Synopsis: Gilad Anni-Padda has died countless times in service to the earth for eons. But when he died saving a girl and the earth, he was reunited with his family in the afterlife, but the pull of his never-ending duty called again. His son left the idyllic afterlife to search for his father through a hellish landscape. With his son captured by demons, Gilad will risk everything to save his first-born son, including facing a giant the size of a mountain.
Review: In the penultimate issue of Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #13, Gilad faces his greatest challenge before rescuing his son. There are multiple things at stake. His family that remained in the once safe afterlife seem to be in peril as a massive storm batters their home. Gilad’s loved ones have resided in tranquility for ages, and they have never witnessed a storm. This omen by writer Robert Venditti emphasizes that our hero could lose everything if he is not victorious.
On the battlefield, the eternal warrior is in the midst of legions of demons, and their leader, Pale Herder, is a mountain that seems impossible to beat. Venditti understands that Gilad dying isn’t an actual stake for an immortal, but the reader still needs a healthy dose of conflict. The insurmountable odds are necessary to keep the story as engaging. Using one of the many times Gilad has failed as a foil, we see his triumph against the demonic titan as a link in the endless line of victories and defeats. This is what makes Eternal Warrior such a compelling series. When life and death are taken out of the equation (for the most part), it is the journey and experience that makes this character so powerful.
Robert Gill’s art for Wrath #13 is outstanding. The hordes of demons look disgusting, and Pale Herder looks absolutely grotesque; it is a sight to behold. Also, the flashback scenes against the vikings are equally as gorgeous and powerful. Furthermore, Mike Spicer’s colors and Dave Sharpe’s lettering skills really drive home how well this book works on a technical level. This art team is the dream team. Anyone who loves sword and sorcery genre should definitely read this entire series, for it is an absolute delight.
Eternal Warrior is one of Valiant’s most unusual and strongest titles. (Think of it as a warrior Doctor Who sans space.) The versatility of the property allows the freedom to tell incredibly weird and outlandish stories, but with a stellar creative team, such as this, the series can remain grounded and palpable. This is why issue #13 works on such a fundamental level. Those who have worked on this series should be incredibly proud of themselves for producing something of such high-caliber.