Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artists: Raul Allen, Patricia Martin
Released: 20th of January, 2016
Wrath of the Eternal Warrior was one of 2015’s most tardy treats – but whenever one declares a series ‘just so, so great’ after 2 issues, there’s always that worry that you might’ve passed judgement on it a little too soon, with a potential ball-drop threatening to make one look rather silly from a critical standpoint. ‘You said that book where they go from hell to riding moon-unicorns through space was the best thing of 2015? You absolute fanny!’
Thankfully, there’s not a single moon-unicorn in sight, which is something of a relief, with the series still being a glorious read after its enthralling overture.
And whilst Venditti deserves a heck of a lot of the credit for creating a compelling and intriguing study of a man cursed with immortality, it’s the way that Allen and Martin bring it to life that remains the primary selling point. with the story progressing in such a way in this issue as to allow them to render so magnificently bleak scenes of other-worldly torture. There’s a queasy reality to the hellscape they’ve produced, with same absolutely fascinating monster design, all ragged, leathery hides and bone protrusions. There’s a brief moment where we’re reminded of quite what Gilad is fighting for, and the contrast between his paradise and the hell he’s found himself in is rather staggering, cold blues against warm reds, horrifying beasts against smooth human faces. Simply, astoundingly beautiful.
As far as progressing the story goes, the grand pace of the story is a little slower here, which in turn affords it an opportunity to ramp up the pace of the minute-to-minute action as Gilad slashes and shoots his way through an oncoming horde. This unfortunately does not give Venditti much opportunity to showcase his dialogue skills, though we’re still get some of his delightfully unsettling bad guy-isms from the various monsters Gilad has to go through. If you hadn’t already, you’ll now understand quite why he’s so pissed at these monstrosities.
After their success in 2015, Valiant are hitting the ground running in 2016, and this gorgeous piece of work sees the bar that’s been set, and vaults over it with ease. If my previous evangelising hasn’t convinced you that this series should find its way onto your ‘must pull’ list, then I really don’t know what else I can do, but this here could’ve been just a holding issue, and instead pulls off an exciting, intricately detailed torture-and-escape sequence that’ll get your blood a-pumping. Acquire, immediately.
The Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24