Review: Eternal Warrior #1 by Greg Pak, Trevor Hairsine and Brian Reber

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Review:  Eternal Warrior #1

Published by Valiant Entertainment

Written by Greg Pak

Art by Trevor Hairsine

Coloured by Brian Reber

The Plot

Back in Ancient Mesopotamia, Gilad (the Eternal Warrior) is preparing to fight a battle as the Fist and Bronze alongside various soldiers and his son Mitu much to the chagrin of his daughter, Xaran.  He provides his reasons for not allowing her to participate in battle and proceeds to engage the army of Nergal (Lord of Darkness).  They have a great amount of difficulty against the “monsters” of Nergal who are not easily taken down due to being drugged by a sorceror.  All seems lost until they receive some timely assistance from Xaran.  However, her goals differ from those of her father.  The conflict escalates and tragedy strikes the battlefield.  In the present day, Gilad is in Africa living a secluded existence while seeking only to survive with his pet dog.  Back at his home, things begin to go awry and Gilad is greeted by an unexpected visitor.

The Breakdown

My experience with the Eternal Warrior is limited to his recent appearances in Archer and Armstrong and X-O Manowar.  The former wouldn’t have had me thinking he could maintain a solo series while the latter showed more depth and wisdom that has come from his many years (although it was explained in A&A that he was virtually possessed without the Geomancer).  The book was a good introduction to the character.  There are other aspects of this character that have already been covered in other books so this was a good place to start.  His existence consisted of fighting, killing, and fighting…oh and apparently mating at some point.  I’m glad that Pak decided to begin his story during a time that had great personal significance to him.  The lead character is immortal and Pak did a good job of introducing some conflict that makes the story more interesting.  I hope that the events after the battle with Nergal is revisited at some point, the way the army was manipulated into becoming more formidable was decent and I’d like to see the repercussions of that entire conflict.  This entire sequence was full of tragedy, which obviously had consequences for Gilad.  The action sequences in this book were very well done.  Present day Gilad was something that I enjoyed as well, he’s so worn that he’s isolated himself from the world.  He still has so much conflict within him and as we find out he still has a much larger role to play in the world.  The cliffhanger has me interested and I definitely want to see what it all means.  Sometimes I enjoy Hairsine’s work and sometimes I don’t.  This is one of those times that I did.  His battle scenes were done well and easy to follow.  Reber’s work was solid as always and I’m sure he could provide a stick figure with depth.  This was a good starting point and overall I enjoyed this title.

BUT…

He tries to reason with his daughter about showing mercy, but just viciously backhanded her a couple pages prior to that.  Speaking of Xaran, I found her to be really annoying and perhaps that’s why Gilad was so eager to swat her aside.  She claimed she was her father’s daughter as a way to explain her lust for battle, but she seemed to be nothing like him.  Perhaps if she is given some backstory at some point then she could become more interesting.  All I could think while reading it though was kill her and shut her up Gilad.

Buy It, Borrow It, Shelf Read It, or Ignore It?

Buy It.  This was a good read and I’m interested in the concept of this character.  This isn’t much of a surprise considering Valiant has a pretty damn good track record thus far.  There is a lot of storytelling potential for this book and Gilad’s perspective and voice are clear, which gives the reader a good sense of this character early on.  Hairsine’s art was a good fit for this issue.  I’m interested to come back next month for sure, but I wasn’t thinking “Ah crap, I have to wait another whole month?” after finishing it.  However, this was a first issue and it was a good one at that.  Overall I enjoy Pak’s work and I’m sure he’ll do a fine job here too.  Valiant has done a good job of slowly building up their universe, which has given us quality books.  They could put out a silent monthly book about a slug and I’d still most likely check it out.

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