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Armor Hunters: Harbinger #2 review

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Armor Hunters: Harbinger #2 continues the story of Generation Zero as they continue their relief efforts in the obliterated Mexico City alongside Faith and Torque from the Harbinger ongoing. Together, the two teams descend into the remains of Gin-GR’s head at the epicenter of the explosion that destroyed the city, to discover the old subway system has been taken over by an expanding network of eggs containing some form of unknown life forms. As the eggs hatch, the psiots must quickly attempt an escape, but Torque, Cronus, and Titan remain trapped within the tunnels, and must fight their way out before they are engulfed by a giant cloud of super-evolved insects ready to destroy them.

The first issue of this miniseries received high grades because of its amazing storytelling and wonderful art. Will issue #2 top it off, or will it be a mid-series filler?

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The story

Joshua Dysart knocks it out of the park with a grand slam in this issue. There is so much to love, and absolutely nothing to hate.

screenshot-by-nimbus (8) There is so much thought and emotion in each and every panel of this book that I had to read it several times to really get everything out of it, and even then, each reading took me much longer than usual thanks to a great story, excellent dialogue, and beautiful art.

Dysart’s work on the Harbinger ongoing got better with each issue, and has really moved to a new level in this series. While Harbinger was a reboot of existing characters, Armor Hunters: Harbinger is allowing Dysart to develop character he himself created and his love for the characters just gushes out of every letter on the page.

The dialogue in this issue is terrific and a nice change of pace from the first issue which was told almost entirely from Cronus’ perspective. The conversations between characters are smart and often witty, with my favorite panel being an interaction between Cronus and Faith in which she blatantly tells Cronus that she’s “not in your little child army. You’re not my boss.” Awesome!

screenshot-by-nimbus (5)

The art

I gave Robert Gill high praise when I reviewed Armor Hunters: Harbinger #1. His pencils are clean and well defined, and his panels flow into one another flawlessly. His work in the first issue was beautiful, but this issue is on a whole other level that I have trouble finding words to describe. There isn’t a single panel that isn’t pouring with elegance, making this issue a true artistic masterpiece. Here are a few images to prove my point.

Romulo Fajardo is once again on color duties and his work is stunning, really complementing Gill’s pencils and making every panel pop right out of the page.

Overall

Joshua Dysart and Robert Gill are crafting a beautiful miniseries, and issue #2 takes it up a notch to the next level. Armor Hunters: Harbinger #2 is one of the finest, and most incredible books Valiant has ever published.

Rating

[author-post-rating]

Issue information

Released August 20, 2014
Written by Joshua Dysart
Art by Robert Gill
Colors by
Covers by Lewis Larosa and Donovan Santiago
Price: $3.99
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  • Lee Nicholson

    I can tell you loved this issue Martin. I too loved the book, the first half though more than the second im afraid.
    The book once again opens from the perspective of Christian and boy is he dark. I can totally get though where he comes from and why, he has been involved, with the others, in so many conflicts and battles that he just wants him and the family to be left alone, to live in peace and quiet and even though they work for nobody now, they cant seem to escape trouble. The frustration from Christian is obvious. They find themselves front and centre in dangerous unknown territory dealing with something they are not familiar with. Damn!
    I loved the opening few pages. Seeing Torque involved with the Mexican army was great and even showing us a few selfless acts. Faith is still annoying as hell though, I get she wants to be happy all the time and ignore the bad stuff, but thats not real world and certainly not in the Valiant Universe. She needs to grow up fast. Her innocence Is getting old.
    The art and colours on these first few panels and pages were fantastic. Gill is a master at this and its a joy to soak up all the detail and emotion. The colours too were lush and vibrant, the art is actually the one positive constant that is present in every panel on every page. Beautiful!
    The story for me though is a bit hit and miss. I love the characterisation and the interactions, especially between Torque and Generation Zero and I really enjoy seeing Cronus in that farther/brother role. He is a genuine caring person who will do anything to protect his team. He is shown to be a pro at field ops and leadership. He is respected by the Gen Zero kids and when its business time everyone falls in line and pulls their weight. Dysart is doing great things with these kids and giving each of them a distinct personality. From Monica to Telic to the twins to little Titan who made me smile so much when he proclaimed he was important and he helps… If only he knew! The fleshing out of these guys is a huge triumph for Dysart.
    Where things go a bit off the rails is when Dysart ventures into unexpected territory. The pregnant woman, is it the unborn baby that is the psiot? I think thats what we are supposed to believe, but I wish it was done better. I think the art took away from the reveal. And just bungling her into the back of the wagon…really??
    The President story Im still enjoying. Issue 3 should deal with any potential fall out from the decisions he made. He really didn’t want the ‘American kids’ getting involved. Lets see what happens there then.
    And then the second half. The gang descending down through the ‘blister’ to the underground where they find ready to hatch creatures. The moment is quite dramatic and looks great. Lots of chaos, panic, shouting and tension. While the explanation for what they are is provided by the twins and the explanation is plausible , I think the direction the book is heading in is wrong. I applaud Dysart for coming up with some other ideas to play around with and not be contained to the Mexican Disaster fallout but for me, its all a bit silly and comes out of left field. Im assuming we will find out this is some kind of ‘cleansing’ agent the Hunters use , but who knows.
    While the book ends on a cliffhanger and I’ll be reading issue 3, the departure from the actual Armor Hunter story hurt this book. But the great art and fantastic characterisation still makes this book better than Bloodshot and Unity.
    Should of been a 5, but can only give a 4/5.