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Review: Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #10

WRATH_010_COVER-A_KANOAgainst all odds, the Eternal Warrior has fought his way to the Labyrinth’s brutal and mysterious center. But his suffering is far from over! Standing between the Earth’s immortal master of war and freedom stands the figure only known as the Dying One…and the masterstroke in his centuries-long plan to unlock the secret of the Eternal Warrior’s immortality! Battered but not beaten, can Gilad Anni-Padda rise once more to fell his greatest foe…or will the madness of the Labyrinth break his mind as well as his body?

The story that Robert Venditti has been crafting over the past ten issues culminates here as he confronts the figure who trapped him within the Labyrinth in an incredibly satisfying issue of Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior.

Since he has escaped his prison within the Labyrinth a couple of issues ago, the Eternal Warrior has been nigh unstoppable as he tracks down the being responsible for killing him over and over – against the odds, the inevitable confrontation between them delivers on the expectations the story has built; not only because it’s swiftly brutal, but also because there are certain things said that may not shock Gilad as much as they should make you, the reader, wonder what is to come in the coming issues.

Through a few well-placed lines of dialogue Venditti cunningly allows readers to get a glimpse into the Dying One‘s motive for having trapped and repeatedly murder the Eternal Warrior, allowing you to, at least in part, understand why our hero has been a rat in a maze for the last four issues.

Visually this is an incredibly slick comic; the fairly standard grid like layout used throughout the comic lends a very old school feel, and allows some very interesting uses of negative space. There’s a great example of this in the early pages of a reeeeeeally slow sequence depicting a trickle of blood fall from Gilad’s axe – a great counterpoint to the frenetic energy surrounding the confrontation between the Eternal Warrior and some hired hands shown at the end of the last issue – when this is collected into a trade, that’s going to be a great sequence to read immediately after said confrontation. A real calm in the middle of the story, so to speak.

Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior is an incredibly well crafted series from start to finish, tying up several threads from across the past ten issues, and laying the grounds for the next arc or two to come. It isn’t an ideal starting point for new readers (try #7 at the very least if you can’t start at #1), but for those familiar with the series – and there’s not enough of you – issue #10 is one of the best released so far.

My expectations were sky high for this comic, and the creative delivered.

Story: Robert Venditti Artists: Raul Allen & Patricia Martin
Art Assistant: Davi Astruga Additional Colours: Borja Pindado
Epilogue: Robert Venditti, Robert Gill
Story: 9.25 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review. I will also purchase a copy on 8/17.

Review: Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #9

WRATH_009_COVER-A_ALLENThe darkest hour of the Eternal Warrior’s long life has arrived with blood and torment. Behind every wall and around every corner of the Dying One’s “LABYRINTH,” new and sadistic ways to burn, tear, and break Gilad Anni-Padda await. As the Eternal Warrior’s greatest enemy inches closer to unlocking the secret of never-ending life, is all hope lost for Earth’s immortal soldier?

Right from the get go, Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #9 is a very cathartic issue, because after two issues of being repeatedly beaten, tortured and killed, Gilad Anni Padda is finally free to strike back at the man who has had him captive for the past umpteen days in a vast labyrinth.

As a reader, it’s fun to see The Eternal Warrior cut loose as the series marches to the conclusion of Labyrinth.

Labyrinth didn’t start out as one of my favourite tales featuring The Eternal Warrior, although a part of that was surely because of how much I enjoyed the dynamically explosive prelude issues before the story proper got under way, but as the issues progressed I began to really appreciate the way Robert Venditti has framed the story; there has been dialogue from the first four issues that’s played a part in the current arc, and hints thrown about what is going to happen right from the first issue. The long buildup of this series, despite being two different arcs (and a prelude) isn’t really something that you see as much in comics nowadays with the constant reboots and relaunches, and I’ll admit to having to go back to those earlier issues to see what else I could catch that I may have missed.

Typically the third chapter may not always be an ideal place to jump into a series, but the way in which the story has been framed  here will almost allow you to follow along with relative ease. Oh, you’ll miss something, and others won’t mean as much to you without context, but you won’t be completely lost if Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #9 is your first comic in the series.

The visuals in this issue are consistent with the other comics in the series (aside from the prelude issues) and while I wasn’t quite taken with the art with the first issue, it has grown on me since; there’s a simple effectiveness to the line work and colours that taken in conjunction with the layouts and the way that the pages have been put together paneling within each comic which lends a feeling of simplistic brutality that is brilliantly juxtaposed to the advanced technology of the labyrinth itself.

When it comes to the dialogue, there are some hokey moments that feel at odds with the tone of the comic; almost as if Venditti has taken inspiration from the oldest of old school action movies (the Expendables level of cheese) in a couple of scenes. It’ not enough to take away my enjoyment at all, but it’s a little odd all the same. That said, this is still one of the best series on the shelf today, and  you owe it to yourself to give it a read.

Story: Robert Venditti Artists: Raul Allen & Patricia Martin
Art Assistant: David Astruga Additional Colours: Borja Pindado
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review, but I will be purchasing this anyway.

Review: Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #8

WRATH_008_COVER-A_ALLENSometimes 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.

Story: 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

Valiant provided Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review, but I’ll also be buying this on the 15th.

Review: Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #7

WRATH_007_COVER-A_ALLENAcross six millennia, Gilad Anni-Padda has felled zealots and madmen, emperors and tyrants in the course of his duty. But nothing he’s faced yet can prepare him to run the “LABYRINTH” – a miles-long maze of horrors specifically designed to undermine his every strength, enhance his every weakness…and to send him screaming into the darkness of death at every turn. But what kind of brilliant but twisted psyche could have possibly conceived such a monument to terror…and for how many centuries have they plotted to break the mind and body of history’s most formidable soldier?

After the phenomenal prelude found in Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #5 & 6, the opening chapter of Labyrinth has some lofty expectations to meet, from myself at least. Astonishingly enough, it almost does.

Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #7 features a return to the art style of the first four issues, and I’ll be the first to admit that it wasn’t my favourite the first time I came across it, but over the course of the first four issues, it did grow on me. The different art styles between the prequel to this arc and the opening chapter are, frankly, quite dramatic, but the return of the Art Team (consisting of Raul Allen & Patricia Martin, David Astruga and Borja Pindadob) gives the comic a great sense of direct continuation from issue #4, which is helped by the fact that it literally is – you could have avoided the last two issues and still have been fine.

In terms of the story itself Robert Venditti sets a solid pace, while simultaneously revealing relatively little about the motivations of the antagonist (although this being the opening chapter, I’m quite alright with that). While Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #7 wasn’t as enjoyable as the previous two issues, I honestly never expected it to come close in terms of it’s quality. To be clear; this is far from a bad comic,  and it’s one I think you should definitely read, but I suspect this arc will have a slower pace that the prelude, with the machinations of the antagonist slowly being revealed over the course of the next few issues.

Story: Robert Venditti Art: Raul Allen & Patricia Martin
Art Assistant: David Astruga Additional Colours: Borja Pindado
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review, but I’m picking my copy up on Wednesday anyway.

 

Review: Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #4

WRATH_004_COVER-A_LAFUENTEIn the wake of Book Of Death…the Earth’s immortal champion is dead…but his battle is far from over. Cast out of our world and into a fearsome afterlife of pain and punishment, Gilad is determined to return to our world and resume his duty… Now, on the cusp of freedom, the Eternal Warrior rises to fight an enemy with a grudge as old as himself…

When you have everything to lose, will you fight harder, or will you back away?

With the opening arc in Valiant‘s latest series helmed by the Eternal Warrior coming to a close, we’re treated to a solid finale that continues along the same quality levels as the previous three chapters in the arc. I’ve struggled with this series so far to be honest, because I while want to love it (and in many ways I do),  there feels as if there’s something not quite there with this series. Whether that’s because of my unusually high expectations for the series that have, for the most art been met, I don’t know.

Despite my misgivings, Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #4  is a good comic. The entire arc has been an exploration of sacrifice, and whether if you’ve attained your paradise, your happy ending, would you risk it to help others achieve theirs? As far as motivations for a superhero, it’s an interesting one, and one that I’m glad Robert Venditti is exploring with this series. The confrontation between Gilad and Humongous that the arc has been building towards is well done here, and while the end result is never really in question, the fight was very well done. The art work, produced by the extensive team consisting of Raul Allen & Patricia Martin, art assistant David Astruga with additional colours by Borja Pindado, has been growing on me with each issue and I’ve really come to appreciate it as the series progresses, but never more so than during the central battle between the Eternal Warrior and the demon king.

As an arc that explores just how much the Eternal Warrior is willing to risk in order to help guide the Earth’s destiny, the question that Venditti is asking is just what would you sacrifice to do the right thing?

Would you risk as much as Gilad Anni-Padda?

Story: Robert Venditti Art: Raul Allen & Patricia Martin
Art Assistant: David Astruga Additional Colours: Borja Pindado
Story: 9 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided a FREE copy for review, but I’m picking my copy up on Wednesday anyway.

Review: Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #3

WRATH_003_COVER-A_LAFUENTETorn from the world he once knew, Gilad’s bone-breaking journey back to Earth and the people he was sworn to protect takes a brutal turn!

Putting all he holds dear on the line to save our world’s future, the Eternal Warrior prepares to confront the most nefarious adversary of all – but the cost of victory may be too steep.

Without any preamble, I want to say that Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #3 is one of the best comics I’ve read this week.

Robert Venditti is again on scripting duties, joined again by an art team that is full of talent. As with the previous issues in this series I’m going to refer to them as The Artists or the Art Team from here on out for simplicity’s sake, and because I’m not entirely sure what their process was in creating the issue. Consisting of Raul Allen and Patricia Martin, art assistant David Astruga with additional colours by Borja Pindado, the team deliver an art style that although I wasn’t utterly enamoured with in the first issue, I have come to enjoy quite a bit.

There’s a raw brutality to the art, both in the line work and  the use of colour that really emphasizes the hellish setting of the story, leaving the reader with no delusions of just what Gilad has to go through to – both internally and externally – the return to the land of the living.

Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior‘s opening arc has, for me at least, been an interesting look at some of the deeper aspects of the title character’s inner workings; even though he had been released from millenia of service to the Earth, Gilad Anni-Padda rejected the paradise he had earned in order to return to the living to face the darkness again. The horde of demons in his way? Pfft.

The question being asked here is, just what would you sacrifice to do the right thing?

Whether you’re interested in reading more about the Eternal Warrior, or you just want to read a great series, you should look out for Wrath Of The Eternal Warrrior.

Story: Robert Venditti Art: Raul Allen & Patricia Martin
Art Assistant: David Astruga Additional Colours: Borja Pindado
Story: 9 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review, but I’m picking my copy up on Wednesday anyway.

 

Review: Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #2

WRATH_002_COVER-A_LAFUENTEAt the far end of existence…can even Earth’s immortal soldier withstand a foe as old as life itself?

Gilad Anni-Padda, the Eternal Warrior, has sacrificed everything to shape a better world…but his work is only beginning. Turning his back on everything and everyone he loved, he must leave the safety of the world he knew behind…and begin a trek across a savage and unexplored realm to return to Earth…if the true cost of his immortality doesn’t destroy him first.
As with the last review, let’s get one thing out of the way before we start the review proper: there will more than likely be spoilers for Valiant‘s Book Of Death event within this review, so if you still haven’t read that miniseries, A) Why not? B) This series is worth buying. The second chapter digs into Gilad‘s sense of self in a way that I’ve not seen before, and I’m really enjoying .

Alright, there may be Book Of Death and issue #1 spoilers from here on out.

Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #2 is scripted by Robert Venditti, and unlike the first issue which felt like it was missing something, falling short of my admittedly sky high expectations, the second issue not only felt much more complete, but also gave me another appreciation for the first issue.

Venditti is joined again this issue by an extensive art team of artists Raul Allen & Patricia Martin, art assistant David Astruga with additional colours by Borja Pindado (I’m going to refer to them as The Artists or the Art Team from here on out for simplicity’s sake, and because I’m not entirely sure what their process was in creating the issue). Despite the angry sounding title, Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #2 makes great use of a calm, gentle approach a the beginning of the comic. The minimalist use of text during those pages encourages you to focuses on the artwork (which is growing on me surprisingly quickly, but more on that later), and the layouts that hark back to a simpler style of comic book layouts that I really enjoyed. I’m wondering if, as the story progresses, the panel layouts will change at all.

The Artists have delivered some very interesting work with this issue, and despite the style not working fully for me last issue, I really can’t say the same here.  Despite the layout of the panels there is some brilliantly presented art here that I don’t think would work with a different layout. The use of colour in the second half of the book in the scenes where Gilad is the sole focus is also something I appreciated due in a large part to the simplicity of it’s use in emphasizing the wrath of the Eternal Warrior; I don’t mean to beat a dead horse with that word, but it’s honestly the most accurate term I can think of. The simplicity isn’t a bad thing here, indeed the lack of over explaining certain points is actually one of the strengths of the series so far, which in part is reflected in the detailed art.

Whether you’re interested in reading more about the Eternal Warrior, or you just want to read a good comic, this is a series that you should look out for.

Story: Robert Venditti Art: Raul Allen & Patricia Martin
Art Assistant: David Astruga Additional Colours: Borja Pindado
Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review, but I’m picking my copy up on Wednesday anyway.

 

Review: Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #1

WRATH_001_COVER-A_LAFUENTEFor five millennia, the Eternal Warrior has shaped history at the end of his sword. He’s razed empires, toppled civilizations, and broken armies as an immortal soldier in service to the Earth.

But now, the Eternal Warrior has been torn from the world he once protected and finds himself stranded in a hostile alien landscape unlike any he’s faced before. Separated from his earthly environs, can history’s deadliest soldier survive a realm far older, far deadlier, and fare more ruinous than anything he’s ever encountered? Beyond Earth lies eternity…
Let’s get one thing out of the way before we start the review proper: there will more than likely be spoilers for Valiant‘s Book Of Death event contained within this review, so if you haven’t read that but you’re curious about this comic, the Cliff’s Notes version is buy it. The opening chapter is interesting, if not perfect, but I’m willing to bet that we’ll  soon have one awesome series on our hands.

Alright, there may be spoilers from here on out.

Wrath Of The Eternal warrior is scripted by Robert Venditti (who also handled Valiant‘s summer event, Book Of Death), and I would be lying if I said my expectations were already sky high for this series before even picking up the advance review copy that I was fortunate enough to read. Does the first issue hold up to my expectations? Well, not really. It’s a solid opening issue, and an interesting look at an immortal character, but there was something missing for me, but I can’t quite put my finger on what.

After the events of the superb Book Of DeathThe Eternal Warrior has become one of my favourite comic book characters currently being published, so although this comic didn’t quite meet my stratosphere level expectations, that doesn’t mean it’s no good. Indeed, Robert Venditti is on fine form here, scripting an issue that asks more questions than it answers which makes perfect sense for the opening chapter in Valiant‘s latest ongoing series, and in all honesty is exactly what I expected.

Venditti is joined this issue by an extensive art team of artists Raul Allen & Patricia Martin, art assistant David Astruga with additional colours by Borja Pindado (I’m going to refer to them as The Artists or the Art Team from here on out for simplicity’s sake, and because I don’t know who was responsible for what). The layout of the panels in this issue after the story hops back to before are deceptively simple; indeed there are three pages here that have an identical layout of two rows of five panels and a single large one at the bottom that depict some remarkably interesting art. The scenes within those pages are actually quite simple, the Art Team do a wonderful job in showing just how content Gilad is to enjoy the smell of cooking, or the sounds of loved ones approaching. Those pages are very subtle, but they convey a side to the Eternal Warrior that is seldom seen (at least one I haven seldom seen), and adds another layer to an already interesting character.

That Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #1 didn’t meet my expectations doesn’t disappoint me as much as I expected, indeed I’m actually surprised by just how much more I enjoyed the issue when rereading it as I was writing this review. Robert Venditti and the Artists have delivered a solid issue that visually is packed with a lot of content across some simple (and yet all the more interesting because of that simplicity) panel layouts that allow the Art Team to really pace the story very well. As an opening chapter to a new series, Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #1 does exactly what it needs to do: it makes me want more.

Simply put, this is a comic you must read if you have any interest in the Eternal Warrior.

Story: Robert Venditti Art: Raul Allen & Patricia Martin
Art Assistant: David Astruga Additional Colours: Borja Pindado
Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review, but I had already added this series to my pull list.

Review: Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #1

WRATH_001_COVER-A_LAFUENTEFor five millennia, the Eternal Warrior has shaped history at the end of his sword. He’s razed empires, toppled civilizations, and broken armies as an immortal soldier in service to the Earth.

But now, the Eternal Warrior has been torn from the world he once protected and finds himself stranded in a hostile alien landscape unlike any he’s faced before. Separated from his earthly environs, can history’s deadliest soldier survive a realm far older, far deadlier, and fare more ruinous than anything he’s ever encountered? Beyond Earth lies eternity…
Let’s get one thing out of the way before we start the review proper: there will more than likely be spoilers for Valiant‘s Book Of Death event contained within this review, so if you haven’t read that but you’re curious about this comic, the Cliff’s Notes version is buy it. The opening chapter is interesting, if not perfect, but I’m willing to bet that we’ll  soon have one awesome series on our hands.

Alright, there may be spoilers from here on out.

Wrath Of The Eternal warrior is scripted by Robert Venditti (who also handled Valiant‘s summer event, Book Of Death), and I would be lying if I said my expectations were already sky high for this series before even picking up the advance review copy that I was fortunate enough to read. Does the first issue hold up to my expectations? Well, not really. It’s a solid opening issue, and an interesting look at an immortal character, but there was something missing for me, but I can’t quite put my finger on what.

After the events of the superb Book Of DeathThe Eternal Warrior has become one of my favourite comic book characters currently being published, so although this comic didn’t quite meet my stratosphere level expectations, that doesn’t mean it’s no good. Indeed, Robert Venditti is on fine form here, scripting an issue that asks more questions than it answers which makes perfect sense for the opening chapter in Valiant‘s latest ongoing series, and in all honesty is exactly what I expected.

Venditti is joined this issue by an extensive art team of artists Raul Allen & Patricia Martin, art assistant David Astruga with additional colours by Borja Pindado (I’m going to refer to them as The Artists or the Art Team from here on out for simplicity’s sake, and because I don’t know who was responsible for what). The layout of the panels in this issue after the story hops back to before are deceptively simple; indeed there are three pages here that have an identical layout of two rows of five panels and a single large one at the bottom that depict some remarkably interesting art. The scenes within those pages are actually quite simple, the Art Team do a wonderful job in showing just how content Gilad is to enjoy the smell of cooking, or the sounds of loved ones approaching. Those pages are very subtle, but they convey a side to the Eternal Warrior that is seldom seen (at least one I haven seldom seen), and adds another layer to an already interesting character.

That Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #1 didn’t meet my expectations doesn’t disappoint me as much as I expected, indeed I’m actually surprised by just how much more I enjoyed the issue when rereading it as I was writing this review. Robert Venditti and the Artists have delivered a solid issue that visually is packed with a lot of content across some simple (and yet all the more interesting because of that simplicity) panel layouts that allow the Art Team to really pace the story very well. As an opening chapter to a new series, Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #1 does exactly what it needs to do: it makes me want more.

Simply put, this is a comic you must read if you have any interest in the Eternal Warrior.

Story: Robert Venditti Art: Raul Allen & Patricia Martin
Art Assistant: David Astruga Additional Colours: Borja Pindado
Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review, but I had already added this series to my pull list.