As we enter the long, hot summer, a refurbished Valiant gets set to return one of the most requested heroes of this time, or any other.
Spinning out of his appearances in Archer & Armstrong comes a new Eternal Warrior ongoing by Greg Pak (Batman/Superman, X-Treme X-Men) with the art of Trevor Hairsine.
To get to the bottom of this summer revival, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer exclusively caught our scribe in the Batcave and put the following questions to Mr. Pak.
Cosmic Book News: Greg, for non-readers of Archer & Armstrong, tell us a little about the Eternal Warrior and how this gig came about for you.
Greg Pak: I worked with editor Warren Simons on the Magneto: Testament mini-series for Marvel back in the day. It was a huge experience for me and I always wanted to work with Warren again -- he was a tremendous collaborator and guide for me on that book. So when Warren called me after he became Executive Editor of Valiant, I was basically ready to say yes to whatever he proposed before he even said what character he had in mind for me. The very sweet icing on the cake was that he wanted to discuss the Eternal Warrior.
I freely admit that I missed most of the Valiant books when they first came out. But the concept of the Eternal Warrior immediately hooked me. I've always been a sucker for mythology, as my run with Fred Van Lente on Incredible Hercules might indicate. And this was a chance to work with an immortal hero and help build up a new mythos for a new universe. It's been incredibly fun.
Greg Pak: I think there's a lot of consistency with the original character. But we're entering his story at what may be a unique point in his life. After millennia of fighting countless enemies at the behest of mysterious sorcerers, Gilad has had enough. All of those battles don't seem to have changed anything -- there's always another horrific fight to come. And as a normal human being dealing with the surreal experience of immortality, he's become emotionally burned out from seeing everyone he's ever loved grow old and die, time and time again. So he's forsaken his destiny, withdrawn from the world. But without an Eternal Warrior maintaining the balance of mysterious Houses vying for power in the world, mayhem ensues.
Greg Pak: I've been obsessed with Greek mythology since I was a kid. So all those stories of demigods and immortals have had a huge influence on me and are definitely on my mind as we explore the new mythology of the Valiant Universe.
Greg Pak: Old school Valiant fans know about the Geomancers, the sorcerers who represent the Earth and who have given the Eternal Warrior his various missions over the years. But we're exploring the shocking revelation that the Geomancers may not be the only mysterious forces working behind the curtain of the Valiant Universe. What are the Houses? Who are the Swords? Dontcha dare miss a single issue!
Greg Pak:In the fullness of time, no doubt. But for the first story or two, we're building up Gilad and his world -- and introducing a fresh supporting cast that includes his own savage daughter, Xaran.
Greg Pak: Absolutely. Who is the Sword of the Wild? Dontcha dare miss issue #2.
Greg Pak: Trevor's fantastic. He brings an amazing mix of realism, grit, and heroic adventure that's perfect for the book.
Greg Pak: It's been insanely great. Although I got a terrible cold three days after we finished. I realized I'd been sleep deprived and running on adrenaline for almost a whole month. It's been an amazingly positive experience and Jonathan and I are so hugely appreciative of all the support. But if you're planning a Kickstarter, I definitely recommend getting a little more rest than I did. (laughs)
Right now, we're deep into preparing for fulfillment of all the swag -- and actually making the comic book! Our brilliant artist Tak Miyazawa just sent in the layouts for the first ten pages this week, which are just gorgeous. Many, many thanks to everyone who helped make this all possible!
Greg Pak: I'm writing the Batman/Superman book that launches on June 26. Art by the brilliant Jae Lee! I'll be doing a signing in New York City at Midtown Comics Downtown on that Wednesday -- details here: http://www.gregpak.com/entries/002400.shtml
And I'm writing three Villains Month books for DC Comics! So this September, please keep an eye out for the General Zod, Darkseid and Doomsday books.
Cosmic Book News would like to thank Greg Pak for taking time out of his very busy schedule to answer our questions. We would also like to thank Valiant’s own Hunter Gorinson who helped make this interview possible.
“Eternal Warrior” #1 from Valiant hits shelves in September!