by Jeff Lemire, Matt Kindt, Paolo Rivera & Joe Rivera
Issue #4 brings to a conclusion arguably the largest scale story that the revived publisher has told yet. For the first time pretty much every player in the Valiant Universe was united to face a common foe: The Eternal Enemy. The Eternal Enemy is a malignant power that has haunted Gilad Anni-Padda, the Eternal Warrior for millennia. Each time human civilization reaches a new height of development, the Enemy strikes, targeting the current Geomancer (humanity’s connection to the Earth). Each of the Enemy’s victories ushers in a darker age. This time is different though, as Gilad has gathered together a super-powered force to repulse the monster.
Despite this large cast of characters, Lemire and Kindt never lose track of their focus. Beneath all the epic trappings, The Valiant has been a very personal tale of two warriors: Gilad and Bloodshot. Gilad’s primary task as the Defender of the Earth is to keep safe the Geomancer. Yet, he loses every battle he wages against the Enemy. It is a failure that runs deep, haunting him. His determination to defeat the Enemy becomes more than a responsibility; it is an obsession. Indeed his single-minded fixation nearly costs him dearly. Gilad is one of the most fondly remembered Valiant characters from the 90s, yet the relaunch stumbled a bit in getting him right. Lemire and Kindt have remedied this oversight by giving readers the most compelling Gilad to date. (On his own, Kindt also recently turned in a strong Gilad solo story for Unity #16).