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Harbinger #2 Advance Review


By Andy Frisk
July 8, 2012 - 00:03

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The secretive Mr. Tull and the organization he works for, that is pursuing Psiots and Peter Stanchek in particular, meets his match when Harada convinces Peter to cut loose with his powers and show him “what he can really do.” Peter does cut loose, and the consequences of his actions (and what he has done to his childhood friend Kris) convince him that perhaps Harada’s Harbinger Foundation is the place for him. Maybe it’s time to let go of his best friend Joe and Kris (who he actually might not look forward to seeing again after the end of this issue), stop running, and take Harada up on his offer.

Joshua Dysart continues to weave a highly intelligent, powerfully dark, yet incredibly realistic tale about the plight of Psiots (read mutant) in a world where they are either hunted by organizations like Mr. Tull’s (whose identity is revealed by Harada to Peter this issue) or recruited by Harada to help serve his master goal, which just may be to save the world by dominating it. Speaking of Harada, some interesting backstory on him is supplied in this issue’s first few pages that is chilling and touching at the same time. Dysart does a great job creating these emotionally dualistic scenes in his writing and his Harada anecdote is powerfully moving and frightening. I really love how Dysart weaves a morally ambiguous tale that stars superhuman characters who are as relatable to as most of the real people in your life. This was the power of the original Harbinger series and Dysart is rising above even the greatness of those tales with his new stories about Stanchek’s quest to discover, and get a handle on, himself and his life.

Khari Evans’ artwork is powerfully understated and bears the mark of realism that we rarely see in superhero comics. There’s no crazy distortion of anatomy, albeit perhaps in one very well done scene, and his characters’ visages and body language are true to form. The scenes where Peter cuts loose with his powers on the attacking forces of Mr. Tull are breathtaking. He also does an excellent job bringing to life the horror of Dysart’s opening few pages (mentioned above) which relates the story of Harada’s discovery of a new Psiot.

Overall, Harbinger is definitely a top of the reading pile type of book. The pacing, the slow (but not annoyingly so) development of the story, and the characters are all top notch. They bear the hallmarks of a strong storyteller. Harbinger is the kind of book that you just don’t read each month. You savor it and wait anxiously for the next month’s installment.

Rating: 9.5 /10


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