In the film version of Pet Cemetery, Dale Midkif’s character out of grief and hopelessness buries his infant son in an ancient burial ground. If it can bring back their cat to life, the same principle should work for a baby. But what Midkif seemed to ignore was the cat’s behavior after he was resurrected. In the end, the baby has to be put down because he winds up killing his mother. The cycle begins again however when Midkif picks up his wife’s dead body and says the now iconic refrain “It’ll work this time.” Of course it doesn’t and as the screen fades to black, there’s a blood-curdling scream as husband and wife embrace. One can’t help but think of that nearly 30-year-old film as you read issue 8 of “Eternal Warrior.” Throughout the comic Gilad solely attempts to figure out what his captor, the one with the different colored eyes is up to. If only he would stop dying long enough to listen to his son.
In previous incarnations of this character, Gilad has had to kill his own children with the exception of a daughter because they had all gone insane. In this case, once Gilad dies and before he makes his way back to the land of the living he is reunited with his family. His oldest son, Kalam desperately tries to speak with him, but time is something that the eternal warrior feels he does not have. And it is this sense of urgency mixed with getting back to his purpose of defending the earth that keeps Gilad from taking a beat and getting the information that could save a lot of blood.
In a previous issue of this ongoing series Gilad led a gory, one man rescue mission to retrieve his then infant son. Abducted centuries ago by the one who is testing his immortality now, Gilad doesn’t save his son. Instead each time Gilad returns Kalam never wants to talk to him or discuss what’s happened in the years between infancy and Kalam’s death. As a reader we don’t know how Kalam dies. We only know of the animosity he holds towards his father. Which makes this need now for them to speak ironic and possibly tragic.
In part two of “The Labyrinth” writer Robert Venditti never takes his audience for granted. He knows that the Eternal Warrior may not be the smartest man, but he does adapt. And Gilad will defeat the immortal one, but there is a deeper narrative going on. Aside from his captor’s obsession with why Gilad has lived so long, what is the endgame? How does Kalam’s kidnapping all those years ago play a factor? Leaving the reader with questions is a common tactic, however leaving the audience salivating for answers marks an adept storyteller.