Sometimes I can be pretty slow on the up-take. Case in point pretty much this entire series; oh sure, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying each issue so far, but after reading Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #8 I finally felt something click. While I wouldn’t say that that something has made the previous issues that much better, it’s certainly allowed me to look at both the first four issues, and the last two in a whole new light.
Gilad Anni-Padda, the Eternal Warrior, can die. He won’t stay dead, but he can certainly die, and die he has in Labyrinth; often and painfully.
It’s these deaths that are so brutally realized on the page that made me realize just how much weight each death carries for Gilad as I thought back to the four part arc Risen; by using four issues to explain what happens each time the Eternal Warrior dies and is resurrected has paid off in spades here. Risen paves the expositional way for Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #8; if you haven’t read the first four issues of this series you will be a little lost when you see Gilad die. And no, that isn’t a spoiler – Gilad epitomizes the comic book death trope in a brilliant way this issue; almost like a video game in which you can die and then try again. No matter how many times he is beaten, the Eternal Warrior will rise again.
And he’s beaten pretty badly here, which while no doubt unpleasant for Gilad Anni-Padda, makes for some pretty unique art by the art team. Make no mistake, this isn’t an all ages comic, but nor is it over-the-top violent either. The violence that is displayed is done in a very methodical (and almost stylized) manner that does more to serve the story than you’d initially expect.
There’s also some foreshadowing here that may tie into something that Venditti has been hinting toward in various issues of the series so far, but I’ll keep my theories away from the review for now (but if you’re curious, you can find me on twitter @Karcossa). Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #8 is a fantastic comic that sets up some potentially awesome moments down the road, and I’ll be waiting for them with baited breath.
Valiant have a series on their hands that’s just begging for multiple readings, and when it’s this good it’d be rude not to oblige.
Writer: Robert Venditti Artists: Raul Allen & Patricia Martin
Art Assistant: David Astruga Additional Colours: Borja Pindado
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall 8.5 Recommendation: Buy