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Review: Harbinger Omegas #1


By Andy Frisk
August 16, 2014 - 01:17

As Valiant moves into what appears to be their multiple mini series phase, as concerns the properties that apparently weren't selling as well as they progressed higher and higher in issue number (at least they aren't abandoning them), Joshua Dysart re-launches the Harbinger franchise with Harbinger Omegas #1. This time around, the action, violence, weird sex, and artwork (supplied by the incomparable Rafa Sandoval) are all amped up. Apparently, the thoughtful social commentary of Dysart and Valiant Comics' initial re-launch of the Harbinger franchise just wasn't capturing the market.

What's Happening Harada has been outed as the super powered being that he is by Peter Stanchek and his team, and The Harbinger Foundation appears to be in ruins financially. Harada is an internationally wanted criminal, but stopping the most powerful psiot on the planet isn't as easy as it's cracked up to be (hence the amped up violence). Harada isn't the only omega level psiot on the planet though. Peter Stanchek, now retired from the good fight, is chomping anti-psychotic meds again while sleeping with a mentally generated Flamingo (the weird sex part) and hanging out with his also mentally generated (and equally deceased) former best friend Joe. Meanwhile, Faith "Zephyr" Herbert and John "Torque" Torkelson have legitimately taken up the mantle of the superhero, pledging to assist with the disaster in Mexico (see Armor Hunters), while Kris Hathaway is pursued by Rising Spirit.

The Writing As fragmented, and frustrating (I HATE that Peter has retreated to his drug filled orgy existence. I mean, c'mon, hasn't he EVER read an Amazing Spider-Man comic book? You, know, "great power, great responsibility" and all that jazz?) the state of our beloved Harbinger team is, and how blatantly the entire Valiant U 2.0 is moving into a Marvel Universe-like existence (with public superheroes and all), Harbinger Omegas #1 actually works on many levels. This is a Joshua Dysart joint after all. The man can write, and is one of the most talented sequential art writers in the business right now. He easily crafts a story that you just HAVE to read the next installment of. I just would much rather Harbinger Omegas #1 been Harbinger #26. I HATE the renumbering, new issue #1 every few months game that all the major publishers are seemingly locked into playing now (quarterly profits must reflect the number of #1s released in it).

The Artwork
Series artist Rafa Sandoval, who is easily one of the absolute best superhero/sequential artists drawing books right now, makes Harbinger Omegas #1 easily one of the most beautiful books produced this year. His scene of Harada mentally dismantling a rocket has my vote for best scene in a superhero/action comic book this year. His eye for detail and realism is just amazing. Rarely do I get chills when reading a comic book of this type when drinking in the visuals with my eyes, but I did here. There is not a single panel that isn't a feast for the eyes. Sandoval's command of action choreography, detail, anatomy (as creepy as it is, his mentally generated Flamingo is beautifully rendered) and background detail is near perfect. As a bookend to Harada's dismantling of the missile on the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush, his image of Peter draped in pills and capsules (a reference to his rediscovered-and highly metaphorical-drug induced escape from reality) is just as chill inducing.

The Verdict While I'm still not happy with the fact that it appears that what should be the flagship ongoing titles of the Valiant Universe are now reduced to a string of mini-series (well, at least we are getting a new Eternal Warrior mini-series out of the deal), Harbinger Omegas #1 is one of the best first issues of ANYTHING that Valiant Comics has released...well...ever.

Rating: 10 /10

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Last Updated: September 6, 2021 - 08:15

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