Has it been a year already? It really feels as if we’re just getting started with this series and I have to say that’s incredible. Literally a year of issues has passed and it’s just getting started and no, it’s not just because it’s all new and different to me. It’s something beyond that. With monthly comics that are based largely in the real world (landmarks and cities), they can quickly feel dated and slow moving. With Harbinger and the rest of the Valiant line, I almost feel like I’m behind on their story each time I pick up a series.
In Harbinger Wars we saw the Renegades arrive in Las Vegas, but with this issue we see the journey to get there. Again, this is a great way to handle a crossover as it doesn’t feel like I’m reading the same story over and over spread throughout different series. Instead each book reads like its own entity, but enriches the overall crossover plot line.
Much like the last issue, this one begins in 1969 with the first quote/unquote Harbinger Wars. Harada is in one of his Harbinger bases and he’s meeting with a new recruit that has the psiot potential. He’s going over the risks of the procedure to unlock him and we see the very early techniques that the Harbinger foundation used on psiots. It instantly becomes clear as to why Peter was so valuable to them with his ability to unlock others organically. After the unlocking fails, Harada and Hunter head to another meeting with our helmet wearing Rising Spirit members. They want his unlocking tech and they’ll give him anything they have to get it.
From there we check in with the Renegades as they head to Vegas. Due to the events of the second issue of Harbinger Wars, the city has been closed off. Peter asks Zephyr if he can mind control some people and she agrees only if he says it in a nerdy way (which I won’t spoil, but you probably already know). They head right up to the Bellagio which instantly made me wonder why more comics don’t take place in Vegas? Sure there is Scam from ComixTribe, but I can’t think of anything else that’s spent time there since the Hulk tore it up and got shot into space. I’m going to stop here because the Renegades interaction with Generation Zero is amazing. They’re all so different even though they share a huge similarity.
The writing is pretty damn amazing on this issue. Anyone that was disappointed with not seeing more of the Renegades last week is in for a treat. As I said the two groups are so different and they want to desperately interact with others like themselves, but both sides have huge trust issues. Sadly, I don’t think there’s a way this is going to have a happy ending and I really have to side with the Renegades since I love their characters so damn much. They’re all emotionally damaged while Generation Zero’s emotional development has been stunted due to their trauma.
I don’t know if it’s just Dysart’s writing style that lends itself perfectly to multiple artists working on a title or if it’s just happens to be this story, but it works. Evans, Hairshine and Gaudino share in the art detail and each of them does a great job of bringing their side of the story to life, but keeping an overall consistent look and feel to the story. Young Harada looks like a total bad ass and the world resembles the era even with their advanced technology.
I’m personally, really enjoying the 1969 story line and hope that there will be more like it in the future or even just another storyline that takes place around the same time. It just goes to show the endless potential that this series has. If you’re just jumping on to the series you might be a little confused by the events, but it still manages to do a great job of recapping things. I would still recommend picking up the previous issues and definitely Harbinger Wars as it amplifies this series.
Writer: Joshua Dysart
Artist: Khari Evans and Trevor Hairsine and Stefano Gaudino
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Release Date: 5/8/13