Review: Harbinger #8
Published by Valiant Entertainment
Written by Joshua Dysart
Art by Lee Garbett
Coloured by Moose Baumann
This issue begins in a place under the “Sea of Woe” called Torquehalla where we meet a large warrior wielding an axe. Meanwhile, in Southeast Oregon Livewire is serving her exile and Harada meets her to tell her about Peter’s current course of action. Harada reveals that they are actually inside of his mind and he presses her for some information on how to stop him from recruiting all of the psiots. Over in Chattooga County, Georgia, Flamingo is looking for a guy named Torkelson and she finds him. However, Peter and Kris emerge and state that it’s actually his younger brother that they are looking for. Peter contacts Faith who is surveying the area from the air while he finds John Torkelson. We continue to see Torque’s exploits in Torquehalla, but Peter sees him in his real form. Peter offers to help him, which will require activating his latent abilities. However, some helicopters are approaching and they are affecting the minds and powers of Faith and Flamingo. There is a quick flashback that shows an interesting conversation between Flamingo and Kris, which flash forwards to the present where they are under attack. Meanwhile Peter is able to reconcile Torque and John Torkelson and he joins in the fight. Peter’s abilities are being affected, but he still tries to get everyone on the same page. The issue ends with all of the members of the Resistance in compromising and dangerous situations.
WOW! I absolutely loved this comic. I laughed out loud a few times during this comic. John was portrayed brilliantly and his Torque persona is completely likeable despite being a douche. The reason why he’s so likeable is because his personality makes complete sense when examining John. John is an invalid and his exposure to the outside world consists of trash t.v. such as Jersey Shore, the Kardashians, and so on. The things that he says are hilarious because he has such an exaggerated perception of what masculinity entails. I`ve seen other characters portrayed in a similar manner (and I usually roll my eyes in disgust), but the execution with Torque made it believable and surprisingly relatable. I am absolutely loving the Resistance storyline because Peter is taking these broken, damaged people and turning them into something more. There were some funny as hell lines that came courtesy of Torque. I read this issue twice in a row. Dysart has done such a brilliant job of his characterizations with relation to the Resistance. For someone as powerful as Harada he could get away with killing Livewire for her transgressions earlier in the series. However, he had the foresight to see that she still had some value and he acted on that during this issue. I liked how he dealt with Livewire during this issue. It`s these little details that help to build up his character. The conversation between Kris and Flamingo was effective and well done. I also liked the explanation of what happened with Flamingo`s charred appearance last issue (I really wondered if it was going to be a permanent thing). This series continues to get stronger and stronger. The art from Garbett this issue was well done and his storytelling was also effective. Baumann had some dynamic looking panels and some of his backgrounds were very nice. He provided the trees with so much detail and depth. The cover with Flamingo really popped on the shelves at my LCS. What a fantastic issue again this month.
This isn`t really a gripe, but I do hope that we see the Resistance in their costumes when they face off against Harada. I’ve been seeing them on the covers and they have a really good look to them.
Buy It, Borrow It Shelf Read It, or Ignore It?
BUY IT. Harbinger was an amazing read and Valiant should be proud of themselves for putting out this title. It’s a superhero title and it doesn’t really feel like a superhero title…it feels like something bigger than that. I fully recommend people to track down previous issues if they haven’t or buy the trade. Anyone that simply enjoys good comics should pick this one up. I feel invested in all of the characters and I’m in this series for the long haul. If the next issues continue with the quality of the past few I’ll be wearing a “I believe in Dysart” button. Great stuff.