It’s been a long time since I covered this book, but with the brand new story arc it’s the perfect opportunity for me to fill in for a month before handing the series back off. This is Valiant’s flagship book and it’s no surprise why considering the quality and praise is equal each and every month. Also, and this is going to sound weird, but I love that logo. It’s so damn cool. Personally, I think this was a series that Venditti was born to write and I hope that we can enjoy his work on the series for years to come. Fifteen issues already! It’s hard to believe since it feels like I just reviewed the first issue the other day, but here we are three story-lines later and it’s still fresh as a daisy. The saying goes, “You can never go home again… unless you have a spaceship and bad-ass armor.” At least that’s how it’ll likely go in this arc of the series. The issue opens in Romania with Aric standing in a National History Museum looking at the artifacts of his culture, of his society. Everything that was moments ago to him prior to his kidnapping and crazy armor journey now lie behind glass. In his words, “Everything I know… history.”
In one of the rare times jumping to the past hasn't annoyed me, the story jumps back two days prior as Aric begins flying the ship back towards Earth. He rallies his people letting them know that they will return to earth and finally have a kingdom and land of their own. It’s a great speech, but clearly Aric still has no grasp on the way the earth currently is. He lands the space ship above a park in Romania and causes fatal car accidents and an overall panic in the city as the citizen’s run. He exits the ship and tells his people that they’re claiming the land for their own and that’s that. Back in the museum, the Eternal Warrior pays him a visit and what starts as a joyous reunion… doesn't end well.
The Eternal Warrior is an awesome character. He’s probably the most connected character in the Valiant Universe and they continue to find interesting ways to use him and connect him. And unlike the big two, he never appears in two books at once (at least for now). Venditti has added a very interesting twist to this story. Aside from the Eternal Warriors involvement, the consequences of this issue are potentially huge. If X-O decides to just plop down and take over part of a country that puts this title in another league and surpasses its current “superhero” genre definition. It’s great stuff and what was more impressive was the fact that I missed the last story arc and was able to jump back on the series no problem. Granted, I now want to go back and read what I missed, but it means that new readers could easily jump on this series with this issue the way I did.
It seems like Lee Garbett trades story arcs with Cary Nord and while I wasn’t a huge fan of his art the first time I saw it, now I’ve had a few issue and different series to check out his style. It works. He’s a great fit for the story and the universe and if Nord is working on another story arc I’m more than happy to see Garbett on the series. The museum was my favorite setting as Garbett makes it look genuine and then destroys everything.
I’m still very impressed with this book and I fail to compare it to anything else on the market. That’s the wonderful thing about Valiant’s entire line, there’s nothing else like it. I have to say that their return to comics has been one of the best things I’ve witnessed in comics and with the quality of series like this, I think they’ll be around for a very long time.
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Lee Garbett
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Release Date: 7/10/13