This issue kicks off the “Eternal Emperor” arc which takes place in 4001 AD, and it seems as if the world has been through hell. Mankind has been set back and is now surviving in this post apocalyptic land that has gone through some drastic changes. Though some things have changed, one thing that hasn’t is man’s capacity to be ruthless and violent. This forces Gilad into action as a mechanical device is sent to the village he’s protecting and takes quite a few lives before he’s able to put it down. However, that’s not the worst that the mechanical beast has to offer, and after facing a hard truth Gilad sets out with his granddaughter to find out who sent it and why. You should really feel sorry for whoever is responsible. Really.
If there’s one thing that can be said about this title, it’s that Pak is slowly making this one of the stand out titles from Valiant. Sure there’s a few others, but when a writer actually makes me take notice of a character that I could have passed on a while back, then that’s saying a lot. Pak shoots us forward in time pretty far, and even then it still feels like a safe jumping on point if you weren’t reading the first four issues. Though if you were (and even his appearances in Archer & Armstrong), then you will immediately notice that there is a shift in how Pak is writing this Eternal Warrior. He seems a lot less angry and full of remorse now, but one thing that has stayed is the fact that Gilad is not the guy to mess with.
For as well as the story is written, Robert Gill doesn’t slack on the visuals at all. From Gilad playing with the kids in the village, to the fight with the machine, there’s just panel after panel of great art here. Though one sequence that sticks out is where Gilad kills the guy making an offer for his granddaughter. Gill keeps it tight and simple, and puts Pak’s narrative over the top.
There are plenty of questions when you jump this far into the future, especially since we’ve met Gilad’s son and daughter in the present. So which of his children does his granddaughter belong to? What happened to his son and daughter? Why would that guy think three wolf skins was a good offer? Regardless, Eternal Warrior is another Valiant title that gets high praise and is worth giving a look if you haven’t already.