Wrath of the Eternal Warrior Issue 5 Review: A New Beginning?

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, there’s this creepy guy watching him, someone who seems to be in complete control of the situation. It’s a pivotal moment where the audience has to wait to find out what’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 Gilad’s pain and anger. Venditti also pulls you into wanting to read further issues. This moment in the past doesn’t end on the last page of the comic, instead you not only want to know what’s going to happen to Gilad in the present, but you’re compelled to find out what happened in the past. Now there are two mysteries to figure out.

As you read you’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 can’t help but reflect on the previous events in their existence to understand where they are at now. The difference with Gilad is he’s disoriented and this snippet of a look into his previous life, is for the reader to understand what’s going on. Even so, with this morsel of information we’re given, there’s still so much we don’t know.

With artwork that is on point “Wrath of the Eternal Warrior: Prelude to Labyrinth Part One” 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 there’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 you’re a voyeur into someone’s life. You want to look away because it seems so private and brutal, yet you’re compelled to watch the action unfold and eagerly anticipate the next part in this adventure. While all the time you’ll be wondering what does that creepy guy want with Gilad and what does the present have to do with this particular prelude?

About Donna-Lyn Washington 632 Articles
Donna-lyn Washington has a M.A. in English from Brooklyn College. She is currently teaching at Kingsborough Community College where her love of comics and pop culture play key parts in helping her students move forward in their academic careers. As a senior writer for ReviewFix she has been able to explore a variety of worlds through comics, film and television and has met some interesting writers and artists along the way. Donna-lyn does a weekly podcast reviewing indie comics and has also contributed entries to the 'Encyclopedia of Black Comics,’ the academic anthology ‘Critical Insights: Frank Yerby’ and is the editor for the upcoming book, ‘Conversations With: John Jennings.’

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