Synopsis: Aric has proven his worth to the Azure generals and his men, but this does not spare him from undertaking more suicide missions. Now, Aric most use his diplomatic skillset to enter the sacred lands of Burnt tribesmen. If he missteps, it will mean the death to himself and fellow warriors, and even if he does secure safe passage, death may still await them all as they continue to hunt the Cadmium President. The odds are stacked against Aric. How long until he must rely on Shanhara, the X-O Manowar? Only time will tell, but that time may be quickly approaching.
Review: Aric has overcome many obstacles with the help of his armor, but those times are over…for the most part. This run of Manowar has been so interesting because readers are being reminded of just how much of a leader Aric of Dacia truly is. Moreover, we see him utilize his diverse skill set. As a king, Aric would have had to negotiate temporary treaties with other powers, and we see those interactions once again. Using the armor may solve his immediate problems, but Aric has to think of the long game. Plus, there is a cost to relying on Shanhara. Seeing Aric pushed to his limits, while slowly using more of the armor’s abilities, makes for a harrowing and compelling story.
Planet Gorin is gorgeous. Every landscape conjures images of the rich art of 70’s and 80’s sci-fi/fantasy covers. It gives a heightened sense of otherness. The battle on the Helio fields is an homage to Star Wars. We all know the mythos of that franchise, and it, in a way, makes this battle a mythic one. Giant mechanical monsters rain acid bombs upon Aric and his warriors. Suicide bombers descend from the heavens, reminiscent of the kamikaze pilots of WWII. These panels raise the stakes of the issue with a gorgeous carnage.
Aric is once again rising through the ranks. What could have been a stale rehash of his story appears vibrant and refreshing. Kindt & co. are crafting a wonderful space opera in the vein of Bradbury or Asimov. This book sparkles as a gem of yesteryear, but it also shines like a beacon of modern storytelling.