Daily Archives: June 9, 2008

A Valiant Effort

X-O Manowar: Birth hardcover
Writers: Jim Shooter, Steve Englehart, Bob Layton & Jorge Gonzalez
Artists: Barry Windsor-Smith, Sal Velluto, Mike Manley, Mike Leeke, Steve Ditko, Joe Quesada, Bob Layton, John Holdredge, Mark Moretti, Tom Ryder, Kathryn Bolinger, Ted Halsted, Ralph Reese & Jimmy Palmiotti
Colorists: Chrysoula Artemis, Rob Ruffolo, Anthony Castrillo, Jorge Gonzalez, Paul Autio & John Cebollero
Letters: Jade, Ken Lopez & Sorah Suhng
Cover artists: Sean Chen & Bob Layton
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Price: $24.95 US/$26.95 CAN

Flashback 15 years, and Valiant Comics was riding high in the comic-book industry. It was a boom time for the business, and Valiant threw its hat into the ring at just the right time (but ultimately, at just the wrong time). Valiant is back, and to mark its return, it’s published this collection of X-O Manowar comics from 1992 and 1993. I’m not sure why Valiant Entertainment opted to turn to X-O as its coming-out party, though I suspect it might have something to do with the fact that one of the issues collected here featured early work from artist and now-Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada. (Correction: I’m told this volume was preceded by a Harbinger hardcover.) I’d never read an issue of X-O before, and I was surprised to find a truly novel and fascinating premise at the core of the storytelling. Unfortunately, the execution leaves a lot to be desired, which comes as a surprise, given some of the stalwart creative names involved in the crafting of the story. The plotting lumbers forward, often without bothering to provide key background information or logic, and the art is inconsistent at best.

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