Series: The Valiant
Writer: Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt
Art: Paolo Rivera
Summary from Valiant Entertainment: “The Eternal Warrior has protected the Earth for more than 10,000 years. A master of countless weapons and long forgotten martial arts, he is guided by the Geomancers – those who speak for the Earth. During his long watch, the Eternal Warrior has failed three times. Each time, the Geomancer was killed…and a new dark age for humanity began. Each time, he was unable to stop The Immortal Enemy – a monstrous force of nature. A civilization killer. A horror that appears differently each time it arrives…and whose seemingly only purpose is to bring disorder and darkness to the world. Now, the time has come for The Immortal Enemy to return once more. But, this time, the Eternal Warrior will be ready. This time, he has a force greater than any single warrior. This time, he has…THE VALIANT.”
I’m not sure exactly what happened here. I am a relative newcomer to comics, and up to now I have mostly stuck with the Big Two publishers. Beyond that I never strayed to far from the big names at DC and Marvel – Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Thor, etc. But over the last few months I have become more and more obsessed with Valiant. I picked up Eternal Warrior (written by Greg Pak) on a whim, and absolutely loved it. He is such an awesome character so I began to check out other Valiant titles. After some dabbling in X-O Manowar I found Unity (which Stephen was nice enough to give me as an early Christmas present), and eventually The Valiant #1.
Jeff Lemire is one of Bill’s favorite writers, and for good reason. He (along with Matt Kindt, who has been killing it on Unity) does a great job making this book epic from the start. The book opens with Gilad Anni-Padda, the Eternal Warrior, fighting the Immortal Enemy set on killing those Gilad has sworn to protect again and again, over thousands of years. The thousand year time-span lends itself easily to the sense of impending doom I got when the new Geomancer (the people that the Immortal Enemy keeps killing despite Gilad’s best efforts) shows up. I am not immediately familiar with Paolo Rivera’s art, but from this one book sampling, it’s great. Also, at the end of the book Rivera provides a very interesting commentary on a few pages featuring Bloodshot (think high tech Punisher that can get shot in the eye and just… be fine). It was cool seeing the evolution of the page from initial layout to completed product. The creative team does a good job of providing enough of a background on each of the main characters to understand what’s happening if this is your first Valiant book, but doesn’t burden the new reader with too much information.
The only thing I find disconcerting about this book is that it’s only going to be four issues long. The Valiant was a terrific read, so the more the better as far as I am concerned. Perhaps the Valiant Comics Team took Harvey Dent’s interesting (if slightly nonsensical) quote about living long enough to see yourself become the villain to heart. Or maybe they took the advice of a cliche drug dealer and the first taste is free, but after that you are hooked. Either way, c’est la vie.
The Final Say-
Valiant has done a great job convincing me to become a fanboy, and The Valiant just cements that feeling. The characters are interesting, the story is fun, and the art is great. What more can you ask for (besides more than four issues)? I give this book a 5 out of 5. It’s an excellent jumping on point for those of you new to Valiant, and if you already enjoy Gilad (The Eternal Warrior), Bloodshot, X-O Manowar, etc, then all the better. Let us know what you think in the comments!