Harbinger #15

by kanchilr1 on August 14, 2013

The Team
Writer Joshua Dysart Artist Barry Kitson

Harbinger is a title that is not afraid to go anywhere. For evidence of this, take the team on the cover. Peter Stanchek spent majority of his life stealing drugs and running from the police. Flamingo is a pyromancer who used to be a stripper. Torque is the stereotypical school bully that everyone tries to run away from in high school. Charlene is overweight and Kris is well, a rape victim. Putting these people together pushes more boundaries than Breaking Bad does. At a certain point it is also hard to feel completely attached to the team, many of them are flawed to the point of no return. It is also difficult to see how some of the women in this title are overtly sexualized. While these characters are hard to identify with, there is no doubt that this title is well written. Pacing has been a virtue for many of the Valiant books, as Stanchek ripped apart a huge piece of the Harbinger Foundation in the course of one big issue. What is also going to prove interesting, is the fallout from the Harbinger Wars that will be explored in this title. Stanchek and The Renegades were not on the winning side of that battle. They lost all of the psiot children that they fought so hard to protect.

From the initial pages of a comic entitled A Perfect Day, the reader can sense impending doom. This first few pages which feature the vacation add some much needed lighter moments in such a dark title. Even with all of the flaws, the characters in the comic can still be quite charming. A narrative like this that features characters dealing with the aftermath of something, completely relies on character. Fortunately these characters have never been written better than in this issue. Even though the dialogue can be a bit silly, for the most this is how actual people sound in conversation. Writer Joshua Dysart does a great job on this character based title. He manages to show some character progression in the persona of Flamingo. The character has been oversexaulized and slightly hard for more casual readers to enjoy, this title does a great job characterizing her as smarter than she seems. However there is also a misstep in this issue with the same person that negates the character work Dysart set up so beautifully.

Barry Kitson delivers some pencils that do not look very even in this issue, upon further inspection this may not be his fault. When examining the credits of this issue two different inkers are credited on this issue. This incident becomes even more apparent when two colorists are also listed, consistency in twenty two pages is necessary. It almost seems that these five people are not in sync at all. Comic Books are a collaboration of art and writing that meld together to paint a picture in your head. Too many artists loses that sense of wonder that permeates in the best collaboration.
Readers do not be fooled from the opening pages of this issue. This is the most depressing issue of the title yet. While I commend Dysart for making some bold choices, the flaws wrapped with the characters in this title keep me at arms length from the humanity of this book.

Our Score:


A Look Inside