Synopsis: Rawn, a masked mercenary, has set his sights are gathering his old crew together. There is a new job to take on, and the only way to survive is to liberate his comrades from their various inescapable prisons. The first two are trapped in one of the most heavily guarded prisons in space. Although it is perilous, Rawn makes quick work of the first prison. The second requires a bit more of a group effort as a this prison is literally impossible to escape from due to a gravity well. What job could be so dangerous that Rawn has gone through such lengths? They are taking out the new emperor of planet Gorin, Aric.
Review: The makings of a great story arc seemingly come out of left field at times. X-O #10 is definitely one of those moments. Yes, it can be seen a just a set-up for what is coming, but it is done well. We are introduced to new characters and given very little information about half of them. Rawn and Hesnid are given flashbacks which are intercut with the prison breaks. These flashbacks are a great way to flesh out our mercenaries. It strengthens the bond between Rawn and Hesnid, and, more importantly, between the characters and the reader.
Drastic tonal shifts happen in issue #10. Current happenings and flashbacks feel distinct but connected. There is a strong through line the characters, ships, and structures that produce a strong sense of cohesion for world building purposes. The art stands apart from other issues, yet it fits perfectly in the kind of storytelling we expect from the series. Also, the character designs are well done. Each of the mercenaries appear bizarre, mysterious, and deadly.
It will take a deadly force to unseat Aric from power. We have seen what the mercenaries can do when freeing comrades, and it is the very definition of brutal. This ragtag bunch may be able to do the impossible.