Gilad, his granddaughter, and his band of civilians defeat Nergal's death cult, acquire the radiation poisoning cure, and pass it out to their family and friends both old and new. Gilad settles back down to living and encouraging an agrarian lifestyle again, but Caroline has seen too much, knows too much, and has lost her innocence...along with the human race, once again.
And so ends the "Eternal Emperor" storyline in Eternal Warrior, and with the rate that Valiant Entertainment is cancelling and combining books this might be the end of Eternal Warrior as well, at least as a stand alone title. Harbinger is going the way of "extended hiatus" since we don't know what the future of Harbinger as an "ongoing" will be (at least after the three part mini-series Harbinger: Omegas, which is going to deal with the aftermath of the death of one of Peter's renegades and Harada's re-tooling as a "super villain" which is the worst idea ever). Does all of this mean that Valiant is purposefully dumbing down their books? Can readers not understand Harada's position in the world if he's not a Doctor Doom-like character? Is Harbinger too realistic and slow moving (i.e. intricately plotted) for readers to understand? I fear so.
Anyway, back to Eternal Warrior. "Eternal Emperor" has been a great story and it was enjoyable, but it really doesn't feel like the type of Eternal Warrior story that old school Eternal Warrior fans have been craving. It really could have been (and actually would have worked better as) a non-Eternal Warrior story. Gilad does not serve the Earth anymore. There are no historical flashbacks. There are no Geomancers (there was an awesome new female one introduced in the pages of Archer and Armstrong who has now disappeared completely from the narrative), and Gilad seems to be a bit deranged. He was the constant of the old Valiant U and here he is just some wandering anti-establishment character off on his own mission. I'm losing touch with the character. This is not what I wished to happen...obviously. Just about everything that I was hoping to see revitalized and re-imagined in the pages of a new Eternal Warrior book have yet to materialize.
There are still some great things going on in the Valiant U 2.0. Unity is a great book (even if Gilad is a minor and underused character there), and Archer and Armstrong still delivers a tight coherent plot, but the rest of the titles are fraying around the edges (with the exception of X-O Manowar). I was completely hyped for the debut of Rai in a few weeks, but now I am worried that it will end up disappointing as well.
Unfortunately, the stories that I am looking for from Eternal Warrior, and was thoroughly enjoying in Harbinger are either going away or currently non-existent. For the first time I am feeling a little bit letdown from the publisher that I've been enjoying so much over the past few years, and afraid for my future relationship with it.