as well. The result I must say was exponentially greater.

The fact I had no baggage of this character helps when this issue doesn’t automatically assume you’ve read every issue to date.

Hopeless manages to create a comical whimsy with a fish out of water character who wants to do the best for the world which he has been forced into. The character of Aric gets help with his sentient armour "Shanhara" to adapt to modern life, as when the armour helps the 4th century prince discover how to play basketball. Yet, also with nuances that things aren’t always black and white.

This first issue is a fresh take on a hero that’s been around for a while, yet manages to keep a new reader to the series intrigued. I can see the quick wit between Aric and his AI being a good comedy break from any truly hard storylines that can be pushed with a character like this. Hopeless seems to have great chemistry with a character that’s wholesome.

Emilio Laiso’s art looks truly heroic in some spectacular panels which pop as the AI comes to life. The colours by Ruth Redmond really help the art contrast as we get some vibrant reds, greens, and oranges.

Overall, this is a great issue one which can without a doubt help new readers get to know the character, without too much exposition to upset any of the hardcore traditionalists.


First Appearance: X-O Manowar #1 (1992)

X-O Manowar is on sale from March 25, 2020 from your local comic shop, Comixology or other online sites.

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