Alright I’m going to float my own boat for a second; I’ve been reviewing Harbinger from the first issue, but I’m sure I’ve missed one or two issues for review. Overall it’s a series that I never grow tired of talking about and as such I was pretty pumped that after nearly twenty-four reviews in a row I was quoted on the cover. It blew me away so thank you Valiant. The last issue had a big spoiler and while I’m not going to lead with it, eventually I’ll have to address it since the writing and direction of this story is affected by it. It’s the most relevant character death to happen to any comic book series as it completely changes the direction of the entire series which has me completely surprised.
The issue begins with a few of the Renegades making their way to the Pittsburgh rendezvous point. We follow Kris who is of course the only one that had to take the slow route due to the fact that she doesn’t have powers. She’s greeted by Zephyr aka Faith and they share a mournful moment.
The story jumps back a few days as is to be expected due to the nature of the events and we find Peter and Harada fighting in the middle of a sinking ferry boat. We see their complete disregard for life as they fight each other, but their battle is interrupted by the Bleeding Monk. He tells them both that they’ve served their purpose and neither one of them take too kindly to the information. For Harada he tells him he needs to accept that his role in ushering humanity forward is over and for Peter he needs to let go of his anger or bring about the destruction of their people.
After this battle concludes (which also brings about a huge change for the series in and of itself), we go back to the mourning Renegades as they decide to say something about their deceased. They’re not sure about Peter yet so they’ve decided to include him, but as Kris freaks out and leaves she bumps into someone hiding their presence. Later Peter reveals himself and says goodbye to each of them. With Kris he says it in person since he promised never to enter her head again, but with Faith and Troque he visits their mind in their sleep.
This is a huge issue with lasting effects to the series. I have no idea where it’s going from here and it’s likely that as readers we won’t have an inkling until after the big 25th issue celebration. I’m not kidding when I say that the character’s death is the most important to a comic. The death has destroyed this team and there isn’t that feeling of “nah they’ll get back together.” Instead it feels like the end of an era and a new direction coming for this series.
Joshua Dysart takes this issue and gives you what’s always been its greatest element, character moments. He knows these characters so well that it comes through in the story and makes the reader feel the same way. Their dialogue is natural and realistic, so much so that it’s like you’re reading a conversation happening between your friends and not that of comic book characters. The emotion in this issue is heartfelt and never lets up.
Khari Evans returns for this issue and I’m grateful for it. There are a handful of artists that have worked on this series on a regular bases and Evans is one of my favorite. Really I can’t think of a bad one, but there was something fitting about his return to the series with this issue. He captures that raw emotion that Dysart’s story brings out making this issue hit on all cylinders.
I’ve already read through this issue twice which is a rarity for me, but it was so freaking good that I see myself reading it again before the next issue. Speaking of the next issue, it can’t come soon enough. I’m seriously anxious to read it and see where this series is going because of the literal hand grenade the Dysart had go off in this issue. I say this a lot, but this is the best book that Valiant is publishing and this is the best issue in the series as it brings together the entire journey of the twenty-three issues that led up to it. Phenomenal work.
Writer: Joshua Dysart Artist: Khari Evans Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 6/18/14 Format: Ongoing, Print/Digital