03/25/16 | by Marcus Orchard
| Posted in
Comic reviews, Reviews
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Robert Gill
“The Kill List,” the current arc of X-O Manowar hasn’t exactly lived up to its potential at this point. What was billed as a team-up between who are debatably Valiant’s biggest names hasn’t had as much cool action as anticipated. The arc has had some sparks of greatness, but hasn’t been able to shine as bright as the rest of the series has. Unfortunately, X-O Manowar continues to carry the flaws of the last couple of issues, but may also be a positive change in direction.
Robert Venditti should take pride in how well he writes dialogue. The few interactions between Aric and Ninjak are thoroughly entertaining and absolutely in character for both heroes. The politics involved in this issue are also interesting, especially the meeting between all of the Vine on the planet. Throughout the issue there is certainly plenty of buildup, but most of this occurs without the most entertaining characters on the panels. It mostly focuses on Commander Trill’s uprising and the implications that his actions have for both humans and the Vine.
Of course, the moments where Aric and Ninjak are incredible as expected. The characters have a great amount of chemistry, especially when fighting together, and the action is always exciting. Ninjak is full of his signature jokes while also maintaining a menacing aura. Again, these moments have been far too rare in “The Kill List,” but this issue gives off the feeling of being a transition issue. It’s likely that everything will explode in next month’s issue and X-O Manowar #45 may later be seen as an essential issue.
Robert Gill’s art is impressive as always, with all of the characters looking at their absolute best. X-O Manowar has always been a series full of style, and this issue is no different. All of the armors, whether it be Aric’s or the Armarines look fantastic in all areas, from penciling to color. The creative team also does a stellar job at giving the Vine a significant amount of life in their facial expressions. The action scenes are full of fun panels that move along fast, with limbs and blood flying in many directions without coming across as too excessive.
X-O Manowar #45 is fairly disappointing, but it also comes with hope that the arc will be going in a different direction soon. What it lacks in fun action it makes up for in stellar dialogue and decent pacing.
Story - 6.5
Characters - 8
Art - 8.3
The Kill List still drags on, but shows potential for next month