It’s winter at King Arthur’s court in Camelot! The monstrous Green Knight has appeared before the Round Table with no armor, a gigantic axe, and a challenge. He has come to insist that the weaker knights participate in a friendly “winter’s game” where anyone can strike him once with his axe, but on one condition: That the Green Knight can return the exact blow in one year’s time. King Arthur has agreed to face the mysterious knight himself, but the Round Table’s youthful and most gallant champion, Sir Gilad, takes up the challenge to protect his king. Much to the court’s surprise, the Green Knight doesn’t flinch as his head is struck clean off…only to pick it up himself and warn Gilad that he is fated to receive the same blow before the year is out. Now, Gilad – the Eternal Warrior – must solve the mystery of who the Green Knight is before his hour at the axe comes to pass! But first, he’ll need to find some help…in the form of his own immortal brothers – Armstrong and Ivar – who shall be united once more!
I have always been interested in tales on King Arthur, right from when I was a young lad I would watch – or read – anything I could that had ties to Arthur, and while that fascination has been tempered with other things over the years, there’s still a soft spot in my heart for the Once and Future King. So when I found out that Valiant would be publishing a 48 page one-shot comic featuring the Anni-Padda brothers set during the time of Arthur I was very intrigued by the concept – especially seeing as how Gilad Anni-Padda has become one of my favorite comic book characters in the last year.
There are two ways for me to look at this comic; one is as a self-proclaimed Arthurian nerd (who really doesn’t know much, but has strong ideas on the history of the man that may or may not be substantiated) and the other is as a fan of Valiant comics, and the Anni Padda brothers. Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed the story, but as a Valiant fan it’s wonderful. Although the brothers take center stage in this tale, they’re not the only heroes from the Valiant universe to appear as the historical story is told in much the same way as The Princess Bride, which allows Fred Van Lente to tie it into the rest of the Valiant universe.
If you’re familiar with the old Arthurian tale then you’ll know the gist of this story already, but there’s still more than enough little touches to justify the comic’s place in your Valiant collection. If you’re not familiar with the old tale then you’ll be able to enjoy both the story and the art (which is also very good).
Is this essential reading to understand any of the characters involved? No, but that really isn’t why you should be reading this; The Immortal Brother: The Tale Of The Green Knight marks the first time in quite some time that we’ve seen the Anni-Padda brothers in the same comic together, and it’s a brilliant piece of escapism that will take you to a different place – if only for a short time.
I, for one, hope Valiant publish more comics like this.
Story: Fred Van Lente Artists: Cary Nord with Clayton Henry
Inks: Mark Morales Colour Art: Brian Reber
Story: 9.5 Art: 9 Overall: 9.25 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review