Thursday, November 19, 2015

Review - Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #1 (@ValiantComics)


"I am home."

The Valiant Universe continues to delve into fascinating characters and interactions. One of those characters is the Eternal Warrior and he's one of the more powerful ones in that universe. Valiant Entertainment investigates his role further in Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #!. The issue is written by Robert Venditti, illustrated by Raul Allen and Patricia Martin, art assists by David Astruga, colored Borja Pindado and lettered by Patricia Martin.

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?

The Eternal Warrior is one of Valiant's more enduring characters (no pun intended) and seems to be a linchpin to the entire universe. It's nice then that Venditti spends much of the issue giving the reader a little context for his plight as such. Venditti focuses on Gilad's life as s simple man with a family and a loving wife, all of which seems to be enough for him. His work demands much more of him though and it's through those interactions with his foes that Venditti reinforces to the reader the amount of evil he's forced to contend with as a responsibility of his. Fans of the character know that he always has his work cut out for him and it's refreshing to see that he still manages to maintain some semblance or a normal life despite his role.

The visual style of Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #! is somewhat jarring at times. Allen and Martin move back and forth between two versions of Gilad and those two are illustrated as seemingly polar opposites of one another. The art team do a great job of underscoring the duality of the character as he moves back and forth between different roles in different situations. There are a a series of panels that fill a page and echo the back and forth of Gilad's two lives. The scenes where he's facing off against monsters are particularly powerful as they remind the reader that no matter how much he tries to be a family man, there are evils in the world that require more attention. Pindado's colors are largely red and green in their hues.

Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #! feels a little short, but it does manage to give the reader a glimpse into the quieter side of Gilad's life. Despite the lazy days, Gilad still must contend with all manner of evil opponents. Venditti writes the character with an emphasis on the duality of his life, giving the reader insights into why he makes some of the decisions he does. The art team of Allen, Martin and Astruga use a style that maintains this duality, jumping between different scenarios that make up a day for Gilad. Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #! will definitely appeal to fans of the character and the universe in general.

Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #! is in stores now.

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