ETERNAL WARRIOR: AWAKENING #1 by Robert Venditti and Renato Guedes
Plot
Art
Characterization
Summary
ETERNAL WARRIOR: AWAKENING #1 is an action-packed one-shot adventure that covers everything fans love about the character.
100 %
Eternally Great

A Quick Glimpse at an Iconic Character

Nowadays, it is not rare for a well-edited trailer to be better than the movie itself. A quick, flashy intercut of highlights can give the viewer a better picture of the characters and plot than 120 minutes of poorly-paced dialogue. ETERNAL WARRIOR: AWAKENING #1 is like a perfect trailer for all things Eternal Warrior. This issue gives newcomers and long-time fans a fast and breezy overview of what makes this character great and what they can expect for future issues. The issue is written by Robert Venditti with art by Renato Guedes.

READ: Our Interview with Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn on Their Newest Work, ETERNAL EMPIRE

Who is the Eternal Warrior?

ETERNAL WARRIOR: AWAKENING #1 is a one-shot issue that tells the story of Gilad, the titular Eternal Warrior, and one of his many pre-civilization adventures. The Eternal Warrior is an immortal fighter who has battled for millennia. After he suffers some head trauma, a peaceful tribe takes in the amnesiac Gilad. However, he can not outrun his fate as the Eternal Warrior. His violent past comes looking for him.

ETERNAL WARRIOR: AWAKENING #1
ETERNAL WARRIOR: AWAKENING #1

25th Anniversary Celebration

This issue marks the Eternal Warrior’s 25th Anniversary and really epitomizes what the character is all about.  ETERNAL WARRIOR: AWAKENING #1 pays homage to the character’s first original adventure in the 1990s, ETERNAL WARRIOR #1 by Jim Shooter and John Dixon. There is brutal violence, interesting lore, and a creative use of various settings in time. Venditti’s story is quick and easy. Gilad simply does what he does best — hit people with an axe. The prehistoric baddies Gilad goes up against are menacing and brutal, which really makes the reader want them to get what’s comin’. Venditti does a great job of ramping up the tension to the big battle in the first issue.

ETERNAL WARRIOR: AWAKENING #1
ETERNAL WARRIOR: AWAKENING #1

ETERNAL WARRIOR: AWAKENING #1 introduces the reader to some of Gilad’s standard lore, including the concept of magical Geomancers. The issue traces far back into the immortal warrior’s history. Gilad is still relatively young for an immortal person, and he is first finding out his place in the world. Like a new reader, Gilad is being dropped into a new situation with no answers. As the Geomancer slowly educates him, the reader also gets a better feel for this universe.

ETERNAL WARRIOR: AWAKENING #1
ETERNAL WARRIOR: AWAKENING #1

Tonally, this is a fun issue. The violence is gratuitous and exaggerated. Despite the characters’ tendency to be overly grim, Venditti keeps everything balanced thanks to over-the-top side characters. The exaggerated spectacle of the whole issue makes it feel like a celebration of the character, rather than just another installment. This comic is truly something special.

ETERNAL WARRIOR: AWAKENING #1
ETERNAL WARRIOR: AWAKENING #1

Amazing Art

Guedes’ art is the standout in this comic. This issue is not a comic as much as it is a series of amazing poster-like splash page images. Guedes utilizes big, elaborate panels that are action-packed and gory. Every sword slash, stab wound, and scream is electric. If you combined the hyper-stylized action of 300 with the bright, fast-paced violence of MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, you would get this issue. Even when there is no action, Guedes makes use of hyper-exaggerating poses and foreshortening to make the story epic.

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Final Thoughts

For old and new fans of The Eternal Warrior, this issue is a must-read. It will be interesting to see if any of these changes to the character’s visual style translate into any new series.

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