Throwback Review: Harbinger #1

Valiant #1 issues are free on Comixology this month so we continue our Throwback Reviews series with Harbinger #1.

The story

Writer Joshua Dysart does a terrific job in this first issue, presenting readers with a great plot advanced by very strong dialogue. I read very little of the original Harbinger run, but this issue definitely has me hooked.

Many first issues make origin stories slow and boring, but Dysart does a terrific job keeping the story moving here. Peter Stanchek and his best friend Joe Irons are on the run from a secret organization lead by Mr. Tull. Peter and Joe end up back in their home town with Tull and his men not far behind, all the while Toyo Harada and his crew search for Peter in order to bring him into his school for psiots – superpowered beings with great powers. If you think this is just a new take on the X-Men then think again. The plot and characters here are far more interesting and have far deeper layers that those characters lack.

Dysart does a terrific job at fleshing out these characters in the first issue, particularly the relationship between Peter and Joe which will become a major plot point further into the arc. While we have yet to learn further details on what drives each character, it is obvious that not only are they all very distinct, but that the lines between good and evil are no so cut and dry. Particularly interesting was the contrasting histories and actions of Peter and Harada which will be explored throughout the series.

The art

Khari Evans on art duties does a great job with this book. The panel work is solid, and the pencils fit the mood of the book well. Some people have complained that the pencils appear muddled at times, but I think this is a perfect fit here. Let’s not forget that the two main characters here, Peter and Joe, are very confused teenagers, so it’s only fitting that would be conveyed in the art.

My only issue with Evans’ work was at the beginning of the issue with the introduction of Toyo Harada as he first encounters the Bleeding Monk. At first, I thought the character was a woman, until the caption stated it to be Harada, but other than that a really solid issue.

Overall

Harbinger #1 is one of the strongest first issues of all Valiant series. Joshua Dysart and Khari Evans’ work on this book is absolutely incredible. Having read the entire run of the series, I can say that if you pick up this issue, you will definitely want to read the rest. This is one of the finer Valiant books around.

Originally from ValiantCentral.com

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