As a resident of the Carolinas, I can tell you with pretty solid certainty that the only reason to drive through the wilderness of North Carolina is to get barbecue. That's where you find the really good stuff, those out of the way places where sometimes --- and this is actually true --- you just hand a man standing outside of a house a five dollar bill and he comes back with a bag full of food and you drive off without exchanging a single word. That's it, that's the only reason to ever drive around out there, although I'll admit that it's a pretty good one.
Unfortunately, it seems that nobody told that to Gilad Anni-Padda, the Eternal Warrior, who is spending some time in the fourth issue of Valiant's Book of Death cruising around in a pickup truck --- and instead of Lexington-style vinegar-based BBQ, he's just getting some ominous prophecies about the end of the world.
In the three-plus years since Valiant Comics once again became a mainstay on comic shop shelves, The Eternal Warrior has emerged as a central character in the Valiant Universe, serving as the anchor for several series and events. Since starring in an eight-issue solo series by writer Greg Pak and artist Robert Gill, Gilad, the immortal protector of the geomancers, has taken on even more significance in the Valiant U.
Wrath of the Eternal Warrior, out next month from writer Robert Venditti and artist Raul Allen, puts the de facto star of Book of Death and The Valiant in a whole new set of circumstances, facing down ancient, terrifying creatures in an "off-world" setting. To find out more about the character's strange new situation, we sat down with Venditti to get the scoop on how this strange environment will affect Gilad, the fallout from Book of Death, and writing a very personal story about a 5,000-year-old character.
As you might have gathered from the title, Valiant's big Book of Death crossover has been a bit of a downer, especially the issues where we see what's become of the Valiant heroes in the near future. It has not ended well for pretty much any of them, a sad fact that has taught us that not even Ninjak is immune to the ravages of time.
That's why it's nice to see the relatively peaceful future of Book of Death: The Fall of X-O Manowar, by Robert Venditti and Clayton Henry, where there's a beautiful museum in Italy devoted to all of Aric of Dacia's many achievements in giant monster hunting. If the preview below is any indication, then we're finally going to get to enjoy a look at this horrible future that's just a peaceful day out. Oh, and also there's some aliens trying to murder him with a spear, I guess, but other than that...
The thing about holding a grudge is that there's kind of a time limit on it. I mean, we are, after all, creatures of finite life spans, so on a purely functional level, you can really only be mad for so long before you either stop being mad or stop being anything. Unless, of course, you're Gilad Anni-Pada, better known as the Eternal Warrior, who has an entire immortal lifespan of a couple thousand years to just keep on getting madder and madder.
What I'm getting at here is that when you've got a book titled Wrath of the Eternal Warrior, then you are promising a pretty extreme level of anger, and that's something that I'm really hoping to get out of Robert Venditti and Raul Allen's new take on the character as he journeys through an alien hellscape. Check out a preview.
I'd like to think that I'm pretty polite most of the time, but I'll admit that I have no idea what's expected of me in extremely formal situations. I mean, it was only a few weeks ago that I learned that there's actually a huge (and sometimes insulting) difference between addressing someone as "your highness" and "your majesty," so in the unlikely event that I ever actually meet a king or queen, I'm going to be at a loss.
I do, however, know one thing about meeting royalty: You don't spit on them. Especially if the royalty in question is a barbarian king from the fifth century. Especially if it's Aric of Dacia, a barbarian king from the fifth century who is also wearing a suit of high-tech armor that recently allowed him to defeat an entire alien army pretty much singlehandedly. That's... that's not going to work out well, and it's a hot tip that you could probably share with the cast of X-O Manowar #40, by Robert Venditti and Rafa Sandoval. Check out a preview!
Aric of Dacia has been pretty busy lately. Just a few years ago, he was a barbarian hanging out trying to murder a bunch of Romans back in Visigoth Times, and then, wouldn't you know it, he's abducted by aliens, kept out in space for a thousand years, and winds up bonded to a high-tech suit of sentient armor that gives him the power to take on anything in his path, up to and including the intergalactic robotic army that destroyed the home planet of the Vine, the aliens that kidnapped him in the first place.
Now, the Vine are left without a home planet, and so in true sitcom fashion, they're dropping in on their old pal Aric and his lovely wife Sanna to see if maybe they shouldn't settle on Earth. The action goes down in X-O Manowar #39 by Robert Venditti and Rafa Sandoval, the start of the new story arc 'Exodus'. Check out a preview below!
When you think of the revived Valiant Comics, a few standout creators come to mind, and oe of those is certainly Robert Venditti, a writer who has been on board since the company came back to life in 2012.
After taking the reins on last year's Armor Hunters event, Venditti is picking up the baton once again, along with artists Robert Gill and Doug Braithwaite, for Book of Death, a four-issue miniseries that explores the fallout from this spring's The Valiant and blasts ahead into an uncertain, dangerous future for the Valiant Universe, with excerpts from the titular book --- which comes from the future ---- playing a big part in each issue.
After getting a sneak peek at the script for issue one, we spent a few minutes on the phone with Venditti to talk about whether his future for the Valiant U is concrete or fluid, the art of writing a comic script, the concept of a villain who can manipulate nature, whether trees can be threatening, and much more.
While other superhero comics publishers are mining their pasts for big crossover events this spring and summer, Valiant is blasting ahead into the future, specifically, its characters' end times.
The new, four-issue event series Book of Death, written by Robert Venditti and with art by Robert Gill and Doug Braithwaite, promises to reveal how characters including Ninjak, Bloodshot, X-O Manowar, Toyo Harada and others will bite it, be redeemed, be replaced, or otherwise change in the future.
This week, Chris and Matt are oddly surprised by the (possible?) commentary found in New Suicide Squad #1 by Sean Ryan and Jeremy Roberts. Then they like how Armor Hunters #1 by Robert Venditti and Doug Braithwaite hits the big event-comic notes without being contrived. And finally, they discuss a couple of DC's digital-comic offerings: Scooby Doo Team-Up #5 by Sholly Fisch and Dario Brizuela, and Bat-Manga #1 by Jiro Kuwata.
This summer, Valiant Comics is releasing a whole bunch of new number-one issues in their Valiant First initiative, but dig down into it and you'll see that quite a few of those books all tie into the same crossover: Armor Hunters.
The first issue of the Armor Hunters series by Robert Venditti and Doug Braithwaite hits stands in June, and it'll have big ramifications for the Valiant universe. To that end, we spoke with Venditti and Matt Kindt, whose superhero team book Unity will tie into Armor Hunters and who is also writing the new Valiant series Rai, which debuts in late April, about the big event and more stuff coming from the publisher.
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