Tag Archives: trevor hairsine

Underrated: Eternal Warrior: Sword of the Wild

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Eternal Warrior: Sword of the Wild



eternal warrior sword of the wild.jpgIt should be no secret to you that I am a huge fan of Valiant comics. I’ve also made no secret of my love for the Eternal Warrior. But a lot of that love stems from Book Of Death and Wrath of the Eternal Warrior, and not his first solo series offered since Valiant’s 2012 relaunch, the eponymously titled Eternal Warrior. I first read that series shortly after Book Of Death and didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to, and although I’ve heard mixed opinions on it since, I wanted to give the first four issues in the series another chance (you can find them collected as Sword Of The Wild, hence the full title of this week’s column, and what I’ll be referring to them as going forward).

The back of the trade dressing (apparently) reads;

Soldier. Guardian. Warrior. Legend. Across ten millennia and a thousand battlefields, Gilad Anni-Padda has traversed the darkest, most mysterious corners of history. But the horror and bloodshed of constant warfare has finally taken its toll on the man myth calls the Eternal Warrior…and he has abdicated his duties as the Fist and the Steel of Earth for a quiet life of seclusion. But when a blood vendetta from the distant past suddenly reappears in the modern day, he must decide if he will return to the ways of war…for the child who betrayed him thousands of years ago…

Before rereading Sword of the Wild I realised that I had to look at the book as its own entity, removed from the larger continuity of the Valiant universe as a whole. This realisation came because for me Sword of the Wild doesn’t tie in to the portrayal of the Eternal Warrior we were given in Unity, and subsequently Book Of Death and Wrath of the Eternal Warrior (although the latter two came after Sword of the Wild) nor the general continuity Valiant had built at the time. Once I had taken that mentality with the book,  I sat down, opened the front cover and got started… and was immediately transported to what felt like a reimagination of the 90’s era Eternal Warrior.

I say this because although the book doesn’t lot in as well with the Valiant continuity as other books and series have done, it’s still a really enjoyable read. More so than I initially expected. When you look at this book as a standlone story about an immortal warrior finally having enough of the world’s shit and just wants to live the rest of his long days in peace (or at least a portion of them), and remove any preconcieved notions of how it could or should fit into the other stories featuring Gilad Anni-Padda, then you’ll find that there’s a really compelling four issue arc here.

Just on that maybe lines up better with the pre-relaunch Valiant comics than the Valiant Entertainment era.

I really enjoyed this book – far more than I expected to. So why is it today’s subject? Because I hear very few people talk about this volume with the enthusiasm the character deserves because it doesn’t fit the larger Valiant continuity as well as it could. But as a standalone story? It’s pretty good – that’s why the book is Underrated.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Preview: Damage #9

Damage #9

(W) Robert Venditti (A) Aaron Lopresti, Matt Ryan (CA) Trevor Hairsine
In Shops: Sep 19, 2018
SRP: $2.99

Talk about a brave and bold team-up: Damage has joined forces with a mysterious top military operative, and now the two are on the run from Colonel Jonas and her black-ops team. With his powers back up and running, there’s nothing to stop Damage from killing the woman who turned him into a monster-with the possible exception of one dark secret!

Preview: CODA #5

CODA #5

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Matías Bergara
Cover Artist:
    Main Cover: Matías Bergara
    Intermix Cover: Trevor Hairsine
Colorist: Matías Bergara
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Price: $3.99

Still reeling from the return of his past, Hum and the hero of Ridgetown must set out to infiltrate the bandit city of Thundervale to investigate the existence of a supposed surviving Whitlord, the dark beings that set about the apocalypse.

Review: X-O Manowar #18

XO2017_018_COVER-A_LAROSAjpgSentenced to die for crimes against the empire, Aric of Dacia and his new comrade, Sabbas, have escaped the gladiatorial arena… only to find themselves in far more dire straits! Centuries before he would become X-O Manowar, can a brasher, younger Aric – sworn to combat the Romans at any cost – outwit and outmaneuver the machinations of the planet’s most powerful civilization… even as death threatens him and the fate of the entire Visigoth nation?

A word of advice if you pick both Valiant comics up this week; read Harbinger Wars II #4 (or at least a synopsis of it if you’re curious) before reading this book because the final page of X-O Manowar #18 will spoil the events of the previously mentioned comic in an oddly subtle and almost callous manner as this issue winds o a close. With Matt Kindt handling scripting duties for both Valiant comics this week, the obvious question will be which is better – the easy answer is this one.

X-O Manowar #18 wraps up the Barbarians arc in which we see a young, pre-armour Aric of Dacia heading into Rome to rescue his best friend’s brother. The reason this story is presented to us is partly to avoid conflict with HBII as Aric plays a role in that series (and by telling a story from the past you avoid the need to explain continuity away), partly to develop the relationship between Aric and his armour, and partly to introduce more characters from Aric’s past. But these things mean very little if the comic itself isn’t worth reading, and thankfully this one is.

Although at first this is a largely silent issue, Kindt’s script allows Trevor Hairsine  to flex his storytelling muscles through the opening sequence as he delivers a wonderfully choreographed water battle set within the Colliseum as Aric and the newly introduced Sabbas face off against two ships. The sequence serves to remind you that even without his legenday armour, Aric of Dacia is still a formidable warrior – and remember this is before he reaches maturity, so his kills would have developed between this moment and the time he is captured by the Vine back in X-O Manowar #1 (the 2012 series).

We’re brought back into the present by the over hanging thread of Shanhara replaying Aric’s memories to guide him in his future decision making, and their conversation leads to a remarkably deep question from the man as Shanhara makes an observation or threes about the world and an equally poignant answer from the armour. It’s in this moment that we understand just how deep their symbiotic relationship goes. It’s this exchange that makes the entire Barbarians arc suddenly relevant and ties the past to the present (and no, I won’t tell you what it is) in a moment that i more powerful than it has any right to be. With X-O Manowar #18 Kindt has delivered a sleeper hit in the running for my issue of the year based solely on the conclusion of the comic.

Story: Matt Kindt Pencils: Trevor Hairsine
Inks: Brian Theis Colours: Diego Rodriguez Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.9 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Shattered Grid #1

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Shattered Grid #1

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Artist: Daniele Di Nicuolo & Diego Galindo
Cover Artists:
Main Cover
: Jamal Campbell
     Incentive Cover: Chris Burnham
     Incentive Cover: Christian Ward
     Unlocked Retailer Variant: Trevor Hairsine, with colors by Alex Guimarães
     Holofoil Cover: Trevor Hairsine, with colors by Alex Guimarães
Colorist: Walter Baiamonte & Marcelo Costa
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Price: $3.99

The epic conclusion to the first Power Rangers comic book event.  Everything changes here!

Preview: X-O Manowar (2017) #18

X-O MANOWAR (2017) #18

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by TREVOR HAIRSINE with BRIAN THIES
Colors by DIEGO RODRIGUEZ
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by LEWIS LAROSA
Cover B by JIM MAHFOOD
Interlocking Variant by VERONICA FISH
X-O Manowar Icon Variant by RENATO GUEDES
Pre-Order Edition by SHANE DAVIS
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | VALIANT PREMIUM | T+ | On Sale AUGUST 29th

The executioner’s blade!

Sentenced to die for crimes against the empire, Aric of Dacia and his new comrade, Sabbas, have escaped the gladiatorial arena… only to find themselves in far more dire straits! Centuries before he would become X-O Manowar, can a brasher, younger Aric – sworn to combat the Romans at any cost – outwit and outmaneuver the machinations of the planet’s most powerful civilization… even as death threatens him and the fate of the entire Visigoth nation?

In Coda #5, Serka Must Infiltrate the Bandit City of Thundervale

BOOM! Studios has unveiled a first look at Coda #5, the newest chapter of the critically-acclaimed broken fantasy epic from Eisner-nominated writer Simon Spurrier and Matías Bergara, on-sale in September. Also arriving in stores the same day will be Coda Vol.1 Discover Now Edition, a limited edition comic-shop exclusive collection featuring the first four issues of the series, with an MSRP of $9.99.

This all-new series, which sold out at a distributor level before the release of the first issue, reveals the aftermath of an apocalypse which wiped out nearly all magic from a once-wondrous fantasy world, in which an antisocial former bard named Hum seeks a way to save the soul of his wife with nothing but a foul-tempered mutant unicorn and his wits to protect him…but is unwillingly drawn into a brutal power struggle which will decide forever who rules the weird wasteland.

In Coda #5, featuring a main wraparound cover by Bergara, along with a variant cover by Trevor Hairsine, Hum and Serka must set out to infiltrate the bandit city of Thundervale to investigate the existence of a supposed surviving Wihtlord…the dark beings that set about the apocalypse.

You can find Coda #5 on shelves September 19th, 2018.

Preview: Damage #8

Damage #8

(W) Robert Venditti (A) Diogenes Neves, Trevor Scott (CA) Trevor Hairsine
In Shops: Aug 15, 2018
SRP: $2.99

Laid up in a hospital recuperating till he can become Damage again, Ethan Avery gets help from a surprising source: the Unknown Soldier, master of covert warfare! The Soldier helps Ethan evade Colonel Jonas and her military ops team until his powers recharge, but time’s running out-not just for Ethan, but for the other patients as well.

Preview: Red Hood and the Outlaws #25

Red Hood and the Outlaws #25

(W) Scott Lobdell (A) Dexter Soy, Ryan Winn, Phil Hester, Ande Parks (A/CA) Trevor Hairsine
In Shops: Aug 08, 2018
SRP: $4.99

Batman versus Red Hood for the right to fight in Gotham-grab your ringside seat for the battle 25 years in the making! Jason Todd broke a promise to his mentor, and must now confront an angry and betrayed Batman. That means a good time for readers, but probably not so much for Jason: it’s likely going to take more than the Outlaws’ help in order for the Red Hood to avoid wearing an orange jumper in prison.

Review: X-O Manowar #17

XO2017_017_COVER-A_LAROSAShackled against his will and brought forward into the homeland of his enemies, Aric of Dacia – the war-hardened Visigoth who will one day become the unstoppable X-O Manowar – is about to encounter a staggering sight: the city of Rome! Soon, Aric will discover that the capital of history’s most ruthless empire can be far more dangerous than any battlefield… And even if he survives the hidden horrors of the emperor’s dungeon, can he withstand the all-out brutality of the Coliseum?

The second of Valiant’s books this week set in Rome, X-O Manowar takes a step into the past as Matt Kindt avoids conflict with Harbinger Wars II #3 where Aric plays a rather significant role by telling a story prior to his acquisition of the armour.

Although the comic follows Aric as he fumbles his way through Rome in an almost hap hazard manner, the bulk of the issue is actually focused on the newly introduced Sabbas as we learn more about him and his story. Kindt uses Sabbas to inject some slight humour into an otherwise dour tale as ultimately the highlight of the comic for me in terms of the story is Shanhara’s narration, and the oh-so-timely reminder that history can predict the future.

Whilst I can’t say this arc is my favorite I’ve read featuring X-O Manowar, I absolutely love that Matt Kindt has written a story that implores readers to learn from the past. Given that Aric is reliving a memory in order to do just that, we can see that sometimes looking backward is a window into what will come in our future if we don’t alter our course. Obviously, we can all take our own interpretations what Kindt’s specific meaning is, whether that’s a personal or more political in nature, but the old adage remains as true for Aric of Dacia as it does you and I – “those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

Story: Matt Kindt Art: Trevor Hairsine with Ryan Bodenhiem
Inks: Brian Thies Colorists: Diego Rodriguez and Andrew Dalhouse Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.2 Art: 8.9 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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