I actually haven’t had the pleasure of reading any of the other Valiant twenty-fifth issue specials so I didn’t know what to expect here. After the trilling, touching and amazing twenty-fourth issue, I wondered what the story would do here. With the guest creators working on the series it seemed like a spot to chill out on the story. Well that wasn’t good enough for Valiant and Joshua Dysart because they did work on this series making it more than worth it to read. In a way there’s two issues; there’s the normal Dysart issue and then there’s short stories that refresh the readers on some of the events of the series. In the normal half of the issue we follow Harada who is getting ready to deal with the blowback from the @X leak. Before that though we see what happened to Stronghold who was the sole Harbinger member in the building. He confronted the Generation Zero kids, but rather than fight them he asks Cronus to heal Ingrid and he’ll let them walk out. Cronus does and now Ingrid is even younger looking than before. Yet another of Harada’s inner circle have betrayed him, but Ingrid is back at least.
After all of this Harada heads to a secret meeting, that is completely off the books, to discuss the leak with the U.S. government and other organizations and government divisions. The U.S. government rep lays it out for him explaining that he’s finished and Project Rising Spirit is finished as well. The best course of action is for them to be publically disbanded and then secretly continue working for the government. Harada seems calm, friendly and in a strange way accepting of his fate. Too bad the fate he had in mind is everyone’s death. An intense scene erupts as Harada displays his power. The normal story checks in with all of our other characters and plenty more happens with Harada’s side of the as well.
Some of the short stories at the end focus more on Peter and his friend from the beginning of the series Joe. Peter’s path of vengeance started with Joe’s death, but the meaning wasn’t that deep in the last issue. The Joe stories here really do add to that effect even if it’s a part of the overall story we’ve already read. All of the short stories were unique and had great art. In particular I really enjoyed Wake - Part II, Fan Fiction and Into Memory.
I was actually impressed by this issue. I expected it to just hang out and take it easy until the next issue, but instead it added several important chapters to the Harbinger storyline. It also made me want to go back and check out the other two twenty-fifth anniversary issues from Valiant as well. Don’t skip this issue like I almost did, you’d definitely regret it if you do.
Writers: Joshua Dysart, Vivek Tiwary, Justin Jordan, Dan Goldman, Lucy Knisley Artists: Lewis LaRosa, Romulo Fajardo, Khari Evans, Brian Reber, Dave Lanphear, Rafer Roberts, Clayton Henry, Allen Passalaqua, Lucy Knisley, Barry Kitson Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $4.99 Release Date: 7/16/14 Format: Ongoing, Print/Digital