The first issue of Eternal Warrior: Days of Steel was a flawed but fun read that set up this mini-series nicely. It is with regret that I have to say how much damage this issue did to that solid foundation. After reading this second instalment my interest in this series has been reduced to almost nothing, and I even find myself losing respect for the titular character who under the pen of Peter Milligan has become boring and unlikeable. It’s a shame as it leaves me feeling very negative about this once promising mini. A problem I had with the first entry of this series was that it lacked any great supporting characters. The parents of a boy who will save his people, Konrad and Breta were the only two we were fully introduced to and they were, to be frank, boring and undeveloped. In this issue the pair makes their return, more disappointing than ever before! The two have no character to them whatsoever, and the lack of emotion they showed as they handed their newborn baby over to a stranger just wasn’t realistic, making them feel more like robots than functioning human beings. The main story of this book doesn’t fare much better. I feel like three issues maybe isn’t enough for the tale that writer Peter Milligan is trying to tell here. Things felt like they were moving too fast, so fast in fact that it was hard to get invested in any of the events that were unfolding on the page.
Meanwhile, Milligan continues to clumsily cram another plot thread into the mix – the gripping tale of Konrad trying to win back his wife’s love and respect. It would always be boring watching one uninteresting character try to impress another uninteresting character, but in this series it seems particularly bad.
Perhaps this is due to the dialogue in this book which at some points is laughably bad – not just for Konrad and Breta but in general. The interesting ideas Milligan seemed to display in the first entry are no longer present, leaving this issue feeling far less interesting. This isn’t helped by the less than engaging way this story is told, mainly through the Eternal Warrior’s narration which is not exciting to read and mostly just dull explanations of events that have happened since the last issue. This leaves the once intriguing story of a young boy who must be protected in order to secure the fate of his people, feeling stale and by the end of this instalment I no longer felt any desire to see how this tale ends.
One redeeming feature of this book remains the art by Cary Nord which is pleasant throughout. That being said, even the art doesn’t escape this issue unscathed. Maybe Nord spent too long perfecting the first issue of this series, because the artwork here sometimes looks rushed in comparison. Some heads and limbs just don’t look quite right, and I began to tire of the exaggerated facial expressions present in many panels. Overall the art still remains the strongest part of this book, but it doesn’t save this issue from being one of the weakest Valiant has put out in some time.
In the end, Eternal Warrior – Days of Steel #2 has effectively killed any enthusiasm I felt for this miniseries. The story no longer feels exciting, and there isn’t a single character that doesn’t feel bland. Take into account the good but somewhat deteriorating artwork and you have a book that doesn’t warrant your attention, not to mention one of the worst that the new Valiant universe has seen so far.
Writer: Peter Milligan Artist: Cary Nord Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 12/3/14 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital