Immortal Brothers: The Tale of the Green Knight #1 (Valiant Entertainment)
When Valiant did their re-launch several years ago, they started with X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Harbinger, Shadowman, and Archer & Armstrong. Each of those titles offered something unique while still feeling like part of a cohesive universe (well, not Shadowman, but Ninjak is fixing that retroactively). It’s the last one, Archer & Armstrong, that currently concerns us.
Archer & Armstrong was about a religious assassin and the man he thought was the devil, a ten-thousand-year-old immortal drunkard who isn’t bad or even drawn that way; he’s just kind of a well-meaning alcoholic. The two went on adventures and over the course of things learned the secret of the drunkard’s immortality and met his two brothers, also immortals.
See, ten thousand years ago, there were three princes who went to war with another nation. The youngest of them, the best warrior, died in that conflict. The eldest and most intelligent of them came up with a way to resurrect him, but the middle brother – our drunkard – had some questions about consequences that the eldest ignored.
The result of the eldest’s experiment did bring their brother back to life and made the three of them immortal, but it also murdered their entire civilization and affected them in different ways. The Eldest, Ivar, has become unmoored in time and had to figure out how to move through whens the same way he does wheres. The youngest, Gilad, became tied to the life force of the planet and acts as a champion for that same life force. The middle brother, Aram, got strong and tough and decided to get very drunk and eventually changed his name to Armstrong.
Previous series have touched on things the brothers have done throughout history, but writer Fred van Lente has decided to explore things in greater detail and look at how history and myth has been shaped by one or more of the three immortals as they weave their way through time.
We’re starting with Arthurian myth, as Gilad is serving as a knight of the Round Table when the Green Knight wanders by and lays out a challenge – anyone is free to strike him provided he can inflict the same injury on them in one year’s time. Gilad chops off his head but gets no quickening; instead, the Green Knight picks up his head and leaves.
Now, Gilad has to go and make good on his promise… unless he can figure out what the hell is going on. His two brothers hear of this and decide to get involved because family affairs are always a bit of a mess.
Sounds like fun.
Cary Nord from X-O Manowar is handling the art duties on this one, so this book is going to be gorgeous and weird. If you’re looking for a different spin on superheroes or Arthurian stuff or are just looking for something new, give this a read. Valiant rarely disappoints, and this is going to be awesome.