Sunday, January 11, 2015

XO Man-O-War #14 and #15 (Classic Valiant)

Turok is a Native American Indian warrior displaced from time, who spends his days hunting evil bionic dinosaurs in South America. Meanwhile, in America, business head and wielder of the alien XO armour Aric Dacia is informed by a subsidiary of his company Orb Enterprises that they've found dinosaur DNA specimens, and ones that are only a couple of weeks old. Having once been bitten in half by one, Aric understands the terrible threat the dinosaurs can pose, and sets out to find the source of this DNA, and in his hunt, he finds Turok. The two team up, and become the most formidable bionisaur hunters on the planet...

Issue's #14 and #15 of XO Man-O-War are really two separate stories, but are linked by the presence of guest starring Valiant character Turok, and a carryover from his series-Cybernetic dinosaurs. These two stories aren't bad, but they're nothing all that special either.

These issues don't really do a good job at promoting Turok, Dinosaur Hunter, as they're both rather boring, with no plot besides 'kill dinosaurs'. If Turok's own series is more of the same (which as I've read some, I know it is), then I'm really not interested.

The two leads carry these stories decently enough, but neither are all that well-characterised, but come the end, their bond of brotherhood is pretty endearing, though it's undercut by how alike the characters are to each-other. As both are time-displaced warriors in the modern world, they're too similar, in my opinion. Although Turok's at least more likeable than Aric.

There are a few stupid moments in the stories, like when Turok asks about what's written in a newspaper, as he 'can't read'. What?! He was taught multiple languages by Mothergod, as well as extensive knowledge of the modern world (hence why he was flung to the present, unlike Aric, who was sent back to 408 A.D. when the Lost and was destroyed). Not only is he well familiar with the modern world, but he can damn well read!

There's one annoying moment when Aric refers to Turok as a 'red one'. He's about as red as your narration boxes, Aric, you racist prick!

The artwork here is very different to the series' regular style, as it's trying to resemble the art in Turok, Dinosaur Hunter. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen to be particularly good art, and the same goes for it here. Characters are overmuscled, chins are misshapen and pointy, everything's very grittily drawn, and faces are sometimes very off. At times, Turok's poorly drawn lips make him look like a recovered burn victim!

The covers are meh. Issue #14's is a bit chaotic, and the scale of size between XO and Turok might be off. #15's cover is better drawn, but there's too little action on it, and XO and Turok are too far off in the background, in my opinion.

One thing I have to laud this comic for it its use of untranslated Spanish in one scene. It seems to have been written by either someone who did their research, or who knew their Spanish.

If you're gonna read one of these issues, you might as well not read the other, as they hit the same notes (though #15 is slightly better).

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