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Harbinger #1 What Has Changed – What Stayed the Same


By Hervé St-Louis
June 7, 2012 - 12:07

Harbinger_2.jpg
Valiant Entertainment just released Harbinger #1 the second original comic book series from the 1990s Valiant comic book imprint founded by Jim Shooter and bob Layton. This new version of Harbinger continues to pit Peter Stanchek against Toyo Harada, a powerful harbinger whose power, only Peter equals. Harbinger, for new readers not familiar with Valiant, are like mutants. They have powers and Harada has made a specialty of training kids and harnessing their powers to take over the world. But that was the premise of the first Harbinger series. Let’s see if the plot stays the same.

The story starts with Peter Stanchek on the run and seeking medication to dampen his mind reading abilities. He’s with Joe, schizophrenic kid who refuses to take his meds and who escaped with him from the hospital they both stayed in. Peter’s trail of mind manipulation including forcing a childhood friend to love him leads Harada to his hideout and a confrontation ensues.

The one difference with the first version of Harbinger is the pacing. The story is good, but it unfolds much slowly. At this point, it’s not clear if Peter’s other friends who were also harbingers on the run, in the previous series, will even appear in this series in the same capacity. Kris was there as his powerless girlfriend, but that relationship has changed a lot with Peter forcing her to love him. The other Kris cheated on Peter and was responsible for the birth of Robot Magnus Fighter. Of course that may not pan out here, unless Valiant is preparing a secret crossover event with Dark Horse Comics, the current licensees of the Dell comic book properties which were brought in to cement the original Valiant comic book universe.

The series is good. The artwork left me cold though. Khari Evans who also draws the series, needs another inker. He cannot ink his work properly. For his style, the lines should be steadier and thicker. Here, they appear to waver constantly as if a tiny amount of ink was used to cover the pencils. The problem with the inking is that it takes away from the solid figure work Evans is capable of. I wish they would pair Evans with a senior inker that would embellish his work and make it shine, instead of limiting its appeal. If there is one weakness in the new Harbinger, it would be the inking. The old series was much stronger in the inking department with by industry legends like Bob Hall, Bob Layton and Don Heck coaching a young David Lapham.

Rating: 8 /10


Last Updated: May 19, 2020 - 12:25

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