If I have any regret as a comic reader, it’s that I have only sporadic experience with the Valiant Universe. Keeping up with Marvel and DC alone is a full-time job these days, much less any other shared comic book universes. But with the X-O Manowar relaunch, Valiant has never offered an easier or more attractive jumping-on point. And anyone who gives this relaunch a shot is bound to be sucked into the saga of Aric of Dacia.
The new creative team (writer Matt Kindt and artist Tomas Giorello) craft a very inviting and approachable first issue. The past 51 issues of X-O Manowar barely matter, as this series picks up with Aric living a quiet life as a farmer on an alien world and trying to leave his troubled past and sentient armor behind. But naturally, fate has other plans in store. There’s a whiff of Old Man Logan about this series, as the battle-scarred, retired hero finds himself reluctantly drawn back into his old life. And while there’s an element of mystery surrounding Aric’s decision to move off-world, the focus is almost entirely on what comes next.