Valiant Entertainment 2015
Written by Robert Venditti
Illustrated by Raul Allen & Patricia Martin
Art Assistant by David Astruga
Additional Colours by Borja Pindado
Lettered by Patricia Martin
I’m such a fan of Valiant these days and not just because they’ve been using some of today’s best talent on their books but for the fact that hot on the heels of the Book of Death we’re already getting this series. There’s no waiting and that alone is utterly noteworthy and I love that Robert is taking control of this series. I was hoping that things would pick up pretty much where that series left off and yeah that’s what happens.
Only this isn’t going to be like anything you’ll be expecting and of course i’m super impressed and terribly excited by that. I mean c’mon when we left Gilad he sacrificed himself so the Geomancer could save the day. Seemingly dead within the tree the immortal part would be put to the test. So now while we aren’t terribly sure if he is immortal it would seem that he’s been in the past in similar circumstances where he’s close to dead. Suddenly there’s all kind of stuff we’ve never known about him, and by extension his siblings, that will help in explaining not only much about his personality but what he’s learned along the way and how he hasn’t gone bat-shit crazy from being alive so long.
What I’m really looking forward to is what is being touched upon here and that’s how the “universe” takes care of Gilad so that he can heal and be there to safeguard the Geomancer. This happening side by side with more characterization than we’ve ever been privileged to see is something I can’t wait for. I like the opening because of what I perceive it means. To me it’s a way to hone his fighting skills while recovering, a place he has to contend with time and again so that they stay where they are without being loosed upon the world.
On a side note when we see Gilad wake up in bed I don’t think we’ve ever seen him look so sexy before. That smattering of chest hair and a smile on his face just that content look on him is rare to see. This woman, Leena, the greatest love of his life (?) taking care of their children is that whole thing that helps to make him both more mysterious and more personable. Where is this place and who exactly are these children are while may be something that I think I know, knowing Robert it’s going to be something completely different.
His connection to this family and the demons for lack of a better description is kind of odd and interesting. That the main one, Slather, talks a lot like Golum and that kind of connects to me as a reader. Actually the whole connects with me as a reader, there’s a whole of things that we’ve been wanting to know about and it looks like this time around Robert’s prepared to really explore the man behind the legend.
The interior artwork is pretty darn good, with solid imagery meant to evoke a range of emotions and feelings. Page usage, panel layouts and facial expressions not to mention use of backgrounds and attention to detail it all makes for a great experience.
Once again Valiant has another strong book with one of their most enigmatic characters.