With issues 15 and 16 of Valiant's "X-O Manowar," time-tossed Visigoth Aric of of Dacia returns to Earth after taking the battle to the aliens that took his hand and enslaved his people. While we don't yet know how things went on the other end of known space, it's left the X-O armor-bearer feeling a little homesick. Unfortunately, his home disappeared some 1600 years ago, so he might need to take over a new one--and that's going to put him up against Gilad Anni-Padda, the Eternal Warrior.
Writer Robert Venditti agreed to answer a few questions about "X-O Manowar's" next big event, and what it means to have a guy in an alien murder suit go up against an immortal badass.
MTV Geek: Aric’s a conqueror and he’s gone into space to do what a conqueror does to his enemies. Where is his head when he returns to Earth?
Robert Venditti: It’s been nonstop for Aric since he landed on Earth back in issue #3. As Valiant Executive Editor Warren Simons likes to say, we’ve “dropped him into a blender.” When Aric returns to Earth post-Planet Death, he’ll be looking to settle down a bit. Of course, before he does that, he has to find a place to hang his helmet. In the 5th Century that Aric grew up in, people went about finding a home much differently than they do today. Let’sjust say real estate agents won’t be involved...
Geek: Tell us a little about the two fighters on the ticket: in one corner, we have a ticked-off Visigoth with visions of ruling Western Europe. On the other, an immortal with centuries of battle planning.
Venditti: The two men are completely different from each other in virtually every aspect of their character, but they also share a unique history. Aric is a man out of time, snatched from 402 A.D. and dropped off in the year 2012. Gilad can relate, having lived during Aric’s day. The difference is he has also lived every day since. Gilad has witnessed the evolution of mankind across the centuries, and more than anything, that’s what sets him apart. He has wisdom and a macro-view of Earth that Aric lacks.
MTV Geek: Both Aric and Gilad are dangerously headstrong men—has that made them greater friends or enemies in the past?
Venditti: That’s a huge part of the conflict driving issues 15 and 16. Aric and Gilad have a very specific history with each other, one that’s vastly different from what was done in the original Valiant Universe. This is something we’ve been working toward since Gilad’s cameo in the first issue of "X-O Manowar."
MTV Geek: Is this, to any degree, an attempt to “ground” Aric after months of space adventure?
Venditti: You could say that. I’ve always envisioned Aric as primarily an Earth-based character. For someone with his unique background and circumstances, the world is just as “cosmic” as space would be to a character who has lived his entire live in the modern day. There are plenty of places on Earth that Aric still needs to get acquainted with.
Geek: To what extent will the current Geomancer figure into things?
Venditti: What’s a Geomancer? Can Aric punch it?
Issue #15 of "X-O Manowar" will be on shelves in July.