The Valiant relaunch was announced in 2011. (Has really been that long?) Right away there were certain things old school Valiant fans could be sure off. Among them:
- X-O Manowar and Harbinger were going to be among the first titles
- Sadly, none of the Dell Gold Key characters (Solar, Turok) would be part of the relaunch.
- Eventually Eternal Warrior #1 would come out.
Well eventually is today. Eternal Warrior #1, from Greg Pak (Batman/Superman) and Trevor Hairsine (X-O Manowar) hits stores today. I’ll be honest, I thought Eternal Warrior would be part of the original Summer of Valiant. (I am glad I was wrong. Archer & Armstrong is one of my favorite comics being published today.) This is the first time a character that has already appeared elsewhere in the Valiant Universe. Gilad Anni-Padda made his debut in Archer & Armstrong #5. He also recently appeared in X-O Manowar. But here, you don’t need to know anything that has come before. Here, Pak begins to tell us Gilad’s story, in a very new reader accessible way. Here Pak and Hairsine show us how the Fist and the Steel of the Earth was forged. It’s a long story too. Several thousand years long.
What happens when a Warrior fights too long?
Pak begins Gilad’s tale in ancient times. In a world where man is barely more than animals themselves, Gilad finds that even his own family can be as savage as the Death Cult he is fighting. It’s the sort of thing that could make a lesser man wonder if the fight to protect life is worth it. Flash forward to now. Alone in the African plains, still eternal, but a warrior no more? Gilad has left the world, and the fight behind. He does find himself asking the question, “Can anyone, even an immortal, deny their destiny?” Gilad soon finds out that the chaos of the world can find its way to his door, bringing death and destruction in it’s wake.
Pak and Hairsine are perfectly matched for this book. Hairsine’s gritty artwork matches Pak’s battle hardened story. Pak is no stranger to stories of myths and legends, which makes him a natural to tell the story of the world’s oldest champion. I find it amazing that no one has given Trevor Hairsine an ongoing title of his own to draw. He’s done tons of work over at Marvel over the years, but he really hasn’t been given a lot of time on any one title. Maybe it’s because this book has been where he belongs. I hope to see a long collaboration between these two well paired creators.
Eternal Warrior #1 is another feather in Valiant’s cap. Valiant Comics has spent the last 16 months building a universe that is fully fleshed out. They didn’t do that by rushing stories, and Eternal Warrior # 1 is no different. This first issue is paced to draw the reader into Gilad’s world, and keep them engaged, while not overloading them on extraneous information or visuals. Valiant has perfectly paced the expansion of their shared universe, not overwhelming comic fans, but building a world that feels real, and consistent, but with a wide range of stories and genres to appeal to any reader.
A $3.99 comic, 32 Pgs.
Writer: Greg Pak
Art: Trevor Hairsine
Cover: Clayton Crain
Pullbox Exclusive Variant: Trevor Hairsine
Variant Cover: Dave Bullock
Variant Cover: Patrick Zircher