Second Opinion: Eternal Warrior #3
The Valiant Universe is full of crossovers and callbacks between its books but none perhaps as satisfying and intriguing as the immortal family of the Anni-Padda’s. Although the family story started in Archer & Armstrong, the tale of the Eternal Warrior was much too big to be contained as a simple periphery to his brother’s shenanigans.
Covering several time periods per issue the book brings the best of both worlds. You get the classic man out of time with the titular Gilad finally settled down and retired from thousands of years of serving the earth, and the equally engaging battle of his past, be it the American civil war or some barbarian butchery. This issue focuses a fourth addition to the brood, daughter Xaran, last seen by her father several thousands of years ago after her slaughter of men, women and children including her brother Mitu.
It’s nice to see a father/daughter road book, especially as the dynamic between them is so unnerving. At any minute you expect one to turn on the other, and for good reasons. Issue #3 of this new series does a great job of conveying the duality of Xaran. Perceived as a heartless genocidal maniac, her tragic journey paints new light on past decisions and gives plenty of sympathy to a previously evil party.
Trevor Hairsine provides some great action sequences but I did find myself confused between Xaran & Gilad on occasion, depending on the angle they were drawn perhaps exacerbated by their similarity in hair styles. Also the last few pages seem somewhat rushed (minus a great final splash page) however colorist Brian Reber is consistent throughout matching the style of other Valiant titles bringing closer that sense of unity of the universe.