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Harbinger #0 Advanced Review

By Andy Frisk
January 31, 2013 - 19:58

Toyo Harada, leader of the Harbinger Foundation, is an Omega Level Harbinger bent on world domination for what are, in his mind, humanitarian reasons. He will stop at nothing and let no one him from reaching his goals. What makes a man like this tick though? In Harada's case, the events surrounding the bombing of Hiroshima at the end of World War II, which not only involved the awaking of his psionic powers, but allowed him to witness humanity at its worst, were incredibly formative on the young Harada. Lessons he learned from this time in his life have directed and shaped his every move since...including his present day actions in the nation of strife torn Syria.

Joshua Dysart's Harbinger #0 is a brilliant piece of storytelling on so many levels that it belies description. Not only does it tell Harada's origin story, revealing his somewhat sympathetic motivations, it illuminates so many of the real life global problems that have lead humanity to the state that it is in now, both in Dysart's fiction and the world just outside your window. Deftly weaving in serious and smart socio-political commentary of a global consideration that is not only sharply insightful, but highly entertaining as a read, Dysart continues to build upon what just might be his masterpiece work for Valiant Comics.

Artists Mico Suayan and Pere Perez combine to bring Dysart's visionary work to stunning visual life. From mystical imagery surrounding the legendary Buddhist idea of Mt. Meru, to the images of the black rain that fell on Hiroshima after the bombing, to the way that Harada utilizes his psionic powers (often graphically, but even more often fascinatingly) Suayan and Perez demonstrate their ability to recreate a world of real life horrors and invent some fictional ones of their own that are rarely rivaled. Their depictions of the aftermath of the bombing of Hiroshima, on the environment and the survivors, give the imagery in the film The Day After (1983) a run for its money.

There are very few mainstream superhero comics on the market today that are as powerfully written and drawn as the Valiant books are, and Dysart's Harbinger is one of their best...and it just keeps getting better.

Rating: 10 /10

Last Updated: May 19, 2020 - 12:25

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