Harbinger: Bleeding Monk #0
By Joshua Dysart, Khari Evans, Mico Suayan, Stephen Segovia and Lewis LaRosa
We’ve seen him in a few issues of Harbinger, but this month Valiant wants us to know a little bit more about the bleeding monk that took up some panel time from Harada and Peter. Enter Harbinger: Bleeding Monk #0. We’re filled in on who exactly the monk is and how he got to be known as the timeless one.
Joshua Dysart is by all means the architect of the new Valiant universe. His story lines and plots have been one of the reasons this re-launch has been so successful, but this issue is a bit slow and drags for the most part. It’s also very possible for the reader to get confused as well with odd terms like “thought-no-thought” and “heartmind.” Dysart does give us the first meeting between Harada and the monk, which is cool, but still not enough to make this worth buying. The bottom line is that The Bleeding Monk isn’t really that interesting of a character to keep a reader hooked, ultimately because no one cares about the monk.
The art this issue is split between four different talents. This can sometimes be a problem, but it works out all right this issue and is actually the books strong point. Khari Evans and Mico Suayan steal the show, as their artwork is extremely impressive, as always. Suayan’s amazingly detailed art comes off great in so many panels, but seeing blood spewing from The Bleeding Monk is probably the panel that will stick with you. Segovia and LaRosa also do a fine job and for the most part, all of the art isn’t too different to distract the reader. Overall it was a good performance by a platoon of artist who were willing to work together to make a nice looking book.
This issue seemed unnecessary to say the least. While The Bleeding Monk did appear in some issues of Harbinger, he really didn’t need his own origin tale because ultimately, he’s not that important of a character. Joshua Dysart has a knack for great story telling, but this issue falls flat and is at times tough to get through. The art was amazing and carried an otherwise slow story, which doesn’t happen very often under Dysart’s pen.