Coming up on April 12th, we see the arrival of an anniversary special one-shot from Valiant Comics taking us back to the days of King Arthur and into one of the most famous of Arthurian stories, known around the world. I don’t know about you, but my siblings and I all had to study Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in high school, and if you were an English major you probably had to study it more in depth at college, too.
[Main cover by Cary Nord]
It’s a significant story with a very interesting twist–a knight’s bravery is tested against a superhuman green knight who, having challenged an “exchange of blows”, and having his head cut off, promptly puts it back on through supernatural power and walks away. He’ll return one year later to land his single blow with his giant axe on the knight who accepted his challenge. The Green Knight is one of the most evocative monsters of medieval lore, a seemingly unstoppable foe whose motives are mysterious–it’ll be very interesting to see what Archer, Armstrong, the Eternal Warrior, and Ivar think of this fellow with whom they have a lot in common, perhaps.
Immortal Brothers: The Tale of the Green Knight is written by New York Times Best-Selling author Fred Van Lente (Archer & Armstrong) and drawn Eisner Award-winning artist Cary Nord (X-O Manowar). This 25th anniversary one-shot is also presented in tribute to Barry Windsor Smith’s classic Archer & Armstrong/Eternal Warrior #8, from 1992.
[Wraparound cover by Mico Suayan]
Valiant describe the plot of this one-shot thus:
It’s winter at King Arthur’s court in Camelot! The monstrous Green Knight has appeared before the Round Table with no armor, a gigantic axe, and a challenge. He has come to insist that the weaker knights participate in a friendly “winter’s game” where anyone can strike him once with his axe, but on one condition: That the Green Knight can return the exact blow in one year’s time.
King Arthur has agreed to face the mysterious knight himself, but the Round Table’s youthful and most gallant champion, Sir Gilad, takes up the challenge to protect his king. Much to the court’s surprise, the Green Knight doesn’t flinch as his head is struck clean off…only to pick it up himself and warn Gilad that he is fated to receive the same blow before the year is out. Now, Gilad – the Eternal Warrior – must solve the mystery of who the Green Knight is before his hour at the axe comes to pass! But first, he’ll need to find some help…in the form of his own immortal brothers – Armstrong and Ivar – who shall be united once more!
Here’s our look at the interior art on The Tale of the Green Knight, with main interior art by Cary Nord with Mark Morales and Brian Reber and the framing story art by Clayton Henry with Brian Reber:
Gotta love those 2017 glasses! Look out for this special one-shot on April 12th, and keep in mind that there are few of these anniversary “specials” in 2017 from Valiant. The next one after this will arrive on May 10th, and will be Eternal Warrior: Awakening #1, which tells the story of the early days of the Eternal Warrior, and is in homage to the original Eternal Warrior #1 issue by Jim Shooter and John Dixon.