Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Writer: Robert Vendetti
Artists: Raul Allen, Patricia Martin
Released: #1 out now; #2 on sale 16th December 2015
The concept of an immortal warrior is not exactly a new one. From Achilles through Elric right to the Doctor, it’s a concept that has ironically been done to death, and yet is one that we can’t seem to get enough of in its many, many forms. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Valiant’s stellar pantheon, Gilad Anni-Padda is Valiant’s offering of this ilk, sliding in alongside their other heroes as the one that they can kill rather gruesomely, and yet bring back for round 1,743. Which is always fun.
Right out the gate, the first thing that’ll strike you is that the art is nothing short of stunning. Gorgeously rendered panels have an air of Frank Quitely, with the detail and cinematic framing, giving the story-telling a deft, satisfying gait. The bold outer lines of the characters juxtapose with the infinitesimally detailed lines to give them weight, making them feel real, despite it being a highly stylised and fantastical world we’re being presented with.
There’s also a curious poetry to the panel structuring, with pages – even across the two issues, let alone within each issue – echoing each other, keeping the story grounded within itself. From an art perspective, this undoubtedly is a late entry for one of the most gorgeous series released this year.
The story is perhaps a little more abstract, and whilst great pains are taken to fill you in on precisely who and what Gilad is in the context of the main Valiant timeline, here we’re being treated to the precise means through which he is able to be eternal, as well as what may well be his weakness. Almost by necessity, there’s a lot of abstraction and allusion, to times long past, to paradises gained and lost – in context, it’s a rich and deeply satisfying tale. But at the same time, to the newcomer, it may feel a little alienating – it does seem predicated on a pre-existing relationship with this character, and whilst I’m fortunate enough to have just that, not all of y’all will be so lucky.
Still, I’ve been harping on about getting aboard Valiant’s intricately crafted universe for a while now, so it’d be safe to assume that a fair few of you have done so. With that, and the beautiful art, and the terrifically paced story that knows just when to hit you with the cliffhanger, and the beautifully weighted dialogue, and literally everything else about this book, I can do nothing but heartily recommend you get this book bought. Valiant and Vendetti have knocked it out the park once again.
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The Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24