Review - X-O Manowar #5

Being ripped from your time and taken aboard an alien spaceship is never easy. Being granted a phenomenal suit of armor for your troubles (even if it's against your will) eases the shock a bit. Aric is mixing a little of both in X-O Manowar #5 from Valiant Comics.

X-O Manowar #5 is written by Robert Venditti, with pencils by Lee Garbett, inks by Stefano Gaudino, letters by Dave Lanphear and cover art by Mico Suayan, Philip Tan and Patrick Zircher.

It's safe to say that Aric has gotten a handle on the suit of armor and its abilities. He's come to terms with his place in the present day, still contending with multiple assailants having a go at stopping him. Needless to say it doesn't work.

Enter Ninjak. His role in this issue is brief, but it has a major impact on the storyline. Ninjak is the first opponent that can match Aric in terms of sheer combat ability. Oh and a secret about the Vine is revealed, giving them more credibility when it comes to fighting Aric on Earth.

First off, if you're not reading X-O Manowar #5 you likely don't like comics. Venditti's story so far has been evenly paced, with great bits of action interspersed throughout. Second, making Aric out to be a master warrior in the armor is done very well, building up his ego and sense of being indestructible. That's what makes Ninjak's appearance that much better.

Up to this point, just about everything has been thrown at Aric and he's harmlessly deflected it. Ninjak is the first opponent who can actually hold his own against him. Having a character like that speaks volumes about Aric as a character and the dynamic between the two is just getting started. Their rivalry will make for some great storylines in future issues.

Good writing is nothing without good art and Garbett makes sure this issue has tons of great art. Aric is constantly equipping and unequipping the armor and Garbett does a great job depicting the transformation. The battles are actually illustrated in a way that makes you think Aric might not win every battle. That is, there's a lot thrown at him, including missiles and grenades.

The series overall has been solid and the introduction of Ninjak makes it even better. Aric and Ninjak are slated for some quality battles against one another, all while the Vine continues to covet what Aric has become. The series is only getting better as it goes on and should deserve your attention.

X-O Manowar #5 is in stores now with interiors below.