Footprints On The Sands of Time
At the time this issue was published Valiant was expanding it's original line of books, which up until this point had consisted of Solar Man of the Atom, Magnus Robot Fighter, Rai, Harbinger, X-O Manowar, and the just begun Shadowman. " Unity" Valiant's first all-encompassing crossover introduced several new ongoing titles the first of which starred Gilad Anipadda the Eternal Warrior who had previously appeared in Solar Man of the Atom #10.
While this is the second chapter of Unity, it does not continue directly from the previous chapter story wise and instead focuses on Gilad's Origin and the events leading up to his eventual meeting with Geoff in chapter one, we also get a glance at his earliest interactions with a Geomancer, the chosen individual from each generation who can commune with any object including the earth itself.
The Story opens in pre-history where we find a young Gilad in the thick of battle with an enemy tribe.
Gilad has superhuman strength, and uses it to the benefit of his tribes people.
We are also introduced to Gilad's brother Aram, the other who also has super-strength and is in fact stronger than Gilad. He will eventually become Armstrong, of Archer & Armstrong another new title.
We also learn that Gilad and Arams powers are some sort of anomaly..
The story jumps ahead in time where we again encounter Gilad who at 41 years old still appears to be in the prime of life, his reputation now proceeds him..
Aram too is grown and at this point they are leaders of a great tribal group.
Under pressure to feed the legions dependent on them Gilad plans an attack..
We learn that Gilad's father has little faith in Aram as a warrior, and see that Gilad's offspring share his gifts.
At this point Gilad encounters the geomancer of the period who warns him that he can be killed and that one day another geomancer will call on him when the Earth needs him...
Gilad and Aram lead their tribe against a stronghold in ancient Mesopotamia..
The two super humans are not enough, they and their army are beaten back and forced to retreat..
Battered and beaten they return to camp, only to face a sudden counter attack!!
After this bitter Victory the two brothers go their separate ways, and do not encounter each other again for some time.
We find out Gilad's son also survived when the brothers briefly reunite in Ancient Egypt.
We then join Gilad in the Modern day where he is on a mission as a secret agent.
He is suddenly beamed away as we saw in chapter one, recruited by the modern geomancer Geoff, to assist Solar against Erica Pierce in the Lost Land.
As the story concludes Gilad makes a pit-stop using Solar's hand to recruit Archer and Armstrong.
You get the sense of each characters perspective on the same events in Valiant comics, as shown at the end of this issue and a few of the ones that followed. Gilad's origin and ties to the Geomancers is a neat story device. This issue succeeds in explaining Gilad's origin while gearing up for Unity.
Nothing negative to say.
The Verdict: 5/5:
Eternal Warrior was one of the longer running Valiant books, and from early on we see why. The near-Immortal Gilad and his brother(s!) Armstrong and Ivar were all cleverly written, and I recommend the whole lot. Be sure to stick with the Volume one books as all of the later books are of a lesser quality.