What do you do when your hero is at the precipice of a new adventure? You retell a story that occurred in his long ago past. When last the reader has left Gilad he made his way back to the land of the living. But this place is unfamiliar and worse yet, thereâ€™s this creepy guy watching him, someone who seems to be in complete control of the situation. Itâ€™s a pivotal moment where the audience has to wait to find out whatâ€™s going on.
Still the past can be intriguing. Gilad, the Eternal Warrior is extremely old even in ancient Mesopotamia. And in the flashback within a flashback we get to see why he has so many dead children and why he makes the arduous journey to defend the earth. As you read this narrative a recurring question will be what does the creepy old guy have to do with what happened in this sequence of events? Robert Venditti wastes nothing in his stories. Every killing has a purpose and in issue 5 he wants you to invest in Giladâ€™s pain and anger. Venditti also pulls you into wanting to read further issues. This moment in the past doesnâ€™t end on the last page of the comic, instead you not only want to know whatâ€™s going to happen to Gilad in the present, but youâ€™re compelled to find out what happened in the past. Now there are two mysteries to figure out.
As you read youâ€™ll realize just how Venditti manipulates multiple narratives as they successfully run simultaneously. In the hands of someone unskilled it could have backfired. In the case of the Valiant universe this complicated process is necessary. These characters lead such problematic, intertwined lives. They canâ€™t help but reflect on the previous events in their existence to understand where they are at now. The difference with Gilad is heâ€™s disoriented and this snippet of a look into his previous life, is for the reader to understand whatâ€™s going on. Even so, with this morsel of information weâ€™re given, thereâ€™s still so much we donâ€™t know.
With artwork that is on point â€œWrath of the Eternal Warrior: Prelude to Labyrinth Part Oneâ€ seamlessly shifts focus from the past and present as the narrative is being unfolded. So much is happening on every page that for the first several panels thereâ€™s barely any dialogue. That give and take of language in both words and bodily movements of the characters, even down to the animals make for a multilayered, enjoyable experience. The most important thing about this tale is that if feels as if youâ€™re a voyeur into someoneâ€™s life. You want to look away because it seems so private and brutal, yet youâ€™re compelled to watch the action unfold and eagerly anticipate the next part in this adventure. While all the time youâ€™ll be wondering what does that creepy guy want with Gilad and what does the present have to do with this particular prelude?