Based on the series title and cover, you'd never peg this book as being "adorable" in any way whatsoever. We're talking about a bleak future and a dude named the "Eternal Warrior," after all. However, the relationship between Gilad Anni-Padda and his granddaughter, Caroline, is simply... well, adorable, and it's the core dynamic in this book. As the two wander this future that is filled with human trafficking and violence, it's amazingly amusing how she has the charm of a child, yet can casually discuss why killing some people may be necessary and even how her granddad should do it. Writer Greg Pak is doing a stellar job molding the bond between these two and because of that, he's able to save a splash page for a major emotional shocker. Without the engaging connection to these characters, a certain scene and what follows could have fallen flat and wouldn't evoke anything. But, thanks to some skilled writing, it's legitimately touching and it'll definitely tug at your heartstrings. Cute relationship aside, Pak also takes some big steps to show us more and more of this new world and packs the issue with a solid amount of impactful action. And most important of all, I guarantee you won't find a better use of "oy" in any other comic this week.
Robert Gill, Guy Major and Victor Olazaba's combined work does a fine job making this terrible future feel alive and feel appropriately sad. Gill proves he can successfully illustrate whatever Pak throws his way, too. Cold, artificial machines, Gilad's rugged appearance, sprawling landscapes, Caroline's beyond cute expressions; Gill presents it all very well. It's interesting how he handles the big fight, too. Instead of getting up close and personal with Gilad's struggle against giant robots, much of the scene is viewed from farther out, allowing us to appreciate the sheer size of the obstacle our hero is facing. Major's coloring brings this all to life with a lot of grey and darker shades. The book never feels "dark," but it's a fitting atmosphere for this less than ideal world. It's a bit distracting when people in the background or groups are all one shade, but it's a minor complaint, especially considering how many people Gill packs into some of the panels.
It would have been cool to see a little more from the "Boss" -- especially since they gave him such a twisted design -- but honestly,it's a very minor gripe and only boosts expectations for what the King will be like.
Remember PLANET HULK, that little story Greg Pak wrote over at Marvel? Well, this new arc in ETERNAL WARRIOR sure is reminding me of it. Pak's taking a hero we know and love and dropping them right into a whole new environment. Issue after issue, the writer is fleshing out this unfamiliar world, making it both unique and interesting. To top it off, he's also doing a remarkable job building our emotional connection to Gilad and Caroline. What's the point of all this action and death if you just don't care about the characters involved, right? This is a book that doesn't suffer from that issue in the least. I wouldn't be surprised if this storyline has the potential to get the waterworks going as we move forward...