Synopsis: Aric of Earth has been many things on the planet Gorin: farmer, war dog, general, liberator, emperor. All of which culminated into Aric being betrayed by his closest allies on the alien world. He now seeks to stop the world from falling back into chaos. The deadly bounty hunters will stop at nothing to save their reputation and claim their compensation even if it means bringing down the entire capital city. Though Aric may have been wronged, the X-O Manowar will fight for the future of this world. This battle will end, and the reason for Aric’s departure from earth will be revealed.
Review: Aric’s life has always been about struggle. We have seen this in previous runs for the character, but this saga has felt different. Never has the internal struggle felt so palpable. When this tale began, the apparent struggle was Aric not using the armor for some reason. Later, Aric begins to rely on the armor, yet it is depicted almost as an addiction. Aric has believed that the armor has brought him nothing but pain, but he still turns to it when he feels the need. Shanhara has also allowed him to leave Earth when the pain of losing a child became too much to bear. Aric has been running away from his life this entire time, and it isn’t until he faces and defeats the bounty hunters that he stops.
Issue #13 is packed with action and emotion. The ferocity of the battle scenes comes across with clear intensity, and there were some bombastic panels (Aric wielding an energy broadsword). Conversely, the flashback scenes on Earth, coupled with the status of affairs once the bounty hunters are dispatched, convey both heartbreak and hope. Aric reflecting on his former love Sana carries as much weight as him deciding to leave Schonn and Gorin behind. It is a great way to bookend an ambitious story.
I have never been disappointed with one issue of the current run of X-O, and I have no doubt that this trend will continue.