X-O Manowar

X-O Manowar Yearbook 1
X-O Manowar/Iron Man in Heavy Metal 1 (part 1)
Iron Man/X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal 1 (part 2)

Character Info:
X-O Manowar
Real Name: Aric of Dacia
Powers: He's got an alien X-O Manowar class battle armor. "Conan in a Can"
The armor worn in issues 0-28 is named Shanhara. The armor worn from issue 30 and on was named Pol-Bekhara.

The Series:

After the series:
All right. I must admit that I was a little confused by the final story in this series. It was kind of, well, stupid. The whole series was a vision of what's to come? Give me a break! For continuity's sake, we'll assume everything happened exactly the same way and Aric is still X-O Manowar in the year 1996. Also, apparently, Orb Industries has begun to make a return. This leads into the two issue cross-over with Iron Man from the Marvel Universe in which Orb appears to be functional.

note: The next two paragraphs summarize the events of the X-O/Iron Man cross-over. If you're not in the mood for a head ache, you can skip over them.
Two "evil-doers" named Mistress Crescendo and Augur team up with some other "evil-doers" from another universe named Arnim Zola, Baron Zemo, and the Masters of Evil. Apparently Crescendo and Zemo are collecting parts of something called the Rock of Reality (or, as it is known in Zemo's Universe, the Cosmic Cube). Once they collect all the pieces they can destroy the multi-verse (every reality). They will then reform it how they wish (does this sound like DC's Zero Hour to anybody else?). Meanwhile, X-O encounters an Iron Man look-alike who came through a portal from the Marvel Universe. X-O attacks him, but he fades away before they can figure out what's going on (they're as confused as the readers are). In the other universe, Iron Man encounters an X-O look-alike and the two team up. Together they start to head towards the bad-guys' lair. Meanwhile, Zemo tries to take control of the Cube before it's complete. Crescendo jumps in to try to stop him, but it's to late. The two of them are in the Cube's power. Just as Iron Man and the fake X-O arrive at the bad-guys' lair, the entire multi-verse is destroyed. Every reality ceases to exist. (I just hate it when that happens.)

Are you confused yet? If not, you soon will be. When the universe is rebuilt, it's a mixture of both the Valiant and Marvel Universes. This is a totally original concept that never happened in comics before! Well, if you ignore Deathmate... and Amalgam. Anyways, this reality soon fades because Zemo and Crescendo can't control the Cube. Other realities form in which Aric is Iron Man and Tony Stark is X-O Manowar. Cool, huh? Uh... no. The two... are you ready for this?... TEAM UP!!! (oh, and by the way, that fake X-O look- alike guy is no longer around. don't ask me why.) Well, they find the last piece of the Cube and go to the bad guys' lair... again. Somehow, they switch back their identities (what was the point of them switching in the first place?). They then complete the cube, beat the bad guys, and use the cube to try and fix everything. Iron Man fixes the Marvel Universe and returns just in time to be "killed" by Onslaught and started over from scratch (his punishment for being involved in this "story"). Aric fixes his world as well, but for some reason returns to 408 a.d. with the X-O armor. Thus ended what could have been a great cross-over but ended up being a head ache. How come every time characters from different comic companies meet their has to be some form of cosmic crisis involved? Anyways, there is a reason why I went over the entire cross-over. Believe it or not, this story actually led to the birth of the new Acclaim Universe.

In the new Acclaim Universe (as revealed in the Man of the Atom special) they have a book that actually came from this Valiant Universe. The book reveals that Aric and his X-O armor disappeared from the twentieth century and never returned (more on that later). He was returned to the year 408 and was still there in 410. We actually witnessed this happen in the X-O/Iron Man cross-over. X-O was not supposed to be in the past and so he caused an alternate timeline to emerge. Solar (apparently he grew bored of his star state) traveled to this alternate timeline and completely altered it from the start because he could. And so the same as it never was versions of all the Valiant characters actually exist in this new Acclaim Universe which, in a way, Aric helped to create.

And now, finally, we can continue on with normal continuity. The book that stated that X-O never returned was written in 1999. So, it can easily be said that X-O returned after the book was written. Shortly after his return, he was present at Shadowman's funeral in 1999. He eventually took a wife and continued to use the armor up until the year 2062. The Harbinger Wars were starting to speed up and Harada crushed Orb Industries and came after Aric's armor. He wanted the armor's life-prolonging capabilities. Aric seeled the command ring in the armor and sent it off into the far reaches of space. When Harada arrived, Aric lunged at him with a sword. The two struck simultaneously. Harada psionically blew Aric's head apart. Aric's sword nearly cleaved Harada in half. Aric died instantly, but Harada held himself together using all of his psionic abilities. When Aric's wife entered the room, Harada successfully transferred his mind into her body and was thus able to survive the battle.

The Same As It Never Was:
X-O Manowar vol.2 is about an electronics genius named Donovan Wylie who bonded with an alien battle armor after it's previous host, Rand Banion, was killed. The armor was U.S army property, but Wylie doesn't work for the army. So now Wylie fights for the military in the armor, but he does it on his own terms.

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