9:00am PT by Graeme McMillan
Valiant's 'X-O Manowar' Returns for Intergalactic Battle in 2017 (Exclusive Art)
War is coming to the Valiant Universe in 2017 — and it's a war that will change one of the publisher's most well-known characters in a big way.
Launching in March, an all-new X-O Manowar series will take Valiant's high-tech barbarian hero — a Visigoth kidnapped by aliens during the era of the Roman Empire, who escaped with a suit of extra-terrestrial armor only to return to Earth during the 21st century — and place him into an intergalactic war that he doesn't even understand … but becomes determined to win, nonetheless.
The series, written by Matt Kindt, follows the recent conclusion of the fan-favorite previous volume of X-O Manowar, written by Robert Venditti, that relaunched Valiant as a publisher back in 2012. Running more than 50 issues, Venditti's reimagined take on the character, who originally debuted in 1992, was the center of Valiant's line for four years, helping lunch a number of spinoff projects including Unity and crossover event series Armor Hunters. This new series, however, is intended to be even more ambitious.
"X-O Manowar is an enduring icon with 25 years of history behind him, and the best part of this new series is that Matt Kindt has found a way to celebrate everything that has come before by going in a entirely new direction," Valiant CEO and chief creative officer Dinesh Shamdasani told The Hollywood Reporter. "Not only is this book the first in a series of major plans for Valiant in 2017, it will also be a definitive moment with longterm ramifications for what is arguably our most beloved hero. … This is Aric of Dacia, stripped down to his core as an incredibly dangerous instrument of destruction — one at war with the armor he once trusted, at war with his own troubled past, and at war, quite literally, with the whole of the alien world he has adopted as his surrogate home. Over the course of Matt’s first year, Aric’s character will not only evolve, but vast and vitally important new corners of the X-O Manowar mythology will be revealed as well. If you’ve never picked up an X-O Manowar comic — or any Valiant title — until now, this is the perfect place to jump in."
Valiant has announced the titles and artists of the first year's worth of storylines for the ongoing series. The first three issues will feature "Soldier," with art by Tomas Giorello, with the fourth through sixth issues running "General," illustrated by Doug Braithwaite. Nos. 7 through 9 are titled "Emperor," with Kindt reteaming with his Rai collaborator Clayton Crain, while No. 10 is the Ryan Bodenheim-illustrated "Interlude." The following issue sees the beginning of the "Visigoth" storyline, with art by Mico Suayan.
As has become traditional with new comic book launches, the first issue of the new X-O Manowar will come with a variety of covers, including the one seen below, by Lewis LaRosa. At the top of this post, however, is the THR-exclusive debut of J.G. Jones' "X-O Manowar Icon Variant" cover for the title. (Also below, art from Tomas Giorello for the series' first issue.)
X-O Manowar No. 1 will be released March 22 in comic book stores and digitally.