X-O Manowar Fights The Man-Bear From The Unknown In #21

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
The Cartographer final plan on Earth comes to fruition, as X-O Manowar, Atom-13, and Tagg fight through the Cartographer’s hordes hordes of humans spliced with animals and plant life. His soldiers give our heroes trouble, but it is only infuriating Aric further and further. Meanwhile, law enforcement from the Unknown arrives looking to bring the Cartographer, Atom-13, and the Brotherhood of the Atom back to the Unknown…by any means necessary.

X-O Manowar #21 cover by Kenneth Rocafort
X-O Manowar #21 cover by Kenneth Rocafort

X-O Manowar #21 is primarily a fun action issue between Aric, Atom-13, and Tagg against the Cartographer’s forces. We get to see Manowar fight against a giant man-bear, and that’s pretty damn awesome from the outset.
The Cartographer (this is my first reading experience with this particular Valiant villain) proves to be a pretty fun villain. He doesn’t show a lot of deep personality here, but he’s a fun maniacal rogue that delivers dramatic speeches. I can’t complain about that.
What is less fun is how quickly Tagg gets incapacitated, and we don’t get to see her fight for very long. She gets choked out by a person made from butterflies…which is a cool concept but a wimpy way to take out a character. Maybe we’ll get to see her do more next issue.
X-O Manowar #21 art by Juan Jose Ryp, Andrew Dalhouse, and letterer Dave Sharpe
X-O Manowar #21 art by Juan Jose Ryp, Andrew Dalhouse, and letterer Dave Sharpe

Juan Jose Ryp’s artwork phenomenal as ever. The characters’ features are given a lot of effort and attention, and Manowar and Atom-13 in particular look great as a result. The battle is impactful and cathartic as well through a mixture of good sequencing and the strong detailing. Andrew Dalhouse brings some damn good color work too, giving a distinctly darker palette to this brutal battle.
X-O Manowar #21 is another solid issue out of Matt Kindt, Juan Jose Ryp, and Andrew Dalhouse. The battle is intense and entertaining, the conflict is vague but cool, and the artwork is great. This one gets a recommendation. Check it out.
X-O Manowar #21 comes to us from writer Matt Kindt, artist Juan Jose Ryp, color artist Andrew Dalhouse, letterer Dave Sharpe, cover artist Kenneth Rocafort, and variant cover artists Alan Quah with Komikaki Studios’ Sean Lee, Jim Towe with Andrew Dalhouse, Renato Guedes, and Whilce Portacio with Raymund Lee.

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