(“DEAD HAND” – PART 2)
Written by Robert Venditti
Art by Diego Bernard
Cover A (Overlay Wrap) by Lewis Larosa
Cover B (Wraparound) by Jorge Molina
Variant Cover by Rafa Sandoval
Variant Cover by Juan Jose Ryp
Like many issues before it this issue of X-O Manowar is mostly battle. This is juxtapositioned with smaller character arcs, focusing on people affected by the battle. One thing I really appreciate is that by showing that The Vine is not limited to just bloodthirsty conquerors it shows that the battle and its aftereffects are real for them just like any other human. Also by showing the trials and tribulations of a simple Vine family gives more context to what is happening in loam than any imagery of wide scale destruction would.
Diego Bernard is someone whom I have praised for his consistency in his art. Not this time. This will talked about in detail in the other section.
Venditti more than any other writer in Valiant stables is a master of the long game and as such nothing actually happens in this issue other than what began in the previous issue. The entire issue is some Vine escaping Loam before it is destroyed. But what I can tell is that this will read better in deluxe format editions containing three TPB worth of content.
The art although is up to the normal Diego Bernard standards in the first few pages, it’s noticeable that the art has been rushed especially in the battle scenes as those lack the details that Diego Bernard usually provides in his art. Also for this issue inker Ryan Wynn had two extra helping hands in inking. I don’t know whether it was the rushed art work responsible for it or the multiple inkers responsible for the uneven artwork.
This issue although an enjoyable read has been largely inconsequential regards to the overall story line except for the smaller character moments. But the art has been inconsistent at best and as such could not be held to the usual Valiant standard.