Thursday, June 14, 2018

Mini X-O Lost In Space

One moment I was kicking back on the Millennium Falcon.
The next, I wake up in space.
Without astral coordinates, Shanhara cannot return me to the Planet Gorin.
Or Earth for that matter!
Can you believe Han Solo drugged and dumped me?
What a scoundrel!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Mini X-O And Han Solo

Say Han, that was some game, 'eh?
No! For the last time, I didn't have any cards up my sleeve!
Don't worry, I won't take the Falcon away from you forever.
All I wanted was this last trip to Gorin.
It's a beautiful planet, filled with exotic and interesting people. You'll like it.
And as long as you don't try to take over the government, and proclaim yourself Emperor, everyone there will like you too.

Oh, by the way: Senator Palpatine, I've got my eye on you...

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Mini X-O and Catspaw

Look, there goes Scotty now!
Shall I ask him?
I'm sure he'll free Gemini IV for us if I ask nicely.
Wait! I can't reach the ship! It's encased in a forcefield!!

I'll be it's Sylvia and Korob, up to their old tricks again. 
Damn their transmuter!!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Mini X-O Goes Gemini

Look, it's the Gemini IV!
As it's a two-seater, would anyone like to fly it with me?
First, there's just one problem we've got to overcome.
How do we free it from Scotty's whale-cage of transparent aluminum?

Monday, March 12, 2018

Volume 4: X-O Manowar Issue #5

X-O Manowar: Volume 4 Issue #5
Cover A by Lewis Larosa

X-O Manowar: Volume 4 Issue #5
Published: July 2017

Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Doug Braithwaite
Colorist: Diego Rodriguez
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Assistant Editor: Charlotte Greenbaum
Editor: Warren Simons 

Title: General
Summary: Aric of Dacia (and Urth) leads the Azure infantry in an assault on Mariner City. Amid buildings floating on water and air, they fight the Cadmium troops, including some genetically engineered Elites. Aric captures the Cadmium President, but then decides to let his troops kill him. 

In the aftermath, the Azure Emperor summons Aric. Given the understanding Aric forged with the Burnt, he gives Aric a new task. Harried by a mysterious war machine, the Burnt are leaving their wastelands, and taxing the resources of Azure cities. The Emperor wants the Burnt to leave Azure cities, and return to their assigned lands, or he will wipe them out.

Aric visits the Burnt. Their leaders speak of the three traditional factions of the Planet Gorin, and how Aric has helped strip the Cadmiums of their power. Now the Azure, who have killed thousands to gain power, wish to destroy the Burnt. The Burnt King shows Aric a floating tower that brings destruction and death wherever it goes. He believes it is under the command of the Azure. The King does not wish for his people to be virtually wiped out, as has happened to the Cadmiums. 

Aric chooses to the believe the Burnt King. He decides to use the X-O armor to unravel the web of lies and deceit on Planet Gorin. His only hope of being a man of peace seems to lie down a path of cutting the cancer out of this planet's peoples, leaving only those who wish to live in peace, like Schon, alive.

Observation: This is a dark chapter in Aric's life. It's easy to see how someone tired of war would be willing to kill anyone and everyone who would oppose peace. Likewise, when everyone else seems intent on fighting, it's easy to believe that you ought to be in sole charge of the situation. As no one else is willing to work together, it is time you took command, and forced them to do as you saw fit.

Aric of Dacia has had quite a journey, from 4th Century Visigoth, to 21st Century hero. Along the way, Shanhara, the sentient armor, has educated him in modern ways. Yet on the Planet Gorin, Aric forgets his understanding of human history, and how the Romans oppressed his own people (along with everyone else). Instead of fighting for freedom, he is following the dark path of Julius Caesar (and all the dictators who followed him), who transformed Rome from a republic into an empire. 

Watch out, Aric! We all know what happened to Julius Caesar, don't we?

Dragon Dave

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Volume 4: X-O Manowar Issue #4

Volume 4: X-O Manowar Issue #4
Cover A by Lewis Larosa & Brian Reber

Volume 4: X-O Manowar Issue #4
Published: June 2017

Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Doug Braithwaite
Colorist: Diego Rodriguez
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Assistant Editors: Charlotte Greenbaum & Robert Meyers
Editor: Warren Simons

Title: General
Synopsis: Aric leads his strike team to a desert wasteland ruled by the Burnt. These people have been persecuted and used by both the Azure and the Cadmium races. Aric humbly asks permission to pass through their lands so he can capture the Cadmium President, who fled the Capitol when the Azure army conquered the city. Although he is not inclined to trust anyone outside his own people, he is swayed by Aric's humility and assurances.

Aric's team captures a party of miners in the Helio fields. After he captures their mining machines, one of the miners lets slip the location of the Cadmium President. They find him in a hidden bunker. As they prepare to return, the team notices suicide gliders heading their way. Despite his instructions otherwise, the ring he forged from the X-O armor protects Aric amid the eruptions in the Helio fields caused by the suicide glider attack.

When he returns to his camp, the Azurian General explains that once they learned he had captured the Cadmium President, the suicide gliders were sent to ensure victory. Under no circumstances could the Azure risk the President escaping their party. Once again, the Azure army leadership demonstrates that the achievement of its goals is all that matters.

Observation: On reading this story a second time, I am once more struck by the similarities in the conflicts on Planet Gorin and the recent conflict in Iraq. The three warring tribes, the valuable natural resources of the Helio fields, the high level of distrust of others, and the willingness to win at any price, should resonate with anyone who watched the events of "war of liberation" and "the rebuilding of Iraq" unfold. It would be interesting to talk with American soldiers who fought in that conflict, and compare Matt Kindt's story with their observations and experiences.

Two World War II films last year were won Oscars this week. Perhaps I'm wrong, and Matt Kindt isn't using X-O Manowar to talk about Iraq. But people still write stories about the war in Iraq, as they do about any conflict that wreaks death, destruction, and misery on an unimaginable scale. And, sadly, they always will.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Volume 4: X-O Manowar Issue #3

X-O Manowar Volume 4: Issue #3
Cover B by Kenneth Rocafort

Volume 4: X-O Manowar Issue #3
Published: May 2017

Writer: Matt Kindt
Artists: Tomas Giorello, David Mack, and Zu Orzu
Colorist: Diego Rodriguez
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Assistant Editors: Charlotte Greenbaum and Robert Meyers
Editor: Warren Simons

Title: Soldier
Synopsis: Aric and his strike team have accomplished their mission of lowering the Cadmium city's shields, and have taken the tower to disrupt the link with the spaceships in orbit. At this point, they are ideally located to capture the Cadmium president and end the war. Instead, the Azure Captain who sent him on this mission decides to bombard the city with heavy weaponry, and the Cadmium president escapes. 

After the battle, Aric and the Azure Captain take their grievances to their General. The blue-skinned General congratulates them both, but agrees that they cannot have dissension in the ranks. So he promotes Aric to Captain, and ends the other's military career, shall we say, rather abruptly. That evening, Aric consults with Shanhara through the ring he fashioned from a small part of the sentient armor. Shanhara points out that trouble doesn't find him, nor does Aric use the armor to flee his problems. When trouble comes, he uses the armor to confront it. He is a warrior, destined to never know a life of peace. He must reconcile himself with that.