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Kickin’ It Old School: Eternal Warrior #1

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It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for another new edition of Kickin’ It Old School, our weekly column in which we look to the past and review books from the original Valiant universe! As we continue our look at the Unity event of the early 90s, I’m taking a look at Eternal Warrior #1.

Eternal WarriorEternal Warrior #1

Published in August 1992
Written by Jim Shooter
Penciled by John Dixon
Inked by John Dixon
Created by Janet Jackson and Jim Shooter
Colored by Paul Autio and Knob Row
Lettered by Jade
Edited by Bob Layton
Epilogue Art by Barry Windsor-Smith and Bob Layton

Synopsis:

The story starts when Gilad and Aram are young, before history has begun. They have both been gifted by the spirits, but Gilad is a born hunter, which is the way of his tribe. Aram, however, is a lover of life and does not have the same desire to fight and conquer. Jumping some years later, they are both grown and Gilad is leading his people. While Aram councils a peaceful existence of growing and harvesting, Gilad insists on leading his people against a Mesopotamian city. Before they set out to sack the city, Gilad is visited at night by a Geomancer, who tells of the end that is coming and the fear of the earth. He tells Gilad of the role he will play and that, when it is time, another will come for him.

Ten days later, they find themselves no match for the defenses of the city. Among a hail of arrows, they retreat to their camp. While trying to recover, they are attacked by the soldiers of the city and are overrun. Gilad and Aram keep fighting until all of their attackers are dead or gone, but they find themselves with no people left either. Aram departs his brother, no longer wanting to seek out fighting and violence. Gilad is then visited once again by the Geomancer, who tells him that his son has been taken by a nobleman who will raise him as his own, giving him opportunities that Gilad could never have provided. The Geomancer invites Gilad to walk with him and learn.

Six hundred years later, Aram is happily enjoying life when Gilad shows up for a visit. He tells Aram that his son went on to sire a line of great men. He also tells of his journeys with the Geomancer and the knowledge that he has gained. As he departs to continue his journey, he tells Aram that one day, when the great final battle begins, he will be back to retrieve his brother to fight alongside him.

Jumping to present day, we become privy to the other side of the phone call that Gilad had with Geoff. After the incident with Solar and the Harbinger goons, Gilad gets in contact with his solicitor, Neville Alcott, for his next mission. He meets with Jillian, who is coordinating everything, to prepare for his next meeting. As she contacts the Colombian, Gilad contacts Geoff. Just as Gilad and Jillian are being attacked, Geoff uses the powers contained in Solar’s hand to retrieve Gilad against his will. The end of the book overlaps the events at the end of Unity #0.

Review:

This was a very meaty issue. It was necessary to deliver a lot of backstory to create the scene around the Eternal Warrior and his brother, Armstrong. If all of this wasn’t done, and done so well, their roles in defending the world would have seemed less substantial and necessary. Now we know what they are immortal siblings, but that one is a born warrior while the other prefers enjoying the things life has to offer. More important than his ability to fight, we are exposed the losses that Gilad suffered that pushed him to change his ways and grow in knowledge, accepting the guidance of the Geomancers. Now we also understand why he is so willing to trust the advisement of a child.

Originally from ValiantCentral.com

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  • Wetz

    OMG you are making me kick myself not buying the entire VH1 catalog when Comixology had that sale in December!
    Great article, plenty of insight. Thanks for reviewing this issue. I can’t wait for Archer & Armstrong #1 because I LOVED the most recent version but afraid the “classic” run will be too dated for me (but it DOES have Barry Windsor-smith).

    • This series is pretty great overall Wetz I’d recommend picking it up either physical or digital.

  • This was the first Valiant comic that I ever purchased… And still one of my all time favorite series. It was so good for so long.

  • Anthony

    After that wonderful BWS cover to Unity 0, the Frank Miller covers to Unity month 1 were a let down, freakishly grotesque to my younger self. But this story was really a great intro to EW.

  • Chris

    So I just bought the entirety of the Unity event (besides Solar 13, ugh!) on my spring break excursion to Mile High comics in Denver and I am so excited to read along with your reviews. Do you guys think I need to read the previous issues beforehand?

    • Chris, it wouldn’t hurt, but I think you can start at Unity #0 and be just fine. That book introduced pretty much every character anyways.

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