I am getting back into the swing of things here on Thursday’s Valiant Effort. This week we catch up on X-O Manowar and review the series so far of Imperium. I hope it all makes sense.
X-O Manowar #31 – #34
We will be doing this inline catch up all month as I continue to get you up to speed on the whole story for each new book releasing every week from Valiant. Continuing the “Enter: Armorines” storyline, issue #31 shows us the beginning of the showdown between Philip Zahn, a businessman who has designed the Armorines armor, and Aric of Dacia, the owner of the X-O Manowar armor. Zahn has made it his life’s mission to destroy Aric. And he has taken some nasty steps to make it happen.
In issue #32, the chips are down and Aric, recovering from the detonation of his inner ear, calls on the armor to support him and help him defeat this new enemy. This battle proves that the armor is only as good as the man, as Aric rips through the secondary troops like tin foil. Zahn is a force to be reckoned with in his super armor, so Aric leads him out of the building trying to move the fight away from populated areas and protect the world he has vowed to defend. As the dust settles, with Zahn behind bars and his company turned over to his wife, Aric’s words have a deep ring of truth, “Armor does not define the warrior.”
With the Armorines safely (?) in the service of the government, Aric is free to once again be with his people and rest. Now, issue #33 shows us some important things from Aric’s past as he fought the Romans. We watch as Aric and his wife Dierdre (remember, he is married to Shaana now) stand on the outskirts of their village awaiting the arrival of the Roman legions. They are ambushed and they fight back, felling some enemies. Making a run for the village, they make it just in time. Aric awakes, back in our time, but not in his bed. The armor has grabbed him and taken him to space, to the remains of the ship temple where he first bonded with Shanhara. What mysteries await? And on the Vine homeworld, the tree where the armor first grew has bloomed again… as a mysterious shadow crosses the sun.
“Dead Hand” has been activated in issue #34 (out this week). This seems to be some fail safe should the Armor Hunters fail in their mission. This is a great jumping on point for any new readers. It is not a requirement to go back and reread the whole Armor Hunters series, while it does give you some reference, things are laid out fairly well in this issue. Aric must go to Loam, the Vine homeworld to deal with this threat. The introduction of Dead Hand is something to behold. A new villain that is not constrained by anything other than logic and the mission. Can Aric defeat this enemy and protect the world he has vowed to defend? My Rating: 4.5
Imperium #1 and #2
Toyo Harada was born the most powerful psiot on Earth. His mission was create peace, end hunger, and make a world where everyone could live together… Although his methods may not have always been moral or legal. He created his own way and forced the world along the path he designed. Harada said, “Every bridge has a toll.”
The first part of issue #1 is an interesting look into the future that Harada desperately wants to create. Peace, love, all people living together, and psiots as servants of society instead of feared and hated. This is actually a vision, a visualized goal, that Harada has given to each of the young psiots who are a part of what is left of the Harbinger Foundation. Harada drives the psiots into battle in Somalia, destroying the resistance in order to free a people from a terrible regime. This is supposed to be just an exercise of the power that Harada controls, that the psiots possess, but it is also a statement of the terrible things that Harada is willing to do, and to have others do, to get what he wants.
Issue #2 (out this week) starts us off with an ultimatum to the United Nations. No more selling of arms by the super powers to any conflict zones. Harada believes that this constitutes a conflict of interest. Enter the remaining members of H.A.R.D. Corps, the team of fighters working for Project Rising Spirit. Each have accepted implants that will allow them access to super human powers, one at a time, with the trade-off being a shortened life span… much shorter in some cases. They have been sent, covertly, to do whatever they can to thwart Harada’s plans.
Gravedog, the current leader of the H.A.R.D. Corps team believes there is a traitor among their group, so he plans an elaborate sting operation. The spy has been feeding data to Harada and it must stop. But, the truth may not be quite what you were expecting. Joshua Dysart and Doug Braithwaite have created a beautiful series of intrigue, action, and super powers. Very exciting so far and I can’t wait for more. My Rating: 4.5/5
That’s it for this week. Great stuff and more to come. So, now for the good stuff. I have some awesome goodies sent to me by the folks at Valiant Entertainment and I want to give them away to you… Well, really, I want to keep them for myself, but that wouldn’t be right.
I have two great X-O Manowar comics up for grabs this week. The first item is X-O Manowar Deluxe Edition #1. This is a beatiful collected edition hardcover of the first 14 issues of X-O Manowar. How awesome is that? For this giveaway, something simple. All you have to do is comment on this article with your vote: Name your favorite Valiant Universe character. Only characters from the new Valiant U will qualify. If you comment, I will count you into our drawing and you could win this awesome book.
The next level of this giveaway really relies on you, the fans, to share the crap out of this article. If we hit 200 likes on this article, I will giveaway another amazing Valiant comic. Take a look for yourself!
That’s right! I have an X-O Manowar #0 Gold edition to give away to one lucky person. So, remember, share the article, comment your favorite New Valiant U character, and, you could win the hardcover deluxe edition AND, if we reach 200 likes, someone else can win the gold edition. Easy, right?
Now the boring stuff: Winners will be drawn randomly from all valid entries. Only valid for mailing addresses in the continental United States (sorry foreign fans). If you have any questions, you can email me at email@example.com. Contest will be open until the next installment of Thursday’s Valiant Effort is published, so enter before next week Thursday. Good luck!
P.S. – Observant fans may also notice the two other hot items that I have to giveaway with next weeks article…