Eternal Warrior: Days of Steel #3

I for one am very happy this mini-series is over. While the first chapter felt weak, I was initially interested in what Peter Milligan’s take on the Eternal Warrior would be. With issue two my interest was stunted, and after reading this concluding chapter I find myself questioning many things. What was the point of this series? How did this abysmal book find its way into Valiant’s otherwise excellent line-up? I can’t hope to find answers to these questions, so instead I’ll find my closure by simply spreading the message that this book is quite frankly a waste of time and money. I try not to be so harsh as to say things like that in my reviews, but I can’t find any other words when talking about this issue. Concluding the story of Falk, the weak and cowardly minstrel that supposedly is to be the saviour of his people, this issue wraps up Milligan’s series with no loose ends. I suppose that’s one good thing about this series; it doesn’t leave you hanging. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the execution of this story is very poor.

As I’ve mentioned in reviews of previous issues, it’s the characters of this mini-series that have proven most problematic to me. The core idea of Milligan’s story had potential, but that potential was never reached due to their being not a single character to gravitate towards in the entire series. Even the Eternal Warrior himself came off bland, boring and one-note in this book, and with the supporting cast left severely undeveloped we’re left reading about what happened to characters we know little about, and care for even less. This leaves the moments that I’m guessing were intended to be emotional, falling completely flat on their face. I didn’t care what happened to any of the characters in this book, and that is a huge problem.

EW_DOS_003_VARIANT_BARRIONUEVOOf course it didn’t help matters that the way the story was presented lacked suspense. There was never any sense of tension because the Eternal Warrior was able to overcome any foe with ease, and there was never a chance to really immerse yourself in the book’s events as it was moving too fast for its own good. This leads me to the conclusion that to tell this story well would take more than just three issues. This would give Milligan time to develop his characters more, and also give him a chance to raise the stakes and consequentially give his book more tension and a reason for us to get behind his protagonist. But this isn’t what happened, instead we got a lame three issue mini that felt extremely rushed.

The saving grace of this book’s earlier issues was its artwork, but even Cary Nord isn’t producing his best work here. In fact, compare the art in this book to Nord’s work on issue one of this series and you can see a very noticeable degradation – almost as if Nord spent too much time perfecting the first issue, to produce good work on the rest of the series. Many times in this issue do faces and bodies change shape, background figures lack detail with many looking outright odd, and the action (what little there is) is anticlimactic, static and dull.

The final sentence of this book seems to hint that Milligan has ideas for more Eternal Warrior stories, and would like to do a sequel to this book. I hope that isn’t the case however, and if it is I hope that Valiant prevents that sequel from ever getting made. I still think highly of Valiant as a publisher, but the severe lack of quality in this book has definitely left me wondering if their hot streak is coming to an end. This mini-series was very rushed and lacked any suspense or interesting characters making it very hard to get invested in the story it was telling. The one promising feature of the book, the artwork, became increasingly harder to look at as the series progressed. What’s left is not only the worst Valiant book I have ever read, but also one of the worst comics I’ve ever read full stop. Do yourself a favour, and avoid this one at all costs.

Score: 1/5

Writer: Peter Milligan Artist: Cary Nord Colorist: Brian Reber Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/7/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital