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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:42:36 pm 
Harbinger rank: Aonisaibushi
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Favorite character: XO Manowar
Favorite title: XO Manowar
Favorite writer: Matt Kindt
Favorite artist: Tomas Giorello
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First!

I went to the comic shop over lunch, and read it over lunch after actually holding off on issues 4-5 until last night so I could be fresh on the whole storyline, which was very difficult for me to do after how excited i was over issues 1-3. Part of me was nervous, as I hadn't opened the books yet and I knew that the art shifted from Tomas Giorello to Doug Braithwaite. In a lot of ways, I thought they'd lower the art quality for these issues after people were hooked on the first arc.

I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did the story keep up the frantic pace of the first 3 issues, but it started to delve into the X-O armor and Aric's relationship, Aric's relationship with Schon, the sociodynamics of the planet this storyline was set on. While the beginning showed some nice action in 1-3, this second arc is honestly strictly better from a character and world building perspective.

I love the way this is shaping up, and how Aric's excellence at war just drives him to more war, even when he tries his best to prevent it. You can feel his torture and how that continues. This arc gave me a little more about the world to care about, whereas in the first arc it was "okay, he's forced into fighting I don't care about these people but cool visuals" -- now there's definitely evil being done, and he is really the only one with the power to stand up to it. A wonderful sequence.

I love how Aric showed no mercy in #6 for the general, guilty of warmongering against very innocent lives. Aric's hardline morality of what is right and honorable show very nicely here, and he doesn't care about anyone's name or position in the least. Wonderful characterization there.

Most series start off strong and tend to get weaker at points in the arc, so far, X-O has done none of that.

Oh, and the art. I think in some of the action and with some of the designs of the aliens/constructs, Doug Braithwaite isn't quite as good as Tomas Giorello, however he makes up for that with perhaps a stronger emotional element. The facial expressions vary a bit more, I feel the emotion of the characters a little more from the general arc than I did from the soldier. Colors are nice in both and very consistent, so no complaints there. Never once did I get thrown out by the change in artist which is a pretty amazing feat, I must say.

Overall, this is a great story still. The action has slowed down a little so we could catch up on what's going on, but that's okay, as it's needed to. I have a few minor nitpicks now that we're a full 6 issues and 2 mini-arcs in:

1. Really aren't moving forward at all with the what happened and how did we get here. I get that it's hooking us first and perhaps it's a mystery, but I don't even see clues being dropped.
2. Aric doesn't want to use the armor, I get that, but in 6 here when he rushes out toward the general and all that, him not having it just seems foolish, especially since he's donning it in other instances.
3. The relationship with Schon feels false. With Aric's extreme sense of honor, I don't see him violating his vows with his prior wife. Even though he's distant and Schon is obviously wishing he'd care about her and she knows he doesn't -- I don't see why he would have gotten in bed with her in the first place. This goes back to #1 in some ways, but some internal monologue or a little something could clear this up easily, and it feels like we're cheated out of it in some ways as readers.
4. A lot of the side characters well, I wouldn't remember/know who many of them are were it not for the opening credits where it tells us who they are. I know we're steeped in Aric, but this is a slight failing of the story where aside from the very recent issues, we haven't gotten much sense of character out of any of the side characters.
5. I actually don't like the story starting on the front flap, I've decided. If they're gonna do a recap page, do it there instead of breaking the story up.

1 and 3 can be resolved with a "wait and see" and fixed later. 4 should have happened already to some extent but can get better later. 2 is a personal preference and 5 is just a layout thing... so really, despite that 10/10. I'm so invested that I'm actually running to the comic shop when it opens, which I haven't done for a book in years.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:15:06 pm 
Just jumpin' through time arcs, that's all.
Just jumpin' through time arcs, that's all.
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otomo wrote:
...5. I actually don't like the story starting on the front flap, I've decided. If they're gonna do a recap page, do it there instead of breaking the story up...


I agree, I have been loving this story!

But on your note #5, I don't know, I really enjoy kicking the story off on the first page. To me, it's like the first few minutes of a TV episode, where tension is built, then...

BAM!! XO MANOWAR #6 (theme music kicks in, the telling of little background to get you completely involved, etc.)

Then we jump into the story. To me, it's different, but seriously welcome, gives it a better feel, maybe a more important feel.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:05:26 pm 
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
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TheeBaldMoose wrote:
But on your note #5, I don't know, I really enjoy kicking the story off on the first page. To me, it's like the first few minutes of a TV episode, where tension is built, then...

BAM!!


Same for me. Give me a little taste to whet my whistle, then roll the intro credits.

So, page 4. We see the retelling of the attack on the Burnt village, a character is walking about examining the damage. We only see his feet... with talons? Who is that? :hm:

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:35:38 pm 
innerSPACE does whatever I tell them
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If anyone would like to hear our OTV:VCR podcast discussing/reviewing this issue [and War Mother #1], please follow the link;

http://onlythevaliant.com/episodes/vcr130/

Thanks to any who listen in :thumb:

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:41:28 pm 
Harbinger rank: Aonisaibushi
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Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:04:27 pm
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grendeljd wrote:
If anyone would like to hear our OTV:VCR podcast discussing/reviewing this issue [and War Mother #1], please follow the link;

http://onlythevaliant.com/episodes/vcr130/

Thanks to any who listen in :thumb:


Now that I'm finally mostly up to date and reading current, i'll subscribe :D


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:54:48 pm 
innerSPACE does whatever I tell them
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otomo wrote:
grendeljd wrote:
If anyone would like to hear our OTV:VCR podcast discussing/reviewing this issue [and War Mother #1], please follow the link;

http://onlythevaliant.com/episodes/vcr130/

Thanks to any who listen in :thumb:


Now that I'm finally mostly up to date and reading current, i'll subscribe :D

:high-five:

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:19:03 am 
You gotta have Faith!
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Another great issue and overall arc. I like the conspiracy and the mystery about the Monolith and that thing from page 4.

Nonetheless, there are a couple of hiccups (besides the usual typo):

As much as I like Doug Braithwaite's art some important details are missing, unfortunately. In the Mariner City fight scene in issue #5 Aric uses the flame spear without the ring being activated. In fact, there doesn't even seem to be a ring on his finger/glove. In this one, we see Bruto without any Cadmium pieces on his face.

At the end of issue #5 Aric said to Shanhara "you will only do what I require, when I require it" and lets her heal his arm/hand again which, I guess, is Aric immediately requiring it. In #6 someone says "your armor - it has the power of the gods." Then Aric looks at his hands and says "No. It is armor like any other! Blah blah..." :lol: Not much later, "no. my armor is unique." :lol: :lol: :lol: WTF! facepalm

In this issue the ring is activated twice - once by Shanhara to warn Aric but he wouldn't care. Okay. Another time for the flame spear/sword. Then, at the end Shanhara flies to Aric without the ring being seen activated. What is now? If it is Aric requiring the armor then we better see Aric activating the ring here. Otherwise, if it is Shanhara coming for help without being called for, it should lead to another heated discussion. In any way, when it comes to Aric and Shanhara's relationship this issue feels like a step back from the (ending of the) previous issue.

Also, what's up with manners? Can't Shanhara use the front door? :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:43:44 pm 
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TheeBaldMoose wrote:
otomo wrote:
...5. I actually don't like the story starting on the front flap, I've decided. If they're gonna do a recap page, do it there instead of breaking the story up...


I agree, I have been loving this story!

But on your note #5, I don't know, I really enjoy kicking the story off on the first page. To me, it's like the first few minutes of a TV episode, where tension is built, then...

BAM!! XO MANOWAR #6 (theme music kicks in, the telling of little background to get you completely involved, etc.)

Then we jump into the story. To me, it's different, but seriously welcome, gives it a better feel, maybe a more important feel.


I agree, I love when they do this, Hickman's been doing that for years on certain books like, Avengers and East of West, it gives the comic a cinematic feel to it.... :thumb:

Great issue btw, Aric's bout to be running *SQUEE* for real, loved how he put down the Emporer, and his squads utimatic reaction. :lol: War Time!!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:07:48 pm 
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TheeBaldMoose wrote:
otomo wrote:
...5. I actually don't like the story starting on the front flap, I've decided. If they're gonna do a recap page, do it there instead of breaking the story up...


I agree, I have been loving this story!

But on your note #5, I don't know, I really enjoy kicking the story off on the first page. To me, it's like the first few minutes of a TV episode, where tension is built, then...

BAM!! XO MANOWAR #6 (theme music kicks in, the telling of little background to get you completely involved, etc.)

Then we jump into the story. To me, it's different, but seriously welcome, gives it a better feel, maybe a more important feel.

I agree. In fact, for some reason that's a mystery to me outside the fact that I'm an uber nerd, I hear the opening theme to the Doctor Who movie in the back of my head during the initial pages:

https://youtu.be/wGch8BsduiI

The title/summary page always hits right at the 45 second mark of the theme.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:11:44 pm 
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Good issue, I'm more than ready for a large scale XO battle.

otomo wrote:
3. The relationship with Schon feels false. With Aric's extreme sense of honor, I don't see him violating his vows with his prior wife. Even though he's distant and Schon is obviously wishing he'd care about her and she knows he doesn't -- I don't see why he would have gotten in bed with her in the first place. This goes back to #1 in some ways, but some internal monologue or a little something could clear this up easily, and it feels like we're cheated out of it in some ways as readers.


I don't know, he's 1600 years old and from a dead culture. I don't see any reason to expect him to have any personal views about sex, marriage, or monogamy that would align with our modern "western values".


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:32:45 pm 
Harbinger rank: Aonisaibushi
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Favorite character: XO Manowar
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Favorite writer: Matt Kindt
Favorite artist: Tomas Giorello
tell wrote:
Good issue, I'm more than ready for a large scale XO battle.

otomo wrote:
I don't know, he's 1600 years old and from a dead culture. I don't see any reason to expect him to have any personal views about sex, marriage, or monogamy that would align with our modern "western values".


I'd agree excepting the big western wedding they made out of issue #38 of the 2012 series. Seems like they'd at least adopted some customs since it wasn't atypical for Visigoths to take brides by force, which definitely didn't happen in that issue lol


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:52:18 am 
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[quote=

At the end of issue #5 Aric said to Shanhara "you will only do what I require, when I require it" and lets her heal his arm/hand again which, I guess, is Aric immediately requiring it. In #6 someone says "your armor - it has the power of the gods." Then Aric looks at his hands and says "No. It is armor like any other! Blah blah..." :lol: Not much later, "no. my armor is unique." :lol: :lol: :lol: WTF! facepalm

[/quote]
:thumb:

Don't forget a full xo suit flying to Aric who already has pants.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:48:45 am 
You gotta have Faith!
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nonplayer wrote:
Sunlight on Snow wrote:
At the end of issue #5 Aric said to Shanhara "you will only do what I require, when I require it" and lets her heal his arm/hand again which, I guess, is Aric immediately requiring it. In #6 someone says "your armor - it has the power of the gods." Then Aric looks at his hands and says "No. It is armor like any other! Blah blah..." :lol: Not much later, "no. my armor is unique." :lol: :lol: :lol: WTF! facepalm


:thumb:

Don't forget a full xo suit flying to Aric who already has pants.

A matter of logistics! As long as Aric doesn't require the helmet another pair of pants is required to carry it. :P


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:38:20 am 
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I'm enjoying the series because X-O is a great character. Braithwaite is one of my favorites so I love his art, especially on the faces as mentioned earlier. That being said, I'm not glued to the pages like the 2012 series. It feels like I am just waiting and hanging on for something to happen that I care about. In the 2012 series the side characters are familiar and endearing. I don't have an emotional tie to anyone in the 2017 series other than Aric. (So far at least)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:47:53 pm 
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Nice to see Obelix go, never liked his look. I guess this will lead to some gritty space opera stuff.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:30:49 pm 
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otomo wrote:
tell wrote:
I don't know, he's 1600 years old and from a dead culture. I don't see any reason to expect him to have any personal views about sex, marriage, or monogamy that would align with our modern "western values".


I'd agree excepting the big western wedding they made out of issue #38 of the 2012 series. Seems like they'd at least adopted some customs since it wasn't atypical for Visigoths to take brides by force, which definitely didn't happen in that issue lol


Yes totally. Aric's assimilation into modern life strikes me as too fast and easy, at least on a personal level. He spent what 20ish years as a visigoth, 7 years as a slave and a year it two living in the modern world at this point? I guess being an alien slave will make you adaptable, and having a super intelligent suit will help you cope with the unknown, but it still seems like he'd have no real loyalty to our morality or beliefs.

Kindt is bringing him back to being a visigoth in this overall arc, maybe part of that is sexual promiscuity. Or maybe as Divinity 0 implied he got thrown through time and space. Maybe he's been there years and despite knowing he has a wife out there he's just moving on personally, he's lost his family, culture, countless friends, and in a way the armor; perhaps for him he is now more comfortable walking away from everything than a normal person. I don't really know if I believe he has been there for too terribly long though because of his confrontation with Shanhara about his wife's pregnancy.

I do think it's possible that whatever happened when divinity reset Stalinverse somehow it psychologically damaged Aric so profoundly that he is now at odds with the armor. Perhaps somehow their bond was forced apart giving him some new perspective, or just damaging him mentally. Maybe if that happened he lost all the universal insight from the Torment and now he's like an embittered dementia sufferer that just just knows enough to know he's lost something incredible, and he blames Shanhara.

I'm not really convinced of any of this, but I do think forcible splitting of the two bonded entities would explain the disappearance of his hand and the scars everywhere, that shanhara was ripped out entirely from his mind and body.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:53:50 pm 
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Now that Divinty 0 revealed that Aric out if place on Gorin I do want to throw out one half-formed theory I've considered on and off.

So Divinity is shown several times to have grown up on pulp sci-fi, the turning pages stuff from volume 1, and again in the 0 issue. Pulpy fantasy science fiction is an important element in his life and appears to still be relevant to him.

Abrams is capable of creating reality as he chooses. He then gets into a "fight" with two other gods over time, space and reality ultimately putting almost everything back the way it was. Then Aric is suddenly changed, and living on an alien world that looks like the cover of a pulp sci-fi novel from the 60s under strange circumstances. So what's to say Abrams didn't create this world, even accidentally as just a by product of his own imagination while he was busy reforming earth's history and somehow Aric got sucked into it. Maybe whatever incident that formed a wedge between Aric and Shanhara is something that never happened in our reality.

Maybe it's a bizarre fan-fiction brought to life by the imagination of a god.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:12:33 pm 
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tell wrote:
otomo wrote:
3. The relationship with Schon feels false. With Aric's extreme sense of honor, I don't see him violating his vows with his prior wife. Even though he's distant and Schon is obviously wishing he'd care about her and she knows he doesn't -- I don't see why he would have gotten in bed with her in the first place. This goes back to #1 in some ways, but some internal monologue or a little something could clear this up easily, and it feels like we're cheated out of it in some ways as readers.


I don't know, he's 1600 years old and from a dead culture. I don't see any reason to expect him to have any personal views about sex, marriage, or monogamy that would align with our modern "western values".


Without getting too deep into everyone's concepts of honor and morality, I will say (having served in Iraq and also spending years upon years with diplomats, military, and other contractors all over the world) that the concept of a "side chick" is not as uncommon as many might like to believe.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:05:53 pm 
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Another enjoyable issue from Kindt. This world building he's doing certainly is ambitious but I think he's pulling it off so far. Had to re-read issue 5 to get my head back into the story as it usually requires extra concentration to follow so many new characters in one go. Intrigued about the mysterious monolith and who is behind it :hm:

Art from Braithwaite was good but a couple of panels I couldn't figure out?? The page where he's fighting the 'ninja' type dudes and Ironside tells him to "watch out the blades are poisoned"...what's happening in the middle left hand side panel? And what's happening in the bottom left hand side panel? :?

Good issue 4/5 :thumb:


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