Synopsis: Aric once again has nothing. Actually, he has worse than nothing. All of his Gorin allies turned on him like Caesar on the Senate floor. Now, his only ally is his former jailer. When he can go no lower, a roving band of bandits attack Aric. This is the moment Aric has waiting for. Dispatching the brigands is easy, but confronting his friends turned traitors is a difficult moment all of its own. Aric exposes that they too will be double crossed, and the mercenaries they hired instantly turn against them. Aric is poisoned and stabbed in the back (literally this time), and he makes a decision that he has been avoiding all along.
Review: Manowar #12 is cathartic in a lot of ways. We are reminded that Aric remains a fierce warrior regardless of whether he has the armor or not. Yes, a great deal of his strength comes from the armor, but it’s Aric’s resilience that grants him the ability to overcome his adversaries. The panels in the council room is really the moment the reader has be waiting for. Aric confronts the Gorin council, but he also confronts himself. It is there, while he is dying on the floor, he accepts who he is. Aric has been running from the armor and himself, but he realizes that he and the armor are one.
The viciousness of issue #12 is apparent. There is a something captivating about the carnage that unfolds. When one of the mercenaries takes over the armor, the sense of euphoria is unmistakable. However, Shanhara is the Holy Grail, and when you are not worthy, things go south. We see what happens when Shanhara rejects you. Conversely, the moment where Aric calls to the armor, conveys a unified Aric and Shanhara in glorious rage that borders divine.
X-O has yet to disappoint. We have witnessed the watershed moment, so you know brutality is the only thing that lies ahead.