Immortal Brothers: The Tale of The Green Knight #1
Written by: Fred Van Lente
Art by: Cary Nord
I have been a fan of Valiant Entertainment’s comic books for about a year and a half. In that time 4 characters have become some of my favorites in all of literature. Gilad Anni-Padda the Eternal warrior, Archer and Armstrong, and X-O Manowar. And when 3 out of the 4 work together in a new one shot story that makes me wish it was the real history that had occurred, it effectively does its job as a comic book. I am talking of course about Valiant’s latest story Immortal Brothers: The Tale of The Green Knight. A story about the three immortal brothers, Gilad, Armstrong, and Ivar the Timewalker, venturing to save protect Camelot. Can this one shot capture the unique relationship of the brothers while also create a wonderful tale of adventure and altered history? Hopefully that and more.
The story begins and occurs in the present day. “What? I thought this was a Camelot story,” you may be saying. Well it is. Obadiah Archer, longtime half of the duo Archer and Armstrong, visits his sick girlfriend Faith Hebert, another well-known Valiant Universe superhero, because she has fallen ill. So, to cheer her up, Archer has come to read her a story. The story we discover, has been filled in with parts by Archers longtime friend Armstrong because he claims that he and his brothers were there, so he knows what occurred.
This tale is about a knight who rides into the court of King Arthur and the knights of the round table to issue a challenge. Any warrior can take his axe and strike him a fatal blow, but in turn, the warrior must seek him out in a year’s time to receive the same blow in turn. King Arthur calls forth Gilad Anni-Padda, The Eternal Warrior. The man that can’t be killed. Gilad steps forth and decapitates the green knight and, after picking up his own head, rides off on his horse saying he waits for the year to pass.
Gilad, fearful for once that he might die seeing as the knight picked up his own head still alive, gathers his brothers from their current locations. Aram also known as Armstrong, was hiding out from “The Sect” at a monastery. Which if you know the character is ironic. And Ivar the Timewalker appears from a New year’s party from the not too distant future. They all band together as they have many a time over the millennia and, after gaining the assistance of a young man named Percival who strikes a similar resemblance and skill to Archer, they go to challenge the Knight in the hopes of keeping Gilad alive.
This one-shot issue, honestly makes me want even more Immortal Brothers books. Ever since I read the first series of Archer and Armstrong launched in 2012, I’ve loved the dynamic of these brothers who are cursed to live their lives eternally trapped in a world they can’t die and they all handle it in separate ways. Armstrong drinks, Gilad fights, and Ivar…Well I haven’t read his solo series yet but he comes off more as a free spirit who can’t face the fact that his brothers curse is his fault so all three of them together is a great dynamic. Returning to the story though, it’s really good. Yes, the shoehorning of a similar Archer character is weird, but you can look past it. The outer points of the story are semi hollo in terms of the fact that it just sort of sets up the world so the three can have an adventure that its done so well that it’s a very enjoyable. If they ever tried to make this an ongoing series, there would need to be more world building and context.
The art is average but doesn’t do anything bad. Cary Nord has a style that is simplistic but doesn’t detract from the story. It just does a good job of coinciding with it, and that’s perfectly fine.
Like I said this is a one shot. Meaning until Valiant says otherwise, there won’t be anymore. So, for a one issue book, its very good. It rewrites a little history for the sake of the Valiant universe and I can honestly say if you’ve been hesitant to get into Valiant, this might convince you to consider titles like Archer and Armstrong, Ivar Timewalker, and Eternal Warrior. So definitely check this out.