XO Manowar (Valiant Comics original 1990s)

X-O Manowar

(1990s version)

Aric Dacia is a Visigoth barbarian captured by spider aliens and enslaved aboard their starship until he steals their ultimate weapon — the X-O Manowar armor. Aric returns to Earth only to find that 1600 years have past. Now the most primitive man on the planet wields the most technologically advanced weapon in existence !


VALIANT (all caps, see ?) was one of the publishers who tried to gain a beachhead on the then-juicy super-hero comic books, during the early 1990s. Aside from that Nintendo thing we don’t talk about, they released some very interesting material starting in 1992. The driving force was Jim Shooter, a writer and former EIC at Marvel.


VALIANT (yeah, yeah, all caps) eventually collapsed in the usual round of sordid corporate backstabbing, drama and betrayals. Much later it would get resurrected, but this profile concentrate of the material of the 1990s. Namely X-O Manowar, as aptly introduced by the above blurb.

This profile covers issues 1-22 of the VH1 X-O Manowar comic and takes the events of the issue Rai #0 (of 1992 series) as canon.


  • Real Name: Aric of Dacia.
  • Marital Status: Widower.
  • Known Relatives: Rolf Dacia (father, deceased), Inga Dacia (mother, deceased), Alaric (uncle, deceased), Deidre (wife, deceased).
  • Group Affiliation: Orb Industries.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile, USA.
  • Height: 6’7” Weight: 290 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Blond

Powers & Abilities

Strength Level

Even without his armor, Aric’s physical strength borders on the superhuman. For all intents and purposes he is as physically strong as a human being can be without augmentation by Harbinger (mutant) abilities or chemical augmentation.

While utilizing his armor, Aric’s strength is augmented to superhuman levels. It allows him to lift (press) weights somewhere in the 50 to 100 ton range.


Known Superhuman Powers

None. All of Aric’s superhuman capabilities are derived from his Manowar class suit of armour.


Aric Dacia is a time-lost Visigoth barbarian, who was born and bred to be a warrior and killer of men. Although he has had no formal training, Aric has been killing men (specifically Romans) since he was 12 years old. His unpredictability on the battle field, combined with his natural strength and savagery makes Aric nearly invincible in melee combat.

Moreover, his ability to absorb and withstand punishment borders on the superhuman. Aric is fully capable of enduring wounds that would kill ordinary men and still continue battling with an unrelenting fury.

Outside of his skill in battle, Aric is proficient in wilderness survival, and a natural leader of men. Thanks to the telepathic teachings of Shanhara, has become a capable business man and industrialist.


See below for Aric’s armor.

Manowar power armor

When faced with battle, Aric wears Shanhara, a Manowar Class suit of alien body armour. It is quite possibly the most powerful weapon in the known galaxy.

Shanhara possesses a rudimentary sentience and a vast intelligence which contains centuries of knowledge that had been accumulated by the Spider Aliens. Shanhara communicates with its wearer through a telepathic link that is activated when the wearer physically wears the suit of armor.

Shanhara has been designed to obey the commands of whomever bears its control ring. It will ignore any and all other attempts to control its systems. The control ring is literally a piece of Shanhara. Due to this the armor can discern the exact location of the ring across vast (planetary) distances and vice versa.

XO Manowar (Aric Dacia) summoning his armor


The armor is made up of an unknown two overlapping layers of an unknown metallic substance. This substance is capable of withstanding extreme temperatures and intense impacts. This is allowed both by the unusual durability of its construction, and by the unique properties of the armor which allow it to absorb seemingly all forms of energy (from kinetic to electromagnetic) that are directed against it.

In addition, the metallic alloy of the armor flexes and contracts in a similar way that human muscle does, albeit with much greater force. This property allows the armor to magnify its users strength by an undefined factor. While wearing Shanhara, Aric has displayed superhuman strength sufficient to pulverize and rend concrete, wood and metal with ease.

Weapon Systems

Shanhara is equipped with a both a primary and secondary set of weapon systems. Its primary weapon system is a pair of wrist mounted ion cannons which are capable of producing 100 MGHz pulsed ion beams of incredible destructive force. These beams can be tightened to a pencil thin stream, or used as an area of effect weapon with a cone-like projection.

The armour’s secondary weapons system is a chest mounted omni-beam. It has the ability to project several different fields with varying strengths.

It can generate a defensive force field, which can deflect attacks too powerful to be absorbed by the armor. It also has the ability to generate a coherent light beam that can provide simple illumination, or a beam of such strength that it can render a being of Solar’s power into his component atoms.


Rows of sensor arrays in the helmet allow the wearer to track a variety of wave emissions. Still others are capable of isolating various types of electromagnetic emissions such as radio waves and electrical signatures. The suit is further equipped with remote sensors capable of gathering long distance intelligence.

In addition, the armor is fitted with two external scanning nodes. One is permanently mounted on the armor’s left shoulder and the other is part of an independently mobile, detachable surveillance unit.

Shanhara displays what the remote nodes capture on a heads up display projected on the helmet’s faceplate. This effectively grants the armour’s wearer a full 360 degrees of peripheral vision.


Through a combination of manipulating gravitons and opposing magnetic fields, Shanhara can achieve both sub-orbital and orbital flight. Intra-system space flight is also possible by “pushing” against the magnetic fields of the nearest celestial body (for example, the Moon).

Though Shanhara has yet to demonstrate the capability, it may be possible for the armor to attain relativistic (or near light speed) travel.

Sealed Systems

When its faceplate is in place, Shanhara becomes a sealed environment. It provides nutrition, atmosphere, and waste removal to its wearer through a clever use of its matter to energy/energy to matter capabilities.

Moreover, Shanhara can repair nearly all manner of cellular damage to its current user. The speed with which the armor does so is dependant solely upon the extent of the original damage.


Aric was born and raised a Visigoth barbarian  in the province of Dacia  sometime during the fifth century. He developed a deep rooted hatred of the Roman Empire when his parents were murdered by a pair of Roman Centurions during a raid on their village.

Though Aric was only 12 at the time of the incident, he drove his fallen father’s sword through the responsible centurion’s chest. He then embarked on a life-long quest of vengeance.

For the next nine years, Aric tore a swath through Northern Italy. He casually murdered any Romans he came across; whether they were in battle or not. Aric’s uncle Alaric, the King of the Visigoth’s, did his best to rein in his headstrong and rage fuelled nephew. But he consistently failed until Aric first encountered a young woman named Deidre.


Deidre was being held prisoner within a Roman temple. She was set to be put to death for spreading her heathen beliefs in the Irish God Lugh . Taken with Deidre’s beauty, and always pleased to disrupt any Roman plan, Aric slaughtered the priests that held Deidre and took her away from the temple.

The two were wed shortly thereafter, and Aric abandoned the Roman gods he was raised with and began to worship Lugh.

Several months passed and Deidre’s influence acted like a balm on Aric’s wounded soul. Much of the wildness left the mighty Visigoth. Instead he was able to focus his rage on specific goals and he became a valued soldier in Alaric’s army.

The Twilight Zone

One night while on night patrol, Aric stumbled across what he thought was an imperial encampment within Visigoth territory. Aric, unable to abandon his curiousity, stole into the encampment and witnessed an amazing sight.

Instead of Romans milling about, monsters from children’s stories stole amongst the tents, devouring the humans that were present within. Rage warred with the fear that threatened to overwhelm the young barbarian, and eventually won.

With a cry to Lugh, Aric charged the encampment and attacked the creatures within. His blade came down hard on the closest “demon” and split it in half. But as he turned to attack another it pointed a strange stick at him and a bright white light struck him in the head. Despite his fury, Aric fell unconscious to the ground.

When Aric awoke, he found himself forced into brutal and hard labour in space for the “Hard Skins.” Aric lost track of time while he laboured for the aliens, but his thirst for vengeance never wavered through out it all. He nourished his rage quietly, with thoughts of his absent wife and the life he left behind.


All the while, he was watched by a fellow prisoner who eventually confided in Aric that there was a way to escape. The prisoner convinced Aric, that all he need do was fight his way into a secure chamber deep within the vessel in which they were imprisoned. There he could steal the ring that controlled a mighty weapon.

After Aric eagerly agreed to the plan, the prisoner carved a map into the palm of Aric’s hand using a shard of bone he had hidden from their captors. At that point, all Aric needed to do was wait for his opportunity. It came shortly after.

When Aric was released from his cell to be fed upon by one of the demons, the entire vessel quaked. It then churned violently and distracted his jailer. Aric slew the demon with its own weapon and raced through the hallways of the vessel, following the map with desperate haste.

He finally came across the room, and found himself bathed in a queer red light. In the centre of the room, lay a blue and golden piece of metal with a small circular protrusion jutting out of its surface. Recognizing it as the ring he was sent to retrieve, Aric rushed over to the metallic object and tugged gently on the ring.

It came free with little to no effort in his hand and without a moment of hesitation he slid it onto his finger.

The Good Skin, part 1

At that moment, several of the “Hard Skins” burst into the chamber. They pointed the sticks that produced the “fire-light” at him. Without even a warning, the beams of light raced out of their weapons and towards him.

But before he could be harmed, the miraculous metal rose from the floor. It enveloped his body and protected him from the deadly light. Aric took a moment to marvel at the armor that had formed about his body, like a second skin, and decided that it was a “Good Skin” indeed.

As the “Hard Skins” continued their barrage of “fire-light,” Aric raised a gauntleted hand towards them. To his surprise the “Good Skin” spat out a torrent of “fire-light” itself which tore a hole in the chamber’s wall through which the “Hard Skins” suddenly disappeared.

The Good Skin, part 2

Wanting nothing more than to follow, Aric was suddenly surprised as the “Good Skin” propelled him through the hole as well. Aric found himself surrounded by darkness and starlight. As he floated there in the darkness, he realized that he was floating in front of an immense vessel.

More “fire-light” erupted in the darkness about him, sometimes striking him and others missing him entirely. Rage and a thirst for vengeance welled up in Aric, and he bade the “Good Skin” to bring him close to the vessel that had imprisoned him for so long.

When he reached the side, Aric unleashed more than a decade of pent up fury and tore into the metal of the vessel.

To Aric’s surprise, under the “Good Skin’s” power, the vessel burst like a soap bubble. The force of its explosion sent him tumbling towards the bright blue orb that hung in the background.

Time Traveller

Aric came to a halt when he crashed onto a snowy mountaintop in Peru. Dazed from the impact, Aric celebrated his victory and grieved briefly over the death of the Map Giver who provided him the opportunity to escape. After shrugging out of the “Good Skin,” and thanking it for bringing him home, Aric wandered south.

Aric eventually stumbled across a village whose inhabitants spoke a language that he could not comprehend. Still, they showed him a kindness he did not expect. The villagers, in particular a beautiful olive skinned woman, clothed, fed and provided Aric with shelter for several days. Then a foreign man arrived in the village in a strange unmanned contraption.

XO Manowar (Aric Dacia) against an army

The stranger offered Aric a ride into the city. Though Aric did not understand his words, he went along for the ride in the jeep. Aric was gone less than a day, when one of the villagers stumbled into the city in a near panic.

Instinctively, Aric understood something happened in the village while he was gone. He returned only to find the entirety of the village burnt to the ground, its people dead to a man.

Slaying with the alien

He found the head of the young woman, who had shown him such kindness, driven onto a spear with a strange device pinned to its hair. Aric touched the device. When he heard the alien tongue speaking his language, fury bloomed once more in his heart.

The demons had destroyed the village as a warning to him. They told him that they had taken the “Good Skin” and would continue to destroy any and all that dared to help him, unless he returned the ring to them.

Despite his barbarous nature, Aric was cunning enough to realize that the demons not only feared him, but needed the ring. And in that moment, he finally heard a tiny whisper in his head that called out to him from the North. With nothing less than fury in his heart, Aric began his long trek northward.


Several days later, Aric came upon a large city and encountered a young man who identified himself as Ken Clarkson. Aric couldn’t understand the effeminate youth, but when Ken proved capable of using the strange technology around them, Aric assumed he was a wizard.

Aric allowed Ken to clean him up. The two spent the night resting within Ken’s dwelling until the sun arose the next morning. The next morning, the two boarded a strange vessel that eventually flew through the air for a long period of time.

They came to rest in yet another city, but after realizing how close they were to the “voice,” Aric thanked Ken. After calling him “Amigo” (one of the few words he had learned while staying in the small village) attempted to leave him behind.

As he did, he noticed a flicker of emotion dance across Ken’s face. The youth suddenly attempted to pull Aric back within the strange building. Even as he did, several of the demons sprung from their places of concealment and attacked the duo.

Ken lost an arm during the conflict, and Aric was consumed in a fiery explosion. Even as the flames of the explosion began to burn him, Aric called out to the “voice” and begged it to come to him.

Reunited with the Good Skin

In that very instant, the “voice” fell silent and the “Good Skin” came rocketing from the sky. It enveloped him within its embrace and in an instant had soothed his wounds. As he rose from the flames, the demons started to flee, but Aric would not allow it.

In his rage, Aric slaughtered the demons and revelled in his returned power. He recognized his foolishness in abandoning the “Good Skin” initially, and swore to never do so again.

Aric returned for Ken, and the two set off on a journey of bloody vengeance for the next several weeks. The two never stood still for more than a day or two and constantly found themselves harried by the demons’ forces. But despite their best efforts, they could not find a way of defeating the “Good Skin.”

During this time, something else was slowly occurring. Aric seemed to be subconsciously learning about the strange and futuristic world that surrounded him. He found that when he wore the “Good Skin,” Ken’s clucking form of speech made more sense to him and he could sometimes actually comprehend his meaning.

Figuring things out

Aric eventually understood that the demons that had haunted his life for the last decade were not demons at all. Rather, they were beings from another world who had become stranded upon the Earth and were searching for a way home. And the “Good Skin” was the key to that goal.

Aric realized that the aliens would continue to hunt and chase him for as long as he possessed the “Good Skin”. This was fine for Aric as he had already resolved to exterminate their entire filthy race before he had drawn his final breath.

When Ken was eventually taken captive by the Spider-Aliens, during one of their many confrontations, Aric followed him to New York. He arrived at the Chrysler Building and found a nest of Spider Aliens within it. Utilizing the Good-Skin, Aric began to slaughter the aliens until they surrendered to him.

Follow your Orb to the warning

Confused by their actions, Aric allowed himself to be led to the offices of Orb Industries. It was there where he killed one of the aliens who had attempted to disguise himself as a human male, and yet another who identified herself as Lydia.

Lydia was outwardly a human female, but Aric knew better. Lydia surrendered and persuaded Aric to abandon the armour once more by playing up to Aric’s pride and ego. She almost had Aric fooled, but overplayed her hand when she called him by his name.

With the thought that only his god Lugh, knew his name, Aric moved in a blur and stabbed Lydia through the chest. She retreated from Aric’s wrath and he donned the “Good Skin” once more.

Once more, the armour guided his actions and after approaching a bank of computers, Aric allowed the Good Skin to patch itself into Orb Industries computer network. He easily found Ken’s location in the data, and he freed him.

The Most Powerful Man In The World

Aric spent the next few days watching Ken as the youth pieced together what the Spider-Aliens had done with Orb Industries. As it turned out, using their advanced technology and know how, they had built the massive company into a powerful multi-national corporation that served as a front for their Earth-borne operations.

Ken reasoned that with the level of secrecy that was required to keep their operations running, there was little if no real positions in the company of power that had not been held by one of the aliens themselves. With them all either dead or gone, and the capabilities of the “Good-Skin” it would be easy to wrest control of the corporation from the remaining stakeholders.

While Ken enacted his plans and slowly took over Orb industries, Aric grew bored. He began to explore his new world. He took to the streets and the large forested area, that stood tall in the centre of the city, searching for something to occupy his time.

Brave new world

Often he encountered trouble in the form of bandits, who he casually slew for entertainment. It was during this time, that Aric first encountered and made tentative alliances with Solar and Toyo Harada – two of the most powerful men in the world. Despite their power, both men feared the raw power of the “Good Skin.”

Time passed and Aric found himself comprehending more and more. But the subtle nuances of the world still evaded him. He continued his outings, during which he inevitably found trouble. After one such occasion, he returned to the offices of Orb Industries with a severed head to show Ken his accomplishments.

Disgusted and afraid of discovery, Ken began to berate Aric for his barbarism. Eventually, when he grew bored with Ken’s intelligible clucking, Aric donned the “Good-Skin” and left the Chrysler Building in frustration. He eventually found himself perched high amongst the spires that covered the skyline and waited sullenly.

When he eventually fell asleep, the “Good-Skin” filled his head with images and strange words which slowly began to coalesce into pure knowledge. After a few hours of the intense ordeal, Aric awoke and returned to the offices of Orb Industries with a new understanding of the world around him.

Make sense!

He knew that he had been a captive of the Spider-Aliens for over 16 centuries, that the Earth was round, the sun was a star around which the Earth orbited, and hundreds of other facts. The worst of which was his people, and his wife, were all dead. He would not be able to return to his old life, ever.

Distraught, Aric abandoned the “Good-Skin” and Orb Industries. This left Ken in the enviable position of being in complete control of everything. While Ken plotted Aric’s potential demise, Aric wandered the streets of the city he now recognized as New York searching for purpose.

He eventually found it in the arms of a stripper no less, when he prevented her from receiving a reprimand from the club’s owner by paying him off. With the realization that he could make things work in this strange new world, Aric decided that its weakness would make it easy for him to conquer. He decided that if he couldn’t have his own world he would rule this modern one.


It was shortly thereafter, when Aric was approached by a strange young man. He claimed he had been sent by Solar to get Aric’s help in fighting the most powerful being in existence in a strange far away land.

Aric was prepared to refuse the young lad, who was named Geoff McHenry. But the “Good Skin’s” whispers convinced him to help. Besides, the young man promised him that there would be fighting, and Aric couldn’t refuse a good fight.

With that Geoff raised Solar’s hand (literally Solar’s hand), and Aric, Geoff and the others Geoff had gathered disappeared in a flash of light. When the light faded, Aric stood in a land even stranger than the world that Aric had recently become accustomed to.

Geoff explained to Aric and the other recent arrivals, they were in a pocket dimension where all of time intersected, a so called Lost Land. In this dimension, dinosaurs roamed freely next to humanity in a constant struggle for survival.

Lost Land

It was here that the battle would take place against the immortal Erica Pierce who had renamed herself “Mother God.” Erica was a god-like being who had gained her powers in the distant past in the same accident that had created Solar.

Erica had concocted an insane plan to rewrite all of reality from within the Lost Land. It would make her the undisputed ruler of all she could see. Unfortunately for Erica, Solar discovered her plans and sent Geoff to gather enough allies to help him thwart Erica’s plans.

Aric found himself standing shoulder to shoulder with heroes from across all of time when a battle broke out, as the heroes stormed Erica’s fortress.

Aric soon found himself separated from the rest of the pack, as he began to engage a pack of mechanically enhanced dinosaurs that Aric unleashed upon them. While he was distracted, Solar fell prey to a cunning trap that Erica had prepared for him.


With Solar gone, the battle swiftly turned against the heroes. In the meantime, Aric freed a group of slaves from Erica’s fortress and took some of her own warriors as his own.

Instead of battling Erica head on, Aric was content to skirmish with her forces. He ruled the hundreds of slaves and warriors he had captured in a strange attempt to recreate the life he lost all those centuries ago.

During one of his many raids, Aric stole a unique piece of equipment that Erica needed to enact her plans. Aric was approached by Magnus, a brave hero from the future who fought against Erica and her plans. Magnus asked Aric to simply destroy the technology to keep it out of her hands.

Aric rebuffed Magnus and his allies to his face, but as Magnus left he reconsidered his decision, and destroyed the technology.

Unity: Day 157

With that singular action, Aric became less of a nuisance to Erica and more of a threat to her overall plans. Erica arranged a parlay between the two, to which Aric agreed.

During their parlay, Erica played up to Aric’s male pride and barbarous attitude. She offered him a beautiful female slave to use as he wished. Aric took Erica up on her offer and took the woman to his tent where they began making love.

While Aric was distracted, Erica used her powers to entrap the “Good Skin”. She then sent an enormous bionically enhanced Tyrannosaurus Rex to attack Aric. The bionosaurus tore through Aric’s encampment, while the rest of Erica’s troops slaughtered Aric’s forces behind it.

XO Manowar (Aric Dacia) tears an helicopter gunship apart

The bionosaurus eventually reached Aric’s command tent. It caught Aric completely by surprise when it tore through its side. Naked and defenceless, Aric attempted to flee while he called out to the “Good Skin.”

The armor responded, and broke free of Erica’s control, but not before the bionosaurus snatched Aric up with its massive maw and bit him in half.


Even as the “Good Skin” arrived, Aric’s mangled body fell limply from its jaws. The armor enveloped him while the bionosaur looked on in confusion, and in a flash of laser light, Aric cut the beast in twain. Confused, angry and in pain Aric lashed out at Erica’s forces. He fought on until he eventually lost consciousness as a result of his horrific wounds.

When Aric awoke, he asked the “Good Skin” to take stock of the damage that had been done to his body. The armor informed him that he would be unable to remove it for the next decade as it repaired the extensive damage to his body. It also informed him that the allied heroes had initiated an all out final assault on Erica’s fortress, as she had finally enacted her plan.

Aric looked around him and saw the carnage that Erica’s forces had inflicted on his people. Nothing remained but corpses and slowly dying flames. Left with nothing but his rapidly growing rage, Aric stalked towards the sounds of battle that emanated from Erica’s fortress.

Unity: End

Aric’s arrival greatly evened the odds for the allied heroes. Using the “Good Skin,” he tore a swathe of destruction and death through Erica’s forces. He continued to do so, until Solar was eventually freed from his imprisonment and defeated Erica in battle.

Their battle was so intense, that it destabilized the pocket dimension that held the Lost Land. It began to collapse about them.

Solar appeared to Aric in those final moments. He told him that he would use his abilities to send him home. He only needed focus on where he wanted to go. As Solar used his abilities to send Aric through time and space, Aric’s thoughts flitted back to Deidre and his people.

You can’t go home again

In a flash of light and energy, Aric found himself literally toppling through a hole in the sky. It took him a moment to re-orient himself, but the “Good Skin” confirmed the truth for him nearly instantly.

He had somehow been returned to the year 408 AD, and to lands of Dacia. In fact, he quite literally had fallen through the portal into the laps and hands of his uncle Alaric and Deidre.

Despite his jubilation, Aric’s reunion with his family quickly turned sour. The raw power that the “Good Skin” afforded him was to great a threat for his ambitious uncle. Alaric did not have faith in Aric’s professions of undying loyalty.

Aric’s own people turned on him in short order. They used Deidre as bait forced confrontation with Aric. Never one to simply back down from a fight, Aric fought back against his uncle’s forces and in the resulting battle ended up killing not only his uncle, but Deidre as well.

Distraught once more, Aric realized that nothing remained for him in his own time. He asked the “Good Skin” to take him back to the future, and in response, it buried him deep within the Earth. The suit put him into a state of hibernation that he would not emerge from for over one thousand years.

Back to the Future

Aric eventually awoke fully healed in the year 1992. The “Good Skin” erupted from the Earth in front of Ken Clarkson, on the grounds of Orb Industries. Ken helped Aric to his home, as one thousand years of sleep had caused his muscles to atrophy greatly.

Ken’s own greed warred with his better judgement during this time. He e took possession of the “Good Skin’s” control ring and hid it from Aric.

Aric, well accustomed to Ken’s mannerisms, waited patiently as he recovered his physical strength. Months passed, and life returned to a semblance of normalcy for the time-lost barbarian, where he spent his days exercising, running Orb Industries and asking Ken if there was any sign of the control ring.

Eventually, Ken’s hand was forced by the Spider-Aliens who attacked the two in Aric’s home. Ken, realizing that he had no business wielding the powerful armor, hurled the ring to Aric who in quick order donned both the ring and the “Good Skin,” and dispatched the aliens.


When the dust settled from their battle, Aric realized that the “Good Skin” had somehow evolved during their long sleep. It had gotten even more powerful than it was previously, and adapted its operation to more closely fit with Aric’s needs.

It also had started to grow a strange golden protuberance off its carapace, which ultimately turned out to be the seed of a new “Good Skin.”

The Spider-Aliens desperately wanted the seed. They eventually managed to force Aric to confront them on a hidden moon base in order to establish the true owner of the armour. The god-being, Solar, agreed to act as an impartial observer to the event as in the past he had dealings with both parties.

Solar not only wanted the aliens off of the planet Earth, but he also wanted to destroy them at their source. He reasoned that if they won the armour from Aric, they would use it to repair their ships and return home. When they did so, he would follow and destroy them at their source.

Final Battle

During Unity, Solar had earned Aric’s trust. Thus, he agreed to allow Solar to hold the “Good Skin’s” (who he learned had its own name, Shanhara), control ring while both parties settled their grievance. The matter of ownership was to be settled in one on one mortal combat.

The alien’s champion was a massive bipedal being which Aric was forced to battle with nothing but his bare hands. Despite the alien champion’s obvious size and strength advantages, Aric’s experience and raw hatred allowed him to eventually win their combat.

His victory spurred the desperate Spider-Aliens to treachery. In a final gambit they attacked Aric while he was unarmed and seemingly helpless.

After watching Aric’s battle, Solar couldn’t simply stand back and watch the aliens murder him. He intervened at the last possible moment, and after returning Shanhara’s control ring to Aric, joined in with Aric’s culling of the Spider-Aliens.

The two devastated the remainder of the alien forces as they attempted to escape the Spider-Alien fortress. Solar gave Aric a final chance to turn the armor over to the aliens, and when Aric refused Solar “sterilized” the moon. He simply disintegrated every remaining alien and their technology that was present on the moon’s surface.

With that, the seed (that had budded from Shanhara’s carapace) detached. The two destroyed it in order to prevent anyone else on Earth from creating another Manowar class of armor. Aric then returned to his life on the Earth’s surface.

Enemy of the State

During these events, Aric had unintentionally gained the attention of the United States government. The government simply could not allow one of its residents(who was an illegal alien at that) to possess a weapon of such magnitude outside of their control.

The government sent agents to attempt to retrieve the armor and to take Aric into custody, but they ultimately failed. In the end, Aric used Shanhara to obtain confidential information from the governments mainframe systems. This not only forced them to back off, but also let him become a legal citizen of the United States of America.

In the End

Aric would eventually meet his end in the year 2062, at the hands of Toyo Harada. The immensely powerful Harbinger (or mutant) was desperately looking for the secrets of immortality. In so doing he had realized that Shanhara had greatly extended Aric’s life.

In order to prevent Harada from claiming Shanhara, Aric willed his armour to fly into deep space and away from the Earth. When Harada came to claim the armour, he found nothing but an aged Aric with nothing but an ancient bastard sword and the will to fight. Aric charged Harada and surprisingly enough, fatally wounded him before Harada killed him in retribution.


Aric is a giant of a man. He tops out at over six and a half feet tall and is just shy of 300 pounds. His athletic body is covered in layers of thick muscle, but not grossly so. His long reddish-gold hair hangs at shoulder length, and he has piercing blue eyes that denote a level of intelligence that his often savage behaviour contradicts.

Under normal conditions, Aric can be found dressed in one of his many custom made suits. When expecting battle though, he will often strip down to his underwear (if that) in preparation for donning Shanhara.

In its docile or inactive state, Shanhara appears to be a floating blue and red sphere, with an approximate two foot diameter. When the bearer of the control ring commands it Shanhara unfolds and envelops them, literally transforming into a suit of armor.

Suit up

The armor’s base layer is made up of several scalloped or interlaced strips of golden-orange metal which seem to closely imitate human musculature. The secondary layer, which sits directly atop the base layer, is made up of a solid blue and red components. This layer is made up of a chest and crotch piece, a solid helmet, and pairs of gloved gauntlets and booted leg guards.

The helmet has a transparent face plate which can slide into place.

Mounted on each one of the gauntlets are twin tube-like constructs from which the armors main weaponry is deployed. In addition, a large red circular disk extends from the ride side of the armor’s chest plate. In the center of the disk, is a large white “X” shaped pattern.


Simply put, Aric is a warrior and a barbarian. He is a product of his upbringing. Bloodshed, violence and savagery are natural elements of the life he was born into. With this in mind, it is easy to understand why he revers and enjoys the simpler things in life; combat, women, wine and adventure.

XO Manowar (Aric Dacia) blasts a machine

Despite his inherant savagery, Aric is accutely intelligent and adaptable. He is able to control his basest impulses and has learned to adapt and deal to his every changing conditions.

In a short period of time (in no small part thanks to the teachings of Shanhara and Ken), he has become a competent business man. He is capable of making shrewd and tactical decisions in both business as well as life.

Other traits

Surprisingly, Aric has a strong desire to see innocent life preserved as well. He will go out of his way to draw his enemies to himself. Likewise, he will take pride in punishing any being who uses innocents as shields or pawns.

Aric has a strong sense of personal pride, in addition to a streak of nobility, which has been used against him in the past. He will never knowingly back down from conflict or a direct challenge, and will hold grudges from now until the end of time.

Finally, Aric holds a special hatred in his heart for two particular types of beings; Romans and Spider-Aliens. Given a choice, Aric will kill a Roman or a Spider-Alien on sight.


“When the hard-skins took me from my home, I could not make them die — but with this new skin, I CAN ! With this new skin, I am the strongest one ! With this new skin, ARIC RULES !”

“He must die at my hand ! And — my hand makes Fire-Light ! My hand cut off his hand ! This is truly a good skin — and Aric is truly a fool for almost losing it !”

“Why is the world so strange to me ? Why do I not understand ? Good-Skin, sent to me by Lugh, the greatest of Gods, HELP me !”

(To himself while trying to process the knowledge the armor had shoved into his head telepathically) “My people… my land… are gone… I am the last of my kind… a Visigoth… One thousand six hundred years have passed since I lived as a youth in Dacia… the Roman Empire is long dead … The world… is a great ball spinning through a void.”

“The old world is gone… and all my own with it. Worthy are their spirits … but since when has a Goth not welcomed new lands to conquer. If I cannot have my world… I WILL TAKE THIS ONE !”

“The wizard-boy thought that without the armor’s power, I was a helpless imbecile. Power only makes you more of what you already are. But with the X-O Armor — ARIC RULES !”

(While settling a dispute between his board of directors and a union) “It is clear to me that you tried to cheat these men. For that you must pay. All your gold is forfeit. (to the union steward) Take this and divide it among the workers. Go back to work. No talk of strikes ! Understood ?”

“It’s one thing to enslave an enemy, but to feed them like hopeless cattle to those monsters… no one deserves such a fate. Even a slave must have something to hope for.”

“I was bred for war as well, monster. I killed my first Roman when I was twelve. When you creatures kidnapped me sixteen hundred years ago, I had held a sword in hand for over a decade.”

(To Shanhara) “Good skin — there’s a poison in my system. Purify my blood so I can spill the blood of my enemies.”

DC Universe History

Aric could conceivably be incorporated into pre Nu52 continuity intact, with a few alterations. Instead of Solar initially combatting the Spider-Aliens, Superman could easily take his place. Orb Industries could be held intact, and its major competitor could be LexCorp.

Luthor in his curiousity could have discovered Aric’s unusual past much like Toyo Harada did, and moreso the secrets of the XO Armour. Luthor could have based the designs of his own Lexor Suit of armour on the XO Manowar itself.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Aric Dacia

Dex: 08 Str: 05 Bod: 06 Motivation: Anti-Heroic Power Lust
Int: 06 Wil: 08 Min: 08 Occupation: Orb Industries CEO
Inf: 07 Aur: 07 Spi: 08 Resources {or Wealth}: 020
Init: 023 HP: 075

Mind Over Matter: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:
Mind Over Matter is a Skilled Power (+1FC).

Acrobatics (Athletics, Climbing): 08, Animal Handling: 07, Charisma: 09, Martial Arts: 08, Military Science (Danger Recognition, Tracking): 07, Weaponry (Melee): 08, Thief (Stealth): 05

Area Knowledge (Ancient Rome), Attractive, Credentials (Orb Industries, High), Expertise (Visigoth Cultures, Wilderness Survival), Expertise (Big Business), Expertise (Blacksmithing), Iron Nerves, Languages (Ancient Visigoth, Italian), Leadership, Stabilization.

Orb Industries (High), US Government (Low).

CIH of Romans, CIH of Spider Aliens, MIA toward Honour, Serious Rage.


CONTROL RING [BOD 12, Detect (Manowar Armor): 20, Interface: 20, R#00. Bonuses & Limitations: Interface: only works with the Manowar Armor; Interface has Range bonus].


/BODY/ (Hardened Defences) 12 /STR/ 12 INT 02 WIL 02 MIN 02.

Anatomical Separation: 02, Comprehend Languages: 10, Detect (Control Ring): 20, Flash: 07, Force Field: 04, Flight: 12, Full Vision: 06, Interface: 08, Laser Beam: 12, Mind Blank: 08, Mind Over Matter: 10, Radar Sense: 09, Radio Communications: 18, Recall: 20, Regeneration: 02, Sealed Systems: 15, Self Manipulation: 02, Sharpness (Laser Beam): 01, Super Speed: 06, Suspension: 20, Systemic Antidote: 06, Telepathy: 02, Gadgetry (Computer Programming): 12, Military Science (Danger Recognition): 10, Scientist (Research): 10, Thief (Security Systems): 12.]

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Anatomical Separation: Remote Eye only (-1FC).
  • Detect: Has Range Bonus (+1FC).
  • Interface: Has no Range (-1FC), only works with computer systems (-1FC).
  • Laser Beam: Lethal (-1FC), non-variable (-1FC) & has Area Affect bonus (+1FC).
  • Sharpness: When utilized, Laser Beam loses it’s Area of Affect bonus (-1FC).
  • Super Speed: Only for mental tasks (-1FC).
  • Telepathy: Only with Armor’s wearer (-1FC).

Design notes

Contrary to my first impression, the heroes of the Valiant Universe operate on a much lower scale than their other literary (comic book) counterparts. This makes their AP values seem much lower than one would expect.

But with their genre considerations and evidence from the book, it becomes relatively clear that these levels are appropriate.

By Bryan Gittens.

Source of Character: Valiant Comics Series – X-O Manowar, co-created by Jim Shooter, Bob Layton and Jon Hartz, illustrated by Barry Windsor Smith.

Writeup completed on the 5th of May, 2013.