Gilad, the Eternal Warrior. Literally a warrior
blessed cursed to live out all eternity, to kill for Earth – one of the gods in the Valiant Universe. A character like Gilad is extremely interesting, because he’s a character you can place in just about any time period, and pit him against an enemy in just about any war. Greg Pak, the book’s writer, does just this… Or tries anyhow. Where it should make the book feel a bit more rounded, it comes across scattered in actuality.
At the start of each issue we see Gilad in different time periods. Some stretch back over 6000 years. Others are a bit more recent, colonial or other. The disparate time periods add only to his legend, and not to the overall story. There’s also the overlaying story that takes place in the modern day. We never do find out within these four issues why he’s retired from serving the Earth god, but he repeats the fact to the reader many times throughout the narrative. As I was unable to understand his current situation, it was a very hard sell for me to get behind the character.
He was also dead set on killing all the gods. Another of the many unexplained plot elements that just pushed me to the point of disinterest. But worst of all was the family aspect pushed upon the reader. It turns out his children – his daughter Xaran and son Mitu – are also eternal. His daughter has a special vendetta on Buck, a geomancer: ones that serve Earth to protect her. For some reason Gilad isn’t quite as surprised that his daughter’s still alive after some 6000 years, and doesn’t see much wrong in helping her kill his former contact.
This book has a lot of really interesting plot points, conceptually. A four-issue comic book arc wasn’t the medium it should have been delivered in. The art, like the story, was also all over the place. Five artists contributed, and each was strong in their own right. Not all of it gelled for me, but I never felt lost amongst the panels, just the narration. The story continues in Eternal Emperor, volume 2 of the Eternal Warrior epic. I’ll be interested in reading it, if only to see if any of my confusions are answered. Sadly, the Eternal Warrior is far more interesting as a character within the newly rebooted Valiant Universe, than the book he’s introduced in.