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90s Flashback
Review for X-O Manowar: Birth nn-A

Hard Cover by Valiant Entertainment, Jan 2008

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June 24, 2008

90s Flashback

This is a collection of X-O Manowar #0-6 with a new 10 page story. I actually read these issues about six years ago and I think I enjoyed it more in its original format. I don't know if the idea of a 6th century Visigoth in 20th century New York with the most powerful alien suit of armor ever just didn't work as well the second time around, or if the technical flaws in this hardcover edition ruined the fun.

At first, I thought it was just a case of bad lettering in the original comics. However, a page-to-page comparison shows that for this edition, Valiant Entertainment chose to shrink the panels to the point where the lettering now butts into the panel's border. Additionally, they've noticeably cut off the tops and bottoms of many splash pages. Finally, a big draw of these editions is supposed to be the recoloring by the original colorists. Sadly, the changes are too subtle to make any impact.

But for all those complaints, there is a lot of good too. The art from Joe Quesada and Steve Ditko, #0 and #6, respectively, is outstanding. And there really is something refreshing (or is it just nostalgia kicking in?) about the shared universe that Valiant did so well and Valiant Entertainment is honoring by releasing these hardcovers. The first hardcover was Harbinger, a team of super powered kids fighting the good fight. No one would be lost reading X-O without that, but when the kids show up in the fourth chapter here, it adds a wonderful extra layer. B-
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