Eternal Warrior #8 demonstrates that, when it comes right down to it, Gilad makes a much better fighter than he does a philosopher. Here, again, he is continuing his somewhat creepy habit of turning to Caroline, his very young granddaughter, for moral guidance, while also cuing her responses. And, given a clear goal: Save these people, not those, he goes about it with frightening efficiency. He’s an interesting mix of would-be idealist and actual pragmatist. He points out that the three thousand people he might kill in battle are still people—killers dedicated to death, but still people—but agrees with Caroline’s assessment of “They’re not us” without pause.
Links between this and the previous arc and this one remain tenuous. While the Death Cult shows again, the whole issue of Gilad’s son being the leader of said cult never does get taken up, nor do we find out what (if anything) happened to his immortal daughter. the fact that Gilad killed one of the three major gods in the pantheon is a big deal, and I’d have liked to see the repercussions made more explicit (Did the war that destroyed everything happen because of it? Or would it have happened anyway? Why didn’t he go on to kill the other gods?).
Pak writes exciting battles and covers epic sweeps of time. His Gilad is a man who says he wants peace, but who will fight to get it, and to get it his way. In the end, he is truly an Eternal Warrior. He may not want other people to have guns, but he knows how to use them.
Robert Gill continues to keep his focus wherever the main action is, letting backgrounds stay suggested rather than detailed. In this case, even the battle is low detail, bar one or two images of blood-drenched skulls. Perhaps this is because Gilad is in a hurry to finish up the battle and save what he can of the old world, including the people of his village who desperately need that radiation remedy.
The end advertisement makes it clear that, yes, there is some link between the world of Rai (Japan is in orbit, remember) and this world, that the shared year is not a coincidence, so there is a definite possibility (ok, probability) of overlap at some point.
Overall, the saga concludes well, if on something of a downer note. Intentionally or not, Caroline is the standout character of the entire arc. She’s clearly doing a lot of thinking, sometimes outside of Grandfather’s boundaries. It’s hard not to cheer for her.
Release date: April 23, 2014
Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Robert Gill
Inker: Mark Pennington
Colors: Guy Major and John Rauch
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Cover: Lewis LaRosa