Book of Death TPB – 2015 (Valiant Entertainment)

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TITLE: Book of Death

YEAR: 2015

COMPANY: Valiant Entertainment

Written by Robert Venditti 

Art by Robert Gill and Doug Braithwaite

Colorists: David Baron with Brian Reber

Letterer: Dave Lanphear

Designer: Dylan Todd

Gilad Anni-Panda is known as the Eternal Warrior, a great warrior and tactician granted the gift of immortality and his job is to prevent calamities and for centuries, to receive the messages of geomancers, mystics who are in tune with Earth.  And he has served them for millennia.

Granted with superhuman strength, stamina and healing ability, Gilad serves as a member of the government’s superhuman group, UNITY.

While there are typically one Geomancer on the planet, there are now suddenly two.

When a new female geomancer named Tama turns up and reads that many of Earth’s heroes die by a great evil, the Eternal Warrior seeks out and takes the girl under his wing.

Meanwhile, a boy geomancer suddenly attracts animals and insects to his mother’s surprise.  But out of nowhere, the Necromancer Master Darque comes to take the child known as David under his wing for evil.  And when many deceased neighbors around the neighborhood are found impaled by a tree’s branches, UNITY is contacted to stop the geomancer.  And  the team assumes the female geomancer that Gilad is protecting is responsible for the deaths.

Gilad takes Tama to an undisclosed area and wants her to read the book, in hopes that it will give him an idea of what is happening to the world and responsible for causing the deaths.

Aric of Dacia (X-O Manowar) confronts Gilad to surrender the girl and warning him that if he doesn’t, he will become an enemy of UNITY.  Gilad refuses and the two former friends part ways.

Thinking they are out of danger, when Tama reads the book, as Gilad wants to know who is responsible for the deaths of the heroes, Master Darque is alerted and wants her dead.  He threatens young David that if he doesn’t do what he says, he will kill his mother.

So, David uses his Geomancer powers to send thousands of scorpions to attack Tama and Gilad.  But as Gilad is attacked, Tama uses her power to stop them.

And immediately, UNITY leader Livewire, X-O Manowar, Ninjak and GIN-GR show up to take the girl.

Which will setup a battle between Gilad and his former friends and teammate from UNITY.

Can Gilad protect Tama and can David be saved from this dark threat that is abusing the Geomancer power?

Many of you probably can tell that when it comes to Valiant, I am a big fan of the comic books from the ’90s.

And I suppose despite the critical acclaim that the new Valiant Comics have received, there has been a little trepidation of me jumping into the reboot of the series and the characters.

While I have read the first issue of “Faith” (mini-series), I decided to purchase the “Book of Death” TPB which includes the first four issues of the books.

Not knowing what to expect, I gave it a try and lo and behold, I absolutely loved it!

There is no doubt a difference from the Gilad of the past and the present in terms of presentation.  The Eternal Warrior in this book taking on Ninjak, X-O Manowar and other UNITY team members. What a pretty awesome fight and showing how Gilad is a master tactician and warrior!

And there is Master Darque, who was a pain in arse back in the old series, is back and even more sadistic, especially his treatment towards David, the young geomancer who screams for his mother but all he gets is beaten up or tortued by Darque.

The storyline by Robert Venditti was excellent and the artwork by Robert Gill and Doug Braithwaite were also equally magnificent.

Could it be…am I now going to be a convert to these newer Valiant comic books?

Don’t get me wrong…I have mad love towards my Valiant collection, but I will admit, this TPB alone made me interested in reading more of the newer stuff.

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