Four Letter Nerd

4LN Comic Review – 4001 A.D.: X-O Manowar

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Series: 4001 A.D.: X-O Manowar
Writer: Robert Venditti
Art: Clayton Henry, with Brian Reber on Colors
Color Art: Brian Reber with Andrew Dalhouse
Publisher: Valiant Comics

Summary from Comixology: “ROCKETING OUT OF THE PAGES OF 4001 A.D…the present and future of Valiant’s #1 hero come together for an essential standalone chapter at the heart of the summer’s blockbuster comics event!

How did the rise of Earth’s most powerful hero lead to humanity’s ultimate destruction? Just what was the War of the X-O Manowars…and how did its catastrophic fallout bring ruination and despair to a besieged planet? And why is the sacred extraterrestrial armor called Shanhara the one weapon Father fears more than any other?

The answers to the pivotal questions behind Valiant’s planet-shaking summer event arrive here as New York Times best-selling writer Robert Venditti (BOOK OF DEATH) and acclaimed artist Clayton Henry (IVAR, TIMEWALKER) blast two thousand years into the future of the Valiant Universe to reveal the never-before-told history of New Japan’s dominion over Earth…and the doomed role that the X-O Manowar armor was forever fated to play in the coming war for liberation!”

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Last week Valiant kicked off it’s much anticipated summer event, and the first issue was fantastic.  In his 4001 A.D. #1 review, my fellow 4LN writer Stephen Andrew said, “Valiant is the archetype for modern comic events,” and he’s absolutely spot on.   As with BOOK OF DEATH, last year’s event, 4001 A.D. will have four one-shots that show how some of their most popular characters are affected by the events in 4001.  The first one-shot focuses on how X-O Manowar’s legacy leads to a pivotal moment in last weeks issue (which I won’t spoil here in case you have let your self down by not reading it yet).

4001 A.D.: X-O MANOWAR was a great read made all the better by Robert Venditti’s terrific writing. It features everything from giant mech-suits to terrifying AI, or, as I liked to call it, damn good sci-fi.  Despite not being dialog heavy, this one-shot manages to fit in a LOT of setup into the previously mentioned pivotal moment of 4001. A.D. and the ending is just superb, in an unsettling sort of way.  I also enjoyed Clayton Henry’s artwork on this issue.  His art style is very clean, with some pretty great angles, and helps lighten the tone of what otherwise would have been an even more ominous story.

The Rai universe is fascinating, but it is so far ahead in the timeline that I jump at any chance to glimpse the world in between around now and, you know, 4001.  I am also not one to turn down some sweet, sci-fi action.  Plus, Robert Venditti just gets it.  He’s been in the Valiant universe longer than anyone, and his grasp of the content is prevalent in pretty much every book he writes for the company.

So far, we are only two issues into Valiant’s summer event, and it’s already been a hell of a ride.  We don’t generally give out star ratings, but this book is definitely a ★★★★★ issue.  Check out the preview below, and head out to your local comic shop this Wednesday and pick one up for yourself.

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Cam Clark

Cam is a husband, father, and a fan of many things. In college, he wrote his senior thesis on Mythological, Philosophical, and Theological Themes in Star Wars, and now spends his days causally specializing in Star Wars, Tolkien, and cubical work. No relation to Bill Clark.

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