By Todd Allen
After announcing a book for Free Comic Book Day and a lot of teasing, the relaunched Valiant has announced its first title. X-O Manowar is launching on May 2nd. That’s actually the Wednesday BEFORE Free Comic Book Day.
X-O’s high concept is, roughly stated, Conan in Iron Man’s suit. Essentially, a Visigoth warrior/barbarian is abducted by aliens and ends up with the aliens’ most advanced weapon in the universe suit of armor. It’s also been a popular concept a couple times around, particularly during the first Valiant run. Between the two previous Valiant launches, here’s a quick partial list of creators who’ve worked on X-O: Jim Shooter, Steve Englehart, Barry Windsor-Smith, Bob Layton, Bart Sears, Jackson Guice, Mark Waid, Dwayne McDuffie and Scot Eaton. Which is to say, “no pressure.”
Who’s on the relaunch? The writer is Robert Venditti, best known for the “Surrogates” graphic novels over at Top Shelf. The artist is Cary Nord, probably best known for his work on Conan at Dark Horse. Did I mention Venditti wrote an issue of Iron Man: Iron Protocols? Hmm… an Iron Man writer and a Conan artist on X-O Manowar.
Comic Book Resources has an interview with Vendetti and Valiant Editor Warren Simons (who I seem to recall having been an Iron Man editor, to continue the theme). The short version is X-O Manowar was never broken, so they’re not planning on fixing it. However, Vendetti intends to flesh out the back stories involved and go a little deeper into the alien religion.
Bloodshot and Harbinger are announced to be in the FCBD comic, so figure those announcements will be coming up shortly. My money would be on Bloodshot being next. That leaves a few more properties up in the air, notably Shadowman, Ninjak and Quantum & Woody. File under developing…
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.