Eisner nominated writer Matt Kindt (Valiant’s Dept H and Mind MGMT) recently sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss the upcoming relaunch of X-O Manowar, a series that has long been a staple in the Valiant Entertainment line.
X-O Manowar, otherwise know as Aric of Dacia, first appeared in 1992 in the first X-O Manowar # 1. He was created by Bob Layton and Jim Shooter and, all told, the character has successfully sold over eight million copies worldwide.
The book will launch on March 22nd, 2017 and will be written by Matt Kindt with interior artwork by artist Tomas Giorello. Lasting a full year, the series will feature cover art by Lewis LaRosa, Mico Suayan, J.G. Jones, Kenneth Rockafort and others. The first arc will last 3 issues and is entitled “Soldier”. Giorello will complete the line art for that arc and issues four and six will be done by Doug Braithwaite.
About the creative team line-up, Valiant Editor-In-Chief Warren Simons said; “Tomas Giorello is starting the series for us with the first arc of issues 1-3, “Soldier.” Tomas is one of the finest artists working in comics today. When the first pages came in, I just replied to Tomas with laughter because they were so genius. Issues 4-6 is Doug Braithwaite. He’s a fantastic storyteller, the kind of artist you can give a 15-panel page to, and he’ll bring it back perfect. That’s the “General” arc where we see Aric begin to rise through the ranks in the army, and starts dealing with politics a little bit more. After that is issues 7-9, “Emperor,” by Clayton Crain, a digital painter. After that, we have issue 10, an interlude from Ryan Bodenheim, who puts an extraordinary level of detail on every single one of his pages. Mico Suayan is gonna finish up the year with the post-Emperor arc, “Visigoth,” issues 11-13. We’re gonna be creating a bunch of new characters and see Aric take on a group of bounty hunters. We’re pretty excited. I try not to be too hyperbolic, but we’re loading up all the guns.”
With the relaunch of Valiant Entertainment in 2012 and the “Summer of Valiant” also came a new X-O Manowar series (among others like Bloodshot, Harbinger, Archer and Armstrong). Now comes 2017’s newest volume from superstar writer Matt Kindt.
Kindt, a Eisner Award and Harvey Award nominee, has been writing Valiant titles since 2013’s “Unity” Since, he was penned the plot of Rai, Divinity, The Valiant, Ninjak, 4001 A.D. and the one-shot Book of Death: The Fall of Ninjak. His counterpart and the other half of the core creative teham, Tomas Giorello has also worked for Valiant quite a bit; his work can be seen in 4001 A.D.: War Mother, Bloodshot Reborn, 2012’s X-O Manowar and 2015’s Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior.
In the EW interview, Kindt spoke about X-O Manowar and his connection with the character; “I’ve been a fan of the character since the ‘90s and read all of Rob’s run. I was waiting for Rob to be done because I wanted a turn. The thing I love about the character is he’s sort of like a caveman in a high-tech suit of armor. That was always what appealed to me about the character, and something we haven’t tapped into a lot. That’s how I approach all my stories: What would it be like if this really happened? If this guy’s in a suit of armor, what would be the psychology of that? You have this guy who’s never seen a cell phone, let alone armor that can fly into space. I wanted to approach it that way and see what that does to a guy, sort of reboot him and bring back his roots in terms of making him a barbarian again, throwing him on an alien planet that’s more low-tech, more like the time he came from. Also, we’re making the relationship with his armor more antagonistic. Rather than being a friend of his, it’s a threat to him in a lot of ways.”
President and CEO of Valiant Entertainment, Dinesh Shamdasani also chimed in; “This is the potential of X-O Manowar. Robert Venditti did an incredible run and gave Aric a great arc, and he also teed up a number of the elements Matt is tapping into and expanding with the new series. I think fans will be excited to see where this goes because it answers a lot of questions that have largely been ignored in the history of X-O Manowar.”