Written by Greg Pak
Art by Trevor Hairsine
Published by Valiant Entertainment
Release Date: September 11, 2013

EW_001_COVER_CRAINThe Eternal Warrior. The Fist & Steel. Gilad Anni-Padda. The name you use doesn’t matter. He will kick your ass.

Greg Pak’s Eternal Warrior #1 hits with a fury, wasting no time throwing readers directly into the thick of the action and never letting up, showcasing a side of Gilad we have yet to see. Archer & Armstrong readers know what this character is capable of, and that he is the best of the best in the Valiant Universe, but his capabilities on the fields of battle have not been shown quite like this. Pak’s Eternal Warrior is stoic and calm during battle. He is quite obviously immortal and this is certainly not his first battle, even though we see him in action hundreds of years ago. There is no doubting this is a seasoned warrior, and by Pak’s hand he exudes confidence and strength. By page two readers will know that this character is as tough as they come, but Pak does an excellent job of showing Gilad’s intelligence throughout the issue. He is not just dumb muscle, by any means: this character is a brilliant strategist and, when needed, a pacifist. The calculating nature of the character from Archer & Armstrong transfers to this title, bringing a cohesive feeling to the world we are reading, and making Valiant readers feel at home immediately. In this issue Pak also does a strong job of carving out Gilad’s own section of the Valiant Universe. This title will not be dominated by his brothers, nor does it need to be. An immortal lives a lot of lives, and it is obvious there are many stories of Gilad to tell. This script flows brilliantly, features strong characters, and a decent hint of mystery to go with the action expected from Eternal Warrior.

The art, while fevered and frantic during the battle scenes, is not as strong as the rock solid script in this issue. The art is not bad, and Hairsine’s style is definitely suited to the chaos of some large scale battles, but there are inconsistencies throughout the issue that detract from the script. There are some emotional moments in the script that miss the mark slightly due to generic facial expressions that lacked detail. The art does stand out from other books in the Valiant line and Hairsine’s style does evoke the energy of battle well, but in the quieter, more character driven moments of the issue the story would have been well served by some more definitive facial work to really sell the emotional beats.

Eternal Warrior #1 is proof that Valiant is doing many things right and making strong choices. Pak’s rock solid script sets up some interesting situations to build on going forward. The artwork is not the best we’ve seen from Hairsine, but shows promise for the action heavy aspects of this book going forward. This is a solid debut for a series I will be following to see where Pak takes us next.

Verdict: 7.0/10


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