While the first four issues dealt with the almost inevitable ressurrection of The Eternal Warrior, Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #5 is the first of a two part story entitled Prelude To Labyrinth, which will lead into the longer Labyrinth that will begin (likely) once Prelude has completed.
But that doesn’t mean that as a lead in story that this is one to be ignored.
Written by Robert Venditti, Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #5 features art by the phenomenal Juan Jose Ryp, and colours by Jordie Bellaire, this issue packs a visual punch. Although I really enjoyed the simpler layouts of the previous four issues (I could, honestly write more about that than you’d reasonably expect a person could write), the change of artists for this issue has provided the reader with some really interesting panel layouts that are stunning.
There are some great touches here, and one of the early ones involves Juan Jose Ryp giving a visual representation of Gilad‘s hunting skills, which you can see for yourself in the panel within a panel below (it’s the second page in, and the screen grab is from the preview pages that have been released, so I felt the spoiler risk was low enough).
This is a very visual comic, with a story that could be followed with only the bare minimum of text – if any – without the reader getting lost in the story. Robert Venditti is quickly becoming one of my favourite writers, and the way he handles one of Valiant‘s most interesting heroes is fantastic. Unlike many immortals, Gilad Anni-Padda never loses hope for mankind; for a man who has fought in innumerable wars, been a witness to more death than we mere mortals can fathom, this is a rare indeed. In a medium where a dark and broody hero can be more common than cold in winter, The Eternal Warrior is driven (usually) by hope.
And sometimes vengeance.
Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #5 really is a great jumping on point for new readers (and as much as I laugh to myself whenever I see a Valiant preview indicating as such, they’re often bang on the money), and while I have no idea how this two part story will end, or how it’ll lead into Labyrinth proper, I urge you to pick this up when you go to your comic shop after March 15th.
This is a fantastic issue (and I’m pretty sure it’s the only comic I have ever given full 10s) that I love almost entirely because of the art and layouts – but that shouldn’t take anything from the writing which is also top knotch. It’s a perfect example of a great comic that anyone can read regardless of their knowledge of The Eternal Warrior. There’s a saying that any comic could be a person’s first comic, and you could do a lot worse than reading this.
Writer: Robert Venditti Art: Juan Jose Ryp Colourist: Jordie Bellaire
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided a FREE copy for review, but I’m buying this anyway.