Harbinger Wars #1 [Valiant Effort]

Harbinger Wars #1 (Valiant): Now, perhaps I’m biased because I had the opportunity to meet Joshua Dysart at an in-store signing on the day this book was released and he was a very class act, but when the contents are this good, it’s hard to argue with. If you’re tired of enduring these written-by-committee, editorially-driven, empty calorie value, milking annual sales cycle, trumped up mega crossover events that always seem to ring hollow and never actually change the status quo despite claims otherwise, then Here. You. Go. If all that stuff is a disease, Harbinger Wars appears to be the cure. This is an organic, logical, character-driven series of incidents that features a three-way conflict between Pete’s Renegades from the regular Harbinger series, Bloodshot/Project Rising Spirit, and Toyo Harada’s Harbinger Foundation over a new band of escaped psiots. This “shadow war” is about to go very public. It's gonna' be big, loud, and have lasting effects in the Valiant Universe. Essentially, the higher ups at all of these organizations aren’t necessarily in control of what they think they’re in control of. Perhaps Joshua Dysart’s greatest strength as a writer is a character-first focus, throwing together a rag-tag band of uniquely-voiced off-type individuals in a very insane situation. The art is fantastic. I’ve given the regular Harbinger series a little bit of grief over occasional art rotations, but here they own the fact that they have three artists on this issue and absolutely run with it. Clayton Henry, Clayton Crain, and Mico Suayan rotate scenes, each one taking either the present day, the flashback, or the astral plane sequences to great stylistic effect. Crain is my favorite of the trio, but they all nail their sequences. It’s an incredibly strong first issue that promises a story of great consequence. Don’t miss out on what could be the event of the year. Grade A.


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