A Sign of Things to Come
TPB: Harbinger Vol. 1
Writer: Joshua Dysart
Artist: Khari Evans
It's no secret that I love everything Valiant so it's no surprise that rating their books is no easy task. Whenever someone wants to get into the Valiant universe, I usually recommend X-O Manowar for it's action, novel premise and semi-official flagship status. But invariably the book I enjoy the most for its smart writing is Harbinger. The Harbinger books always have limited runs, alternate series and even spin-off characters star in their own series such as Faith. In an industry where sometimes you stay on a book for twelve months while nothing happens, it seems like Valiant can't tell enough stories in the Harbinger series fast enough.
Harbinger follows the story of Peter Stanchek who has captured the attention of Toyo Harada, the Omega level psiot who runs the world’s largest multinational corporation. After escaping the mental hospital where he has been institutionalized since he was a child, Pete goes on the run and is eventually recruited by Harada’s people. Unlike many other psiots, Pete was born “activated” and has power beyond what Harada has ever seen in another individual.
As Pete goes through the training program that the corporation has created for him, he feels more and more like he is in another institution and losing control of his life. Attempting to escape and finally be free to live how he wants to, Harada reveals that Pete is too important to upcoming events in that world to be allowed that freedom.
Best known for his run on Swamp Thing and his co-created work, Violent Messiahs, Joshua Dysart has worked for DC and many other third party publishers. Khari Evans has also contributed art to Archer and Armstrong and has worked on Marvel titles such as Daughters of the Dragon and Shanna the She-Devil.
The writing in this book is fantastic and quick paced,. The first arc closes out Pete’s meeting with Harada and foreshadows the dark days to come. The art is a shade less photorealistic than the first volume of Bloodshot but still compares favorably for being (to what my eye appears to be) non-digitally drawn.
Final rating (out of 5):