Aric of Dacia has been through an eventful 2014 with his key role in "Armor Hunters," and it looks like 2015 will be no less exciting for Valiant Entertainment's "X-O Manowar." Courtesy of Robert Venditti and Diego Bernard, the "Dead Hand" arc will focus on a robot army sent to cleanse the universe by any means of a mystery threat -- and Aric will be forced to confront the massive army of killing machines.
"'Dead Hand' is going to take the mythology surrounding the X-O Manowar armor, and the entire Valiant Universe, in a direction not seen before," said writer Robert Venditti via press release. "As formidable as the adversaries in the series have been to date, none of them measure up to this single-minded, doomsday threat. X-O Manowar has made a habit of taking what readers expect and turning it on its head. We've challenged ourselves to do that again."
"Last summer, X-O Manowar went up against the Armor Hunters for a full-metal throwdown between Earth and alien life. Well, we won the battle, but that doesn't mean we've won the war," said Valiant Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons.Â "Somewhere out there, something colder, grimmer, and more calculating is about to come online. And it won't concede that war, even in death. An extinct world has saved a nasty treat for the Valiant U -Â something insanely effective that could only exist in the wake of their failure --Â a dead hand. Venditti's cooked up a good one, folks."
During a recent interview with CBR, Simons also teased where "X-O Manowar" is headed, with the Editor-in-Chief stating an upcoming story was "influenced by the nuclear arms race in the '80s."
"That'll be very influential as to where 'X-O' goes next. It's not a story about nuclear war, it's not a story about geopolitics or anything along those lines, but there's a concept that we all fell in love with when we were talking about it and applied it to this grand space opera. It's going to be fun, and this is what Robert Venditti has done really well on 'X-O' -- consistently changing the status quo of the character," Simons told CBR in November. "On the editorial side, it's one of the hardest things to do, to constantly make it compelling, but he's done a really masterful job. The stuff coming next is going to be the really beastly consequence of 'Armor Hunters.'"
"Dead Hand" begins in "X-O Manowar" #34 in March.