Review: Armor Hunters: Harbinger #1

Well there was bound to be a weak link in the chain and unfortunately it’s Armor Hunters: Harbinger. If you’ve read my previous reviews then you know I hold Harbinger to a high standard, but that standard isn’t reached in this issue. It doesn’t mean that the series doesn’t have anything to offer, but this first issue wasn’t the strongest tie-in effort for the “Armor Hunter” storyline that’s running throughout the Valiant Universe. The main problem is that our characters seem forced into the situation. Whereas Unity is there to fight such an event and the characters wrapped up in that have a place in the overall plotline, this story picks up just as Mexico City is destroyed in Armor Hunters #1 and we find the recently freed Generation Zero kids. Now I can buy that they were on their way to Mexico from L.A. because it does make senses to head south when you’re trying to get out of the country. That’s okay, but the fact that they happen upon the Hunter’s attack comes across as an unnecessary push for the story. Again I can buy it and in fact I wouldn’t doubt that between Joshua Dysart and the rest of the Valiant crew that they planned it perfectly this way, but sometimes perfect comes across as forced. It’s a fine line to walk and it just didn’t quite make it here.

AH_HARB_001_VARIANT_DESIGN-CRAINThe Generation Zero kids decide to help out against Cronus’ better judgement. He decides to go with the majority and they move out to help the city just as aid relief arrives… with Zypher and Torque in tow. Yeah… I get that these two don’t have much to do, but the jump from the last issue of Harbinger to this really seems too soon and very convenient.

It’s not a bad issue because Dysart isn’t a bad writer; it’s just that the conveniences of the plot make this feel like any other event tie-in book. The only thing that can save it is that if it has real consequences for the Harbinger section of the Valiant Universe, but that’s yet to be seen.

The art was solid, the action was easy to follow and intense. My one and only gripe was the character’s hair which looked fake, almost like they were wearing wigs. Monica Jim was a welcomed return because I loved seeing her animal transformations. She doesn’t disappoint in this issue and I look forward to seeing how she interacts with the group now that she’s had some maturity developed with her time spent with the Renegades.

I know I kind of beat up on this issue, but considering how fantastic the Armor Hunters storyline has been so far it’s hard not to be disappointed. Again though, it’s not bad, it’s just not great and that’s what I’ve come to expect from Valiant’s Harbinger line of books. It has potential and because of that I’ll be back to read the next two issues for sure.

Score: 3/5

Writer: Joshua Dysart Artist: Robert Gill Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 7/30/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital