Aric is watching his empire slip through his grasp. The Cadmiums, Azures, and Burnt continue to tear one another apart across the planet. He knows he must delegate, but he doesn’t know if he can trust anyone enough to give power.
The choice my soon be taken away, as a cadre of alien bounty hunters lands on Gorin with the intent of capturing Aric. Of course, Aric has never been one to go down without a fight.
The Cadmium Empire’s crumble in X-O Manowar has turned into an absorbing thing to watch, as Aric, though he is well-meaning, has proven ill-equipped to rule this planet of diverse and quarreling peoples. You’re presented with a hero whom you know is wrong and will likely fail, but you want him to succeed regardless on his personality and altruistic intent.
X-O Manowar #11 also brings in a lot of action and betrayal into the mix. Watching Aric not flinch for a second in the confrontation with the bounty hunters and aggressively work to bring them down is, frankly, very badass.
The bounty hunters themselves have really cool visual designs and unique personalities. The chatty first one we encounter is charming in a scummy way. The rest are intimidating adversaries worthy of Aric.
The betrayal he faces comes close to breaking him, and it is a great twist for the overall story of X-O Manowar.
While I do miss the stylings of Clayton Crain, Ryan Bodenheim brings a different aesthetic to Manowar. His work still looks quite good; it’s highly detailed, flows well, and Arin’s abilities still look awesome. There are also the impressive designs of the bounty hunters, which are unique and damn cool. Andrew Dalhouse’s color work is fairly bright, but it’s saturated in an almost oppressive way, which helps maintain the dower tone of the story.
X-O Manowar #11 is an intense and brutal read about the fall of a well-meaning leader by writer Matt Kindt. This fall continues with a fierce attack on that leader, and it’s fleshed out with a shattering betrayal and great artwork. This one gets a recommendation. Check it out.
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