By Joshua Dysart, Barry Kitson, Mark Pennington, Brian Level, Ian Hannin, Moose Baumann, and Brian Reber
The last issue of Harbinger left us with a big cliff hanger, as Torque’s life hung in the balance. Kris had apparently beaten him nearly to death with a skateboard, and Valiant readers held their breath as the team’s bonafied bro lay lifeless on the bed. This issue picks up exactly where they left it 30 days ago; The rest of the team rushes in, and sees Torque, and Kris holding a bloody skateboard. The issue takes a weird turn as the reader is sent to Torquehalla and the team turns into fictitious fighters as our “Torque-guide” shows the rest of the team around the make believe land… this issue was very odd.
We go from a life and death situation, to a make believe land. Dysart completely changes the mood, which is interesting, but may leave the reader scratching their head. Dystart gives Charline some development this issue, which is great, because she had been a sideline character for a few issues. Josh has a knack for keeping the reader interested too, and this issue is a fine example. Just as we are questioning what we’re reading, Dysart wraps up the book with a crazy cliff hanger that will leave the audience with more questions than answers.
The art duties in this issue were split up between Barry Kitson, Mark Pennington, and Brian Level, and unlike Shadowman, the different art styles are not very noticeable, which is a great plus. Kitson’s art is the most consistent, mostly due to the fact that he has worked with the characters before. There is a nice panel of Torque holding the decapitated head of a man-bat that should stand out to readers. Pennington’s art has a lot of close up panels, and he does a very nice job with what he’s given. His style seems similar to one of the Kubert’s. Level finishes the book, and his style is similar enough to Kitson’s, it’s hard to tell who drew the last pages. This is how split art should be done.
Harbinger is a series that continues to take chances and throw curve balls. This truly is the premier book in the Valiant arsenal, and should be recommended to anybody who is a fan of great characters and great story telling.