Long overshadowed by other superheroes from different universes but no less beloved by hordes of dedicated fans, X-O Manowar is the central hero and flagship comic in Valiant Entertainment’s universe of superheroes.
In its first run, which began in 1992 under Valiant Comics, the series ended with an impressive 68 issues under its superhero belt of Aric of Dacia, who becomes X-O Manowar with the help of a sentient armour called Shanhara that he obtains from an evil alien race. This armour is considered one of the most powerful weapons in the universe, and thus gives Aric a wide array of superhero abilities: from traditional flight and enhanced strength to gauntlet blasts and life support. These abilities, as well as the story behind such a richly crafted and marvelously human character, have made X-O Manowar a cult favourite.
Now onto the big question: Will X-O Manowar make it to the silver screen soon? The short answer is, of course, yes. The long answer, on the other hand, is yes and the story behind getting here is even more fascinating.
The long and winding road
In the interview video, Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani shares that the original comic series came at a time when people were looking for something new and different from mainstream heroes that have become stale or “too Hollywood.” Aric’s story fit the bill perfectly – a 5th century warrior looking to overthrow the Roman Empire, but gets abducted by an alien race called the Vine and subsequently steals their most sacred relic and weapon to return to earth, only to find himself in the 21st century. It’s a story that captured the imaginations of many comic book enthusiasts, and soon became integrated with the Unity superhero team of the wider Valiant universe.
His story has been changed with two relaunches in the past – once drastically and unsuccessfully, with Acclaim Entertainment in 1996, and then again in May 2012 under Valiant Entertainment, which was more faithful to the original plot. Comic Book Resources claims that the 2012 relaunch brought the character of X-O Manowar to new heights, and is on its 54th issue as of this writing. Shamdasani explains that this epic series is very different from anything everyone’s ever seen, not just in comic books, but as well as in video games, film, and television.
An up-and-coming franchise
To many fans, the upcoming film – details of which are still under wraps – is long overdue. However, this doesn’t mean that the iconic characters and larger than life stories have stayed on print.
For instance, while the character was under Acclaim Entertainment, X-O Manowar teamed up with Marvel’s Iron Man in a video game borrowing heavily from the original Valiant comic book storyline. The game, titled Iron Man and X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal, was released in 1996 for PC, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and Game Boy.
More recently, Derek Theler donned the armour as X-O Manowar for Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe, a six-episode web series produced under Valiant Digital that was announced last year. A new game also appeared, which is featured on Lottoland which bears the X-O Manowar name, and it takes players through five chapters of fun and adventure. There are even bonus rounds related to the comics’ villains like the Vine and Commander Thrill.
As for the long awaited X-O Manowar movie, unfortunately there have been no definitive details released yet . Shamdasani only goes so far as to hint that the directors hired for the project are “mind-blowingly awesome”, but he’s tight-lipped about anything else related to the movie.
Are you excited for the new movie? What are your thoughts on X-O Manowar? Let us know in the comments below!