Series: Wrath of the Eternal Warrior
Writer: Robert Venditti
Art: Raúl Allen
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!
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.