Wednesday, January 14, 2015
XO Man-O-War #26 (Classic Valiant)
After multiple setbacks and embarrassments, the Carboni crime family intends to regain their reputation by bombing a skyscrape belonging to Orb Enterprises during a company party. Carboni's agent successfully drugs Aric Dacia, Orb's head, and wielder of the alien XO armour, and with him out of the picture, it's up to his mistrusted associate Ken to help Aric and save the day...
Issue #26 of XO Man-O-War is purportedly a character issue, focusing specifically on Ken, however it doesn't focus nearly as much on that aspect as it should, as a mob revenge story has been railroaded in, so aside from a couple of scenes, we don't get a whole lot with Ken. We don't even see much of his reaction to having a new arm at the end, because the story wraps up so quickly! Not enough attention is brought to Ken now being a more trusted ally of Aric's.
This conclusion to Ken's character arc is hollow, as he sold Randy out in Issue #21, and had little problem wanting to betray Aric in Issue #18 to #20! The guy hasn't mended his treacherous ways or wormlike cowardice a single iota, yet the series rewards him regardless.
The mob plot here is pretty dumb. Just killing one guy is something the mafia always do, but blowing up a whole skyscraper?! They're gonna attract so much police attention that come next morning, the Carboni crime family won't exist anymore!
Aric has little presence his issue, coming across as boring. In regards to Ken, this issue does the unthinkable and actually makes him a somewhat likeable character! He still has zero place in the series, but he's not annoying! As for the villains, they're all dull, and Benito Carboni is especially annoying! And to think I though he was being written out-of-character in Issue #17! Well that portrayal is nothing compared to how contrary he acts here!
The art here is decent, while the cover is not so good. It shows barely anything, lacks a background, and is a total non-sequitur!
All in all, this issue is just more proof of why we shouldn't give a crap about the character of Ken...