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Tag - Eternal Warrior

4LN Comic Review – Eternal Warrior: Awakening #1

Writer: Robert Venditti
Art: Renato Guedes and Ulises Arreola
Publisher: Valiant Comics

Summary from Valiant Entertainment:

It is a time before civilization…

On the brink of carving out victory in the most violent battle of his life, Gilad Anni-Padda suffers a devastating injury. He awakens weeks later in a strange land, nursed back to health but with no memory of his past. A tribe has shown him compassion in an age of cruelty, and he will return their gift in kind. Now the real violence will begin…

New York Times best-selling writer Robert Venditti (Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps.) and acclaimed artist Renato Guedes (BLOODSHOT REBORN) lead a celebration of the Eternal Warrior’s 25th anniversary here with the second of four standalone specials honoring the most famous Valiant tales ever told!

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Gilad Anni-Padda, the Eternal Warrior, Fist and Steel of the Earth is a farmer, and a poor one at that.  The warlord that struck the blow that took his memory is cutting a swath across the earth destroying everything in his way, and he won’t be stopped until he has the head of the Eternal Warrior atop his throne of bones.  Now Gilad must reclaim his memory, reclaim his mantle, and get to work.  If that doesn’t scream “EPIC” at the top of its lungs, I don’t know what would.

Robert Venditti’s Wrath of the Eternal Warrior is a great 15 issue run that dives into the mythos of the character’s ability to raise from the dead. Now, with Awakening, Venditti is going traveling to before to the turbulent era before human civilization.  The first 8 issue Eternal Warrior is the series that brought me into the Valiant world, so I always look forward to another adventure, and this issue did not disappoint.

The story stands on its own and provides a really cool tale about the Eternal Warrior’s past.  The tone is dark, and there is a really great interplay between that tone and the bright palette used by the color artist Ulises Arreola.  The artist Renato Guedes has worked on everything from the X-Men to Superman, and his work on this issue perfectly captures the violence of the era.  The action sequences are visceral, the characters are unique, and the desolate landscapes are beautiful.  I would love to see Guedes do more work for Valiant in the future.

Ultimately, Eternal Warrior: Awakening is a clinic in how to do a one-shot.  The creative team works well together setting an intense tone for the book, and it makes me pray to the Valiant leadership that more Eternal Warrior is on its way.  Eternal Warrior: Awakening hits the stands this Wednesday, May 10, 2017.  Make sure to track down a copy with the veracity of Alpha Hyamm.

Check Out A Sneak Peek At Eternal Warrior: Awakening #1 Below!

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4LN Advance Comic Review – Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #1

Series: Wrath of the Eternal Warrior
Writer: Robert Venditti
Art: Raúl Allen
Publisher: Valiant

Summary from Valiant Database:

For five millennia, the Eternal Warrior has shaped history at the end of his sword. He’s razed empires, toppled civilizations, and broken armies as an immortal soldier in service to the Earth.

But now, the Eternal Warrior has been torn from the world he once protected and finds himself stranded in a hostile alien landscape unlike any he’s faced before. Separated from his earthly environs, can history’s deadliest soldier survive a realm far older, far deadlier, and fare more ruinous than anything he’s ever encountered? Beyond Earth lies eternity…

This November, New York Times best-selling writer Robert Venditti (BOOK OF DEATH, X-O MANOWAR) and visionary artist Raúl Allén (NINJAK, Hawkeye) forge a new legend for Valiant’s master of war with an all-new ongoing series in…WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR #1!

 

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Before we get started, I want to let you, the reader, know that I will do everything I can from giving anything away about the story.  Instead, I will focus on why it was so good.

I have been looking forward to the return of Gilad, the Eternal Warrior, since the end of the last three issue mini-series Eternal Warrior: Days of Steel by Peter Milligan and Cary Nord (the artist that did that awesome variant cover above).  Despite only having a total of 11 stand-alone issues, Gilad has always been one of my favorite characters and was actually first step into the Valiant Universe.

When Wrath of the Eternal Warrior was announced, I immediately began to wonder who the writer was going to be.  I was nervous at first, because I really wanted this series to hit the ground running so I could get more than a couple of issues of a stand-alone Eternal Warrior title.  Then Valiant announced that none other than the Valiant Chosen One (and Green Lantern Guru), Robert Venditti, would be at the helm.  For the uninitiated (you really should get initiated – we have hand-signals and everything), Venditti kick-started the new Valiant by writing the flagship title X-O Manowar, and is also responsible for the Book of Death event, both of which have been excellent.

Wrath of the Eternal Warrior is a surprisingly intimate tale that reads more like myth than it does a comic.  We have seen Gilad speak of immortality as a curse, and this issue delves in to what makes this even more tragic than we realize.  Instead of just battle after battle, we get to see the toll Gilad’s dedication to protecting the Geomancer lineage takes on him, as well as those most important to him.  He has always been this gloomy, brooding character, and we have had hints as to why, but this issue lays it out in a beautiful and powerful way.

Joining Robert Venditti is the incredibly talented Raúl Allen who puts out some wonderful work in this issue.  Allen’s landscapes are haunting at times and warm in others, and ultimately perfectly in sync with the story.  Mixed in with these grand full page spreads are series of small panels that provide an interesting look into what Gilad is experiencing and the anguish in the choice he always has to make.

Venditti and Allen put out a startlingly great first issue that looks to provide new insight into Valiant’s most noble characters.  Very few books made me feel like I immediately had to reread them, but I immediately picked up again Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #1 after I set it down.  The story was intimately epic and lays the groundwork for some fascinating future issues.  While this issue is terrific, it would be good for readers to read the Book of Death and The Valiant minis before diving into it.  The Valiant sets up Book of Death which, in turn, gives rise to Wrath of the Eternal Warrior.    If you like noble heroes and epic tales with a sprinkle of Greek tragedy, then this is the book for you.

Wrath of the Eternal Warrior will hit the racks on November 18th!  See below for a preview of the book courtesy of Valiant.

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Fancasting Valiant Comics Movies

By now most all of you have heard the news that Valiant Comics was able to secure funding with their film division, for the purpose of developing their properties to hit the big screen. And I suppose the small screen too? Comic book shows are all the rage on TV right now, for sure. Well, being that my fellow 4LN writer Cameron and I have become big Valiant fans lately, we decided it would be fun to fancast our picks for who should play our favorite characters when the come to life. We reached out to our Valiant super-cool-uncle Steven Boyd (I was gonna say “Valiant godfather”, but that would age him more than would be fair) to see if he’d wanna jump in on the fun. He did! Check out our picks below, and let us know who you’d pick!

 

Bloodshot

Steve B: Thomas Jane as Bloodshot. He’s the friggin Punisher. He already knows how to act, can handle a gun and take a punch. Somebody give this guy some nanites already.

Cam: Anson Mount – If you are unfamiliar with Anson Mount, go watch AMC’s Hell on Wheels. This guy is gruff, capable of portraying a cold-hearted killer, and has the kind of square jaw, anti-hero attitude you would expect from a nanite-powered killing machine.

 

X-O Manowar

Steve B: Chris Hemsworth as X-O Manowar (Aric of Dacia). If Chris Evans can be the Human Torch AND Captain America, then Chris Hemsworth can be both Thor and Aric of Dacia. Solid actor, good physique and is versatile enough to play a Visigoth out of time.

Cam: Alexander Skarsgård – X-O Manowar is as Dacian from the 6th century who was captured by aliens, steals their most powerful weapon (a suit of high tech armor capable of destroying pretty much whatever he wants to destroy), and returns to modern day Earth after escaping. The character is a tall, blonde haired warrior of the North. I think Skarsgaard fits that bill perfectly.

 

Eternal Warrior/ Gilad Anni-Padda

Stephen: I’m going with Charlie Hunnam here. I feel like there’s a wealth of depth to that guy’s acting talents and I don’t think we’ve seen the extent to his abilities. Grow out his hair a little bit and dye it brown… I absolutely think he could be the Eternal Warrior.

Steve B: Michael Shannon as Eternal Warrior.

 

Toyo Harada

Steve B: Ken Watanabe – I thought this guy had the coolest voice in BATMAN BEGINS. I had never seen THE LAST SAMURAI, but when I think of Harada, I think of Ken Watanabe. Very commanding presence and a great actor in general.

Cam: I also pick Ken Watanabe – I literally cannot think of anyone else who could play the ultimate baddy of the Valiant universe. Toyo Harada is one of the most powerful psiots in the world, and hopes to use his power to force the world into peace, even if that means wiping out swaths of people along the on the way. Ken Watanabe is the chosen one for this role.

 

Rai

Steve B: Byung Hun Lee (Storm Shadow from G.I.JOE films) as RAI.

Stephen: I’m actually just gonna echo Steve on this one. I think Lee would make an excellent Rai. He’s definitely got the martial arts talent, and he can certainly pull of the cold, emotionless warrior persona. Plus, ever since I saw him in “I Saw The Devil”, I’ve felt like he deserves a chance to be the lead in an American film. The dude can certainly carry a film.

 

Ninjak

Cam: Tom Hardy – Ninjak, aka Colin King, is a British millionaire/billionaire(?) that also happens to be a badass ninja assassin/intelligence agent. A majority of the time his face is obscured by a mask that covers the lower half of his face. Who is a British actor that is good enough at selling emotion with facial expressions that he can wear a mask a majority of the time and still be awesome? Tom Hardy. Although Hardy would have to reduce his bulkiness back to Inception levels, but he has proven he can pretty much add mass and lose it at will.

Stephen: So, my choice for Ninjak is someone most of you have probably seen, but never knew… Scott Adkins. He’s been in films like Bourne Ultimautim, The Expendables 2, and Zero Dark Thirty. He has martial arts training in his background and was even in a movie called Ninja II. So… yeah. The dude could be Ninjak easy.

 

Ivar Anni-Padda, Timewalker

Steve B: Tom Wisdom as Ivar the Timewalker. My first relative unknown casting for the VALIANT Universe would be Wisdom, who played an ill-fated soldier in 300. He has a super-hero like quality about him and could probably do a great job playing a man out of time. Surround him with a great cast and you’ve got a hit.

Cam: Ewan McGregor – Ivar, the Timewalker, is an immortal time-traveler who is highly intelligent and also a bit of a sarcastic ass. Ewan McGregor could be believable as both an intelligent gentleman and a bit of a jerk in a Sherlockian sort of way. Also, if McGregor grew his hair out he would be a spitting image (I don’t actually know the origin of this phrase) of how Ivar is depicted in his new series.

 

Shadowman/Jack Boniface

Stephen: I’m going with Wentworth Miller (Prison Break, The Flash) for Shadowman. I feel like he’s got the chops to be the lead and he’s done action before, but I feel like one of the things that makes him stand out the most to me, is that he’s also a writer, with some darker-style work in his repertoire (Stoker, the upcoming psychological-horror-thriller The Disappiontments Room). Not only could he play Shadowman, he could write on the film as well…

Steve B: Taylor Kitsch as Jack Boniface. I thought he got Gambit’s Cajun accent down pretty good in X-MEN ORIGINS WOLVERINE, plus he’s a very mysterious looking dude. And he’s been the lead in an action movie (JOHN CARTER). He’s your Shadowman.

 

Quantum and Woody

Steve B: Owen Wilson for Woody, and Michael Jai White for Quantum.  Michael has a super hero’s physique and I believe could play the straight guy in a comedy duo pretty good after seeing him in BLACK DYNAMITE. Owen Wilson is probably a little old for the role, but his Jethro Tull line from ARMAGEDDON wins him Woody’s role instantly.

 

Stephen: This was a tough one for me because Quantum & Woody is my favorite Valiant series. After much deliberation, I’ve settled on Beck Bennett (SNL) for Woody and Lance Gross for Quantum. Now I know he doesn’t *quite* have the look, and his sense of humor comes across more dry than sarcastic, but my reasoning for choosing Bennett is simple… Chris Pratt. If Andy Dwyer can become Star-Lord, then Bennett could become Woody.

Lace Gross is someone you probably don’t know, but he was a on a short-lived NBC drama-thriller called Crisis and he’s got the right look for Quantum. He’s not a comedian, and he can be serious, so balancing Bennett’s Woody with Gross’ Quantum would make for an excellent “world’s worst superhero team”.

 

Archer & Armstrong

Cam: Archer, Logan Lerman – This one took a little longer than the others. Archer is a younger character that is indoctrinated since his birth by an evil organization, but eventually realizes that he has been manipulated and teams up with the immortal hobo, Armstrong, whom he was sent to assassinate. He has the ability to mimic any ability he sees, be it physical or mental, and is in terrific shape. After seeing Lerman in both the Percy Jackson movies (the books were better, but he was good) and Fury, I think he has terrific range to play both the indoctrinated, hyper-religious assassin and the confused, burgeoning superhero.

For Armstrong, John Goodman – Armstrong is an affable, immortal hobo with a penchant for good drink and good poetry. During his long, long life he has rolled with the likes of Michelangelo and Da Vinci, but more recently has teamed up with Archer to form a buddy-cop comedy of a super-duo. I’ll admit, Goodman might be a tad old to play Armstrong, but he has the look, the humor, and the girth. He would be absolutely perfect.

 

Stephen: I like Dave Franco for Archer. Based on his performance in Unfinished Business, I definitely think he could capture the sheltered, naive aspect of Archer’s personality, and I think if given the chance he could hold his own in some action sequences.

I’m gonna just tag on to Cam’s choice for Armstrong here, and say John Goodman would be great, but to offer my own reasoning, I choose him because of his performance in Kevin Smith’s Red State. I remember seeing that for the first time and thinking, “When did John Goodman (kind of) get in shape and become a badass?”

 

Got some of your own suggestions for who should star in the Valiant Comics movies? Let us know in the comments!

4LN Comic Review: The Valiant #1

Series: The Valiant
Writer: Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt
Art: Paolo Rivera
Publisher: Valiant

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.”

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Overview-
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.

Highs-
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.

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Beowolf anyone?

Lows-
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!