Sunday, May 22, 2016

X-O Manowar Annual #1

   At least once a year I feel compelled to break out my old man rant that "today's annuals aren't as good as they were when I was a kid."

   This stems from the beloved Marvel Annuals in the '60s that told epic stories (Atlantis invades New York! Dr. Doom's origin! Spider-Man fights the Sinister Six!).

   Modern annuals tend to be more like slightly larger (and more expensive) versions of regular issues.

   To their credit, the creative teams involved in the X-O Manowar Annual take a different approach, as they craft five different stories that shine a light on different corners of Aric's life and legend.

   Those stories include: a quick origin recap of the title hero; a look at Aric's brutal childhood; an ally discovers a long-hidden secret about her past; a deadly enemy joins forces with secret allies; and there's a teaser for a major story unfolding.

   The writing is strong and the art is very good, so this is definitely a strong entry in the annals of modern annuals - but it's still not up to the classic version.

   (But I am a geezer, so keep that in mind.)

Grade: B+


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