“My father wasn’t around when I was a kid, and I used to always say, ‘Why me? Why don’t I have a father? Why isn’t he around? Why did he leave my mother?’ But as I got older I looked deeper and thought, ‘I don’t know what my father was going through, but if he was around all the time, would I be who I am today?’”
― LeBron James
Valiant Entertainment released The Valiant in December of 2014, which was chronologically followed by Bloodshot: Reborn in the spring of 2015 and the Book of Death mini-series in the summer of 2015. The events of Book of Death (written by Robert Venditti and featuring artwork by Robert Gill) were chronologically followed by Wrath of the Eternal Warrior in November of 2015, and have continued progressively forward with each new issue released.
Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #1 through #10 were, to be honest, phenomenal both in terms of writing and artwork. Venditti has written each issue, with artist Raul Allen working the interior pages. At first readers were uncertain of what to think or how to take in the title. It was not what most had expected and did not read or appear in any way to resemble Venditti and Gill’s work on Book of Death. Readers warmed up to the title, however, and after a few issues its genius became apparent with fans and critics alike providing high praise for its uncommonly strong quality.
Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #11 is interesting, in that it continues Venditti’s story line, while re-introducing Gill’s artwork into the title. Following Book of Death, many readers expected Gill to have been the artist to continue with Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #1 and onward; which of course did not occur. So, after ten spectacular issues of Wrath of the Eternal Warrior (beautifully rendered by Allen), Gill’s artwork now returns readers to visually familiar territory in Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #11. If you enjoyed Book of Death, this book is quite a welcome experience.
Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #11 is a character driven story that focuses more on plot development than action. Venditti writes a chapter that is emotionally significant to this story, and that creates rising action that will reach a climactic peak in later issues as a result. The seeds of this story have been sown throughout the past ten issues, and are now being finally addressed. In terms of how this issue fits with the rest of the series, there is a seamless transition as Venditti’s masterful tale flows forward with solid continuity, focus, and tone.
Artistically, Gill re-captures the same spirit of his work on Book of Death. Gill is a highly talented artist who is capable of producing the multiple artistic styles seen throughout comic book history. In contrast to Allen’s work on the title, Gill provides a more traditional approach to his creative process while also maintaining a level of attention to detail (location and number of Gilad’s facial scars).
Colorist Mike Spicer matches Gill’s art quite well, and employs a similar earth-tone color palette to what Patricia Martin and Borja Pindado used on previous issues; however, as a result of Gill’s pencils and inks, Spicer is able to employ color gradation visual techniques of gradually transitioning from one color hue, shade, or texture to another in each panel.
Wrath of the Eternal Warrior is a hidden gem that deserves your attention. While the art style may have changed with this issue, the quality and compelling nature of the story has not. It continues to be a very strong title that if you have not yet had the change to enjoy from the beginning, you are strongly encouraged to do so.