Valiant’s minor re-introduction to their cast of heroes continues with one of their cornerstone characters, Gilad Anni-Padda AKA The Eternal Warrior.
Gilad is now a farmer, beset by nightmares of an axe, a vicious hit to the head and a long fall, the irony of which isn’t lost on me. Now Gilad is by no means as talented a farmer as he is a warrior so it is no surprise that threats and allies seem to be looking for him. Of course, it seems that every new Eternal Warrior book starts with our hero in a different role, as if he is equally content running from his destiny as he is embracing it. Of course, Gilad has bigger problems on the horizon than a plough and an uncooperative horse.
Robert Venditti is a Valiant legend, having worked on a number of books since the companies re-emergence into the comic book world, including the fantastic X-O book. This issue is a great jumping on point for Gilad, but the price of the jump on point is the book feels like a re-hash. For a long time comic fan, this leaves me a little disappointed. I understand that comic book companies like the buzz of a new book, but surely now, with so many books out there, the reader deserves more than stop-gap stories. Still, Venditti is a master craftsman and whilst this book is by no means his best work, it is still a lot better than some of the stuff out there. Under Venditti’s pen, we get an understanding of the bond between Gilad, his axe and the Geomancer.
This brings me onto the art from Renota Guedes, who himself is no stranger to the comic book world. Despite his workload this is probably the first time I have spent any real-time with his art, and I am left with some mixed feelings. In part, the clean thin lines can work well and in other cases there is just too much, stagnation. Looking through the book, characters do not seem to be engaged, possibly even lifeless and whilst I can appreciate how hard it must be to draw a gallop of horses, there is not a lot of movement on show. Guedes tries hard; in fact his close up work on faces is pretty strong as is the variety of camera angles he uses to give us different viewpoints. At times I like the art, others I don’t. Whichever side of the fence I end up on, the colors by Ulises Arreola gives the book a European, not quite of this world feel.
A few years back, Valient stormed back into racks of your LCBS too much fanfare. Since then, I can’t help but feel that they have run out of steam a little bit, with familiarity breeding something not quite akin to contempt. Their freshness may have seemed greater at the time as the Big Two were mired in their own problems. Since then, with ships righted (and a huge number of books out every week), Valiant’s output doesn’t seem quite as good as it did. Certainly, the lost Warrior story, told more than once already, is certainly not going to help change that opinion.
Writing – 3 Stars
Art- 3 Stars
Colors – 3 Stars
ETERNAL WARRIOR: AWAKENING #1
Written by ROBERT VENDITTI
Art by RENATO GUEDES