X-O Manowar is a staple of Valiant Comics – Originally created in 1992 by Writter Jim Shooter (former Marvel editor in chief) and artist Bob Layton. Aric Of Dacia has been a huge part of Valiant publications ever since even making an appearance in Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe show and the Valiant deckbuilding game. He was a key player in “The Summer Of Valiant” relaunch in 2012 and had an ongoing series written by Robert Venditti which came to an end at issue 50 December last year. 

This week we’re set to see the start of a new series for Aric, written by Matt Kindt.  It’s almost impossible to talk about Valiant Comics without mentioning Kindt as he’s worked on Ninjak, Divinity, The Valiant, Rai to name a few. Without a doubt Kindt is pretty prolific right now and he clearly knows the Valiant universe better than most, so what should readers expect from the new X-O Manowar? and what do you need to know before picking it up?

The Background.xo

Aric Of Dacia is the heir to the throne of the Visigoth people, and raised under the rule of the oppressive Roman Empire in fifth century Europe. Aric has only ever known war, constantly battling against Rome until a worse threat came along, the alien race known as the Vine.

During this Vine invasion Aric finds himself and the Visigoth abducted by their new enemies and dragged into the depths of space to be slaves to the Vine, with no chance of escape…

Years later Aric does escape and goes on to lead a resistance against his captors  In the process liberating their most powerful relic, the sentient X-O Manowar armour. As the first living being to survive bonding with the armour Aric turned the Vine’s greatest weapon against them, narrowly making his escape back to Earth.  The X-O Manowar armour gives him powers to rival that of Superman including  enhanced strength, speed, reflexes, invulnerability, healing process and flight to name a few. 

When Aric returns to Earth he learns that due to time dilation an unbelievable 1,600 years has passed since he was taken from his home. Leaving him stranded in the 21st century.

 Centuries ago the Vine sent covert agents to Earth. With Aric’s return they are awaken and cause all kinds of problems even coercing fellow Valiant Ninjak to take him out… Without giving too much away, Ninjak and Aric go on to join forces and eventually find themselves as members of Unity (Valiant’s answer to the Avengers /JLA). 

The Future.XO2017_001_COVER-A_LAROSA
So what lies ahead for Aric Of Dacia and the new X-O Manowar series?

Well we know that backing up New York Times best-seller Matt Kindt (Grass Kings, Ether) will be artists Tomas Giorello (4001 A.D., Bloodshot Reborn), Doug Braithwaite (Justice, Bloodshot USA) Clayton Crain (Rai, Carnage) and Mico Suayan (Bloodshot Reborn, Moon Knight). Which is nothing short of a formidable group working on the book.

We also know that part one of the series is titled simply “Soldier” which will serve as a three issue introduction to the character, promising to launch Aric back to the far side of the galaxy and into a brutal new tale.

We’re going to catch up with Aric, who has a new life as a farmer on a primitive world, ties to his past severed, along with the violence that had previously surrounded him.  Not to mention a new found freedom from the X-O Manowar armour he stole so long ago.

Naturally “Aric the Farmer” wouldn’t be the most likely story-arc for our hero, and fortunately for us chaos isn’t far behind Aric. Who’ll soon find himself conscripted into an alien army and forced to take part in someone else’s war once again. He’ll have to embrace the power of the armour once again and use it to destroy armies, decimate empires and overcome intergalactic warfare, rising through the ranks of this alien army as he does. Giving them the exact weapon they wanted.

Each subsequent mini-series has already been set with release dates and the names Soldier, General, Emperor and Visigoth.
We’ve got some pretty high hopes for the new X-O Manowar series and we can only hope our expectations are lived up to! Issue 1 is out today let us know what you think in the comments below.