The summer of 2012 is widely regarded as “The Summer of Valiant”, the four comics (X-O, Harbinger, Bloodshot, and Archer & Armstrong) they released from May to August took the comic world by storm. X-O Manowar, being the first to hit carried the heaviest burden. Valiant had been gone a long time, and even with all the previews and press releases people still wondered if a bunch of titles from the 90′s could really find an audience. With 42,000* copies ordered in March (for the July release) things looked pretty damn good. To put that into perspective they had a 35th place rank for the month, right smack dab in between Captain America #9 and Fantastic Four #604! Now it’s very rare for a non-Marvel, non-DC book to maintain those kind of numbers and considering Valiant released four new titles in four months you know the book wasn’t going to stay up that high. The good news for Valiant is that X-O has maintained a spot in the to 150′s since that initial release comfortably nestled in a group of Dark Horse and Image books.
So what’s next for this book? Well now we come to the meat. Starting with issue #9 we see the “Prelude to Planet Death” storyline begins. Here’s the blurb from Valiant:
The Vine invasion fleet has finally reached Earth, and they aren’t leaving until they reclaim their sacred X-O Manowar armor. Standing in their path is Aric of Dacia, the first human to ever wield the armor’s power. But the armor is capable of so much more than even Aric knows and he’ll face adversaries old and new in his battle to save humanity from extinction. The war begins here!
Next up… X-O Manowar #10
With the Vine invasion fleet waiting in orbit, Aric of Dacia is forced into the one battle he never wanted, against the strongest, most horrifying opponent he’s ever faced. This adversary doesn’t want the X-O Manowar armor. It doesn’t want Earth. It only wants Aric – dead. The winner will hold the fate of everyone – human and Vine – in the palm of his hand.
And now… Without further ado…
X-O Manowar #11 PLANET DEATH – Part 1 (of 4) - the FIRST ISSUE of the most ambitious X-O Manowar storyline of all time! Written by New York Times best-selling author Robert Venditti (The Surrogates) and illustrated by Eisner Award-winning artist Cary Nord (Conan), the invasion is finally here – and X-O Manowar is the invader!
And here’s a six page preview!(click image to enlarge)
Looks freaking gorgeous! Nord has really outdone himself, I can’t wait to see these finished.
Check out these cover Valiant’s releasing, all three are beautiful…
And before I leave you to wonder how I could be cruel enough to show you these books, that aren’t coming out for a few months I’d like to include some of Valiant’s press release about the series and its upcoming new arc…
“Aric of Dacia, a 4th century Visigoth armed with the universe’s most powerful weapon, is all that stands between the Earth and all-out annihilation at the hands of the alien race that abducted him from his own time. Now, the day of Aric’s reckoning has finally come. As his Visigoth forefathers sacked Rome, Aric will take the battle directly to his oppressors on the Vine homeworld of Loam. He will decimate their armies, he will level their cities – and he will not stop until the whole of their empire is reduced to ash. This is PLANET DEATH!”
“X-O Manowar is a soldier at heart, and he knows from his years on the battlefield that the best defense is a powerful offense,” said Executive Editor Warren Simons. “The only chance he has to protect the fate of humanity is to take the battle directly to the Vine’s doorstep and stop their alien empire from spreading further.”* Editor’s note: All sales figures were compiled from www.icv2.com, citations available upon request