X-O Manowar #12 Review: A Tense Confrontation, Plus Bounty Hunters

X-O Manowar #12
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Writer: Matt Kindt, Artist: Ryan Bodenheim, Color Artist: Andrew Dalhouse, Letters: Dave Sharpe, Cover by: Lewis Larosa and Diego Rodriguez, Variant Covers by: Giuseppe Camuncoli and Brian Reber; Ryan Bodenheim and Andrew Dalhouse; Ariel Olivetti; Ben Oliver, Editor: Warren Simons, Assistant Editor: David Menchel, Publisher: Valiant Entertainment, Release Date: Out Now, Price: $3.99

Aric finds a way back to the capital city to find his former friends and allies mulling over what they just did to him. Before the confrontation can conclude, the bounty hunters hired by Bruto return with yet more hate and violence to unleash.

X-O Manowar #12 cover by Lewis Larosa and Diego Rodriguez
X-O Manowar #12 cover by Lewis Larosa and Diego Rodriguez

X-O Manowar is nearing its conclusion on the planet, Gorin. As such, the many Game of Thrones-esque political plot threads are coming to a head. For those familiar with Game of Thrones — and it’s hard to not at least be passingly familiar in any nation with internet — that means blood is going to spill and heads are going to roll.

For a time, X-O Manowar does fool you into believing that a peaceful solution is possible, but things get out of hand very quickly for Aric and his former allies. The tension is palpable in this comic. Between the fury Aric feels for those he used to trust and the bloodthirsty bounty hunters, this arrangement is clearly coming to a boil. The finale could only be bloody and explosive.

I don’t know why I keep returning to the word “blood” in this review. I promise I’m not a vampire.

The ending of this issue is very good. It’s a finale that leaves you energized for the next issue.

X-O Manowar #12 art by Ryan Bodenheim and Andrew Dalhouse
X-O Manowar #12 art by Ryan Bodenheim and Andrew Dalhouse

Ryan Bodenheim’s artwork really shines in this issue. When things begin to explode, the framing and style present the right mixture of understated and focused as to not leave the comic feeling too melodramatic. The most unnerving character deaths are the ones that just seem to come and go, and Bodenheim’s artwork accomplishes that in this issue.

Andrew Dalhouse’s color work is similarly restrained. It’s well balanced without leaning too far in either direction, and that fits the roll this comic needed.

X-O Manowar #12 is tense and brutal read. Aric learns of the treachery of his friends, and some of those friends are fated to fall. This one comes recommended. Check it out.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.