Ah, Eternal Warrior. Our battle continues. I’m still not sure what to make of this book, with its cyclical quality and my resultant fluctuating interest in it. I’m just not sure I’m down with this story anymore; it’s not that it isn’t adequately-produced, it’s just not hugely gripping or appreciably different from other stories like it. That said, I don’t want it to sound like I hated this issue or anything. I didn’t, and in fact found a lot of cool things in it, but I’m just not sure that the potential of this book is enough to keep me reading it.
This issue sees YOUR Eternal Emperor, Gilad Anni-Padda, leading his fellow denizens of the year 4001 A.D. in a laser gun-equipped charge against the “death cult of Nergal,” not just because our white-bearded champion has an historic hard-on to kill these jokers, but because they are currently attempting to seize and/or destroy the future’s anti-cancer potion, which will help heal Gilad’s people of their radiation poisoning.
So, excepting maybe the whole cancer angle - which falls pretty flatly thanks to the immediate and easy means of a cure - at its heart, this comic book wants to be metal as fuck. And sometimes, Eternal Warrior #8 even unzips its leather pants and throws down its savage (narrative) membrane.
Throw a few more shadows and a darker palette on that wordless splash of Gilad and his crew capping death-worshippers in their grillz, for example, and you’d have one hell of an album cover. There’s even a scene that looks like a mosh pit with metal dogs and a gang of dudes with skeletons tattooed on their faces! And let’s not neglect to mention the nuclear battle mechs pounding assholes into jelly. Mustn’t forget them!
Those scenes this issue were phenomenal, with the bulk of credit going to artist Robert Gill, who clearly had a giggle illustrating them. In fact, Gill does a lot of the heavy lifting this issue, and does a pretty darn good job of it. There are moments of inconsistency, for sure, but none that are overly egregious; more rushed and unpolished. When he does bring it, though, he brings it hard!
As for Pak’s writing, it’s good, but it’s far from his best or most interesting work. I continue to enjoy the dialogue he is writing between Gilad and his granddaughter Caroline, which here takes a noticeable bump in its evolution and bodes potential disaster on the horizon. But that’s really the only thing I liked. Gilad is a hardened badass, willing to kill anyone to keep his people (especially his granddaughter) alive, but as I mentioned about the cancer above, it all just seems too easy for him.
The conflict is large and brutal, yes, but its narrative punch is still kind of weak. It feels like Pak has been holding back too long on the revelations in this arc of his story. I know that sounds like I have an instant gratification problem, but really I think it’s an indicator that the pacing is off.
There are some great hints at a revelation at the end of this book, and it will be interesting to see where those would go. This feels decisive, but far too abrupt. And I’m not sure that I personally care to continue the journey. It was fun while it lasted, Eternal Warrior, but this is where I check out.
Writer: Greg Pak Artist: Robert Gill Colorist: Guy Major Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Date: 4/23/14