A fitting ending to the first ‘Eternal Emperor’ story line is both impactful and somber as the Eternal Warrior reveals that saving his people and his beloved granddaughter Caroline may spell the beginning of the end for a future generation.
Official description from VALIANT:
Is the Eternal Warrior finally out of time? Every moment in the centuries-long life of Gilad Anni-Padda has led to this moment. Far removed from the modern day, standing resolute at the last tattered edge of the civilization, the Eternal Emperor of 4001 A.D. is about to make the hardest choice of all – and two thousand years of Valiant heroes will feel the fallout.
Writer Greg Pak has done a masterful job launching readers 2000 years in the future with Valiant’s favorite immortal the Eternal Warrior. The journey to save the world form nuclear disaster has been concise and engaging story throughout. Pak sets readers up for a glorious happy ending and succeeds. But he also foreshadows a quite depressing bigger picture as the long-term result of his effort. Honestly, it’s beyond depressing, it’s downright heartbreaking, but in the best possible way. Pak shows through Gilad Anni-Padda’s eyes the thousands of years of cyclical violence and human destruction he bears witness to and knows may never end. For a story so grounded it’s overall implications are beyond the here and now.
Gilad’s love for his granddaughter and possibly only heir to his immortality is palpable and heartfelt. Pak uses that to tremendous effectiveness by the end of the story. While the action has been outstanding and the quest of Gilad noble it is ultimately it’s own worst enemy. Though it all Gilad knows sacrifices must be made but the lingering question still remains. “Is any of this worth it?” The answer may surprise you.
Robert Gill continues some top notch work with the story. He has a tremendous sense of balance between what feels like a land and time long ago but still manages to remind you that this is the future. The action is always good but what Gill captures most is the playfulness of Gilad’s niece Caroline and the shift and change she experiences through the ordeal of surviving a nuclear threat. He captures beautifully the youthful exuberance of Caroline and the sadness of a warrior in Gilad.
Pak’s point is the change in Caroline and on the surface it’s pure happiness but underneath lies the dread of human nature. All this could get lost in the action and excitement but Pak punctuates this arc perfectly. The Eternal Warrior is fantastic storytelling with meaning and in the end heart. This entire run is a feather in Valiant’s cap and a must read for fans of comic books that go beyond expectations.
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