“They sing of who they are. They sing of deliverance.”
Hey, all, this is D.C. back to throwdown on an interesting comic: Valiant’s Eternal Warrior: Days of Steel.
Who is the Eternal Warrior?
Gilad Anni-Padda is the youngest of the three Anni-Padda brothers (the eldest, Ivar the Timewalker, and Aram, aka Armstrong). Somewhere around 10 millennia ago, the Anni-Padda brothers each achieved immortality in different ways. In Gilad’s case, the earth keeps him alive to serve and protect the geomancer, the speaker of the earth. By his introduction, Gilad had amassed almost 10’000 years worth of warfare expertise. He is Valiant’s more proficient warrior and strategist.
The third volume of Eternal Warrior addresses one of many periods in Gilad’s life and delves into something we all can attest to: faith, or lack thereof. After serving the earth for millennia, what happens when Gilad begins to question his faith and service to the earth and the geomancer?
Days of Steel sees the geomancer, expressed as a crow (which confused me, since all geomancers I’d seen, past, present and future, were human) tasks the Eternal Warrior with protect a baby destined to be the savior of his dying Frank people and culture in the war against the Magyar. What happens when Gilad questions his decision when choosing the “right” savior?
Writing and Art?
Peter Milligan does a fantastic job writing this story. Beyond Milligan’s poetic monologues, you’re instantly thrown into Gilad’s violent war. You still see the immortal’s very human nature, and his disgust with the basest part of human nature: violence. You can’t help but feel for Gilad and his struggle to make sense of his eternal life.
The best part of the story is reading about Gilad’s uncertainty that he chose the right twin. Even if you can predict it, it doesn’t take away from the liberating feel of the story and how the destined twin saves his people and culture in the face of overwhelming odds. Milligan can make you understand that strength can originate in even the weakest of humans.
Cary Nord takes on the task of bringing the Eternal Warrrior and his world to life. I’ve seen Nord’s art before in Valiant’s Unity, and I’m not a fan of it.It doesn’t always seem a good fit, but I have to concede that Nord’s art works very well with Milligan’s writing. Here, you see Nord’s art work well in showing an old and violent world.
With regards to the cast, Nord definitely captures the cowardice of Falk and his father, Gilad and Franz’s bravery and warmongering natures, and the conflict in Gilad’s heart over his faith. Nord’s art brings understanding to the storyline, and that made me enjoy this trade more than the first two volumes.
The third volume in the Eternal Warrior series, Days of Steel, is pretty heartfelt. Peter Milligan does a fantastic job writing a somber and simple story of faith, destiny, and revolution through the eyes of a weary and wary immortal. Cary Nord shows not only the violent nature of humanity, but also the hope, and resolve of an endangered people in the face of oppression.
I recommend the entire Eternal Warrior series, but Vol. 3 is definitely the best in my eyes.