The stage is set and the players are position. Bloodshot and the psiot kids he's rescued from Project Rising Spirit, Toyo Harada and his Harbinger Foundation Eggbreakers, and Peter Stanchek and his Renegades are inevitably drawn into a conflict that can possibly redefine the nature of the perceived reality of the Valiant Universe. Peter, under the direction and attempted tutelage of the Bleeding Monk, the oldest living Harbinger (who has abandoned Harada), has the potential to rise up and be a leader of epic proportions in the coming days. His actions might not just save the psiots under his care, but the entire world. Will he rise to the occasion?
Tying things together very neatly, without being redundant, writer Joshua Dysart recaps all of the events that have occurred in all of the previous issues of Harbinger and Bloodshot that have lead up to this moment: the beginning of the Harbinger Wars. Deftly weaving a smart and intricate overarching storyline of potentially apocalyptic proportions while fully utilizing his ability to write and develop believable and compelling individual characters, Dysart (along with his artistic team and co-story writer Swierczynski) have laid the foundation for a major publisher's summer crossover event that looks to put recent summer crossovers by the Big Two (Marvel and DC Comics) to shame. Harbinger Wars is a subtly and intelligently nuanced story that has more depth to it than anything Avengers vs. X-Men had, or Age of Ultron has yet, to display, and we are only one issue into the story proper.
The artistic team that comes together on this book (and are regular artists on other Valiant books), is top notch, and the shifts in style displayed by each artist are also quite intelligently handled. One artist covers a certain set of past events while another covers one in the realm that would in the Marvel U most likely be referred to an "astral plane," (the realm where the most powerful psionic psiots like Stancheck, Harada, and the Bleeding Monk can commune with one another) while yet another covers the present. The smart use of all these artists on one book, (thus potentially cutting down on the time it would take one artist to draw it all) as described above, keeps the book from being jagged or disjointed looking (like some crossover events that jump from artist to artist each issue do).
Finally, a publisher delivers an action packed, character driven, commentary laden, and all around brilliant and multifaceted crossover event that will appeal to a wide range of readers. Thank you Valiant Entertainment for making crossovers not only fun to read again, but worth reading again.