One of the best things about Harbinger Wars has been reading it play out in the solo Bloodshot and Harbinger series. What’s even better is that both solo series released this week giving readers a great insight into both sides of the story that happen to be blazing a path towards each other. I still hate those damn twins, but they’re not as annoying in this issue. The real treat of this issue was the first Harbinger Wars. The story kicks off in 1969 again, but this time we’re inside the mind of one of Harada’s men, Hunter. He sees how he wants to use his powers to help the African American’s community during the height of the civil rights movement. Harada exits Hunters mind after doing a sweep to check his loyalty and asks for him to send Griffon in. Griffon is the red-head that he’s been sleeping with and she doesn’t take Harada’s brain sweep extremely serious since they’re an item. Harada asks her what she would say if he asked her not to come on the raid of Project Rising Spirit. She answers calmly while fighting back her rage, but lays down the law for Harada. The dialog and interaction between the two characters is great so I won’t spoil what she says, but it’s a blow to Harada’s gut for sure.
From there the story recaps some of the events from the third issue of Harbinger Wars, but in more detail. We also share a touching moment with Faith that will definitely make her more relatable and only increased her standing as one of my favorite characters.
The time comes and they finally spot Blootshot and his military escort. The plan starts off the way they want, but Flamingo isn’t able to deliver on her end when Bloodshot opens fire on her. It looks like she’s about to take a dozen rounds to the body when her powers and studying pay off! We’re left right before the big battle and head back to 1969 where another big battle is about to take place as well.
How anyone can dislike Harada’s character is beyond me. The more time the story spends with him the more I like him. He wants to do good and probably has, but it’s what he’s willing to sacrifice that makes him evilish. Aside from getting to know him and his right hand man and left hand woman, the story delivers two great moments with Zephyr and Flamingo. As much as I liked the Zephyr moment, Flamingo was better and it was actually in part because of Zephyr. Dysart makes me forget that these are just characters. I become so emerged in the story that I feel that I’m part of the Renegades. Powerful, powerful writing.
Both artists continue to knock it out of the park on this series. I’ll be sad to see Hairsine go, but I know that as long as Evans sticks with it the series will be golden. I’ve really come to appreciate his art and the way he’s crafted the modern Harbinger timeline. Again, the story doesn’t repeat anything show inHarbinger Wars, almost as if we were seeing what we missed and that’s what makes it a successful crossover tie-in.
As much as I’ve enjoyed the Harbinger Wars, I’m glad to see it come to a close. At this point I’m just dying to know the outcome and how it’s going to shape the future of the Valiant Universe. Its storytelling like this that has landed the series in my top five comics being published. Great stuff and definitely the best series Valiant is publishing, there is no doubt about that in my mind.
Writer: Joshua Dysart
Artists: Khari Evans and Trevor Hairsine
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Release Date: 6/19/13