As someone who hasn’t dipped many of his toes into the Valiant universe, the main draw for me here was a combination of Fred Van Lente and King Arthur; two compelling reasons to check out any comic. It felt particularly nice then when I found myself welcomed into the world of Archer and Armstrong, Timewalker, and Eternal Warrior with open arms while having a blast reading this book.
Immortal Brothers (Valiant Entertainment)
Now, I will say that I went in with some prior understanding of the characters and their shticks. If you’re coming in completely cold, looking at this as an entry point for the characters, I would say you’ll want to do at least a little wikipediaing before grabbing this book; as long as you know that Eternal Warrior is a heroic immortal, Armstrong is a hedonistic immortal, and Timewalker is the older brother immortal, then you can keep up with their tweaks and changes to the Arthurian legend at hand.
Because that’s the real fun, another “alternate take” on a classic story, a homage to the iconic Three Musketeers story Valiant did back in the 90s. This time, however, utilizing a charming little framing device of Archer reading to a bed-ridden Faith ala Princess Bride, we’re told what “really happened” back when the Green Knight showed up to King Arthur’s court.
It’s a fun romp, clever in its interweaving of the two histories between the previously established tale and the comparatively new characters. Van Lente strikes a good balance, knowing where to condense parts of the Arthurian story in order to make room for references to the immortality of the three brothers. My only complaint comes from a last minute twist that I can’t go into much here, but there is a twist in the last pages that works, but is an oddly big topic to dedicate so few pages to.
Nord holds up his end of the bargain with his art. It’s really solid and fits the tone of the book, while feeling as if it’s a part of the Valiant aesthetic. My only gripe is that Nord’s cover is so spooky cool with some neat water color textures and eerie greens that I was a little let down that the insides didn’t align more with the outsides and establish a more “antique” feel to a story about knights. While the art provided was certainly good, give me more of that cover art please!