It’s Friday, which means it’s time for another new edition of Kickin’ It Old School, our weekly column in which we look to the past and review books from the original Valiant universe! This week, I’ll be discussing Harbinger #7.
Published in July 1992
Written by Jim Shooter
Penciled by David Lapham
Inked by Gonzalo Mayo
Colored by Maria Beccari
Torque is dead and the Renegades are left reeling from it. They regroup at a hotel and then make a plan of action, settling their hotel bill in New Orleans, stealing Torque’s body from the morgue, and setting up a funeral for him. Throughout this, Kris is disproportionately upset. Charlene, who was Torque’s bedmate, realizes what is going on with Kris even when nobody else does. She asks for a minute alone at Torque’s grave and tells him that she will see through helping Kris, although nothing is explicitly stated. Faith had found $2500 among Torque’s possessions. She insists that there’s only one thing Torque would want them to do with it, so they buy a Mustang.
Meanwhile, as the Eggbreakers are recovering, they receive a visit from Harada. He chastises Weasel and Rock for putting their vendetta above the mission, as they prioritized killing Torque over killing the bigger threat, Pete. He lets them know that he is displeased and they are on probation.
The tone and flow of this issue was great for the subject matter. The emotional aspect of a teammate dying was allowed to develop naturally rather than being forced. As Faith said, “Superheroes usually scream and smash things and swear vengeance when somebody dies. But I just feel kind of numb…” They go through the process of dealing with the factual aspects of the situation while trying to cope with the emotional side of things. What’s most interesting is Charlene’s more casual approach to mourning and Kris’ seemingly over the top mourning.
Charlene is used to being hurt by people, and she just takes it all in stride. She remains pretty cool through it and focuses more on what her friends are feeling. Even though she was the one who was romantically attached to Torque, she recognizes the truth behind Kris’ behavior and puts her feelings aside to help her friend, even though she should be furious about the whole situation.
Kris is excessively distraught at Torque’s death. Hints are given throughout the book pointing towards her being pregnant with Torque’s child, but nothing is explicitly stated. If this was brought out into the open in this issue, there would be a lot of fallout since Kris is in a relationship with Pete and Torque was in a relationship with Charlene. The way it’s handled allows the focus to remain on the team coping with losing Torque, rather than just jumping right to the drama of the pregnancy situation.
These last two issues have been the best that Harbinger has had to offer thus far. The kids feel more real and aspects of their experiences feel more grounded in reality. As the reader, I was allowed to lament the loss of Torque, but with the knowledge that some real drama will be coming. Great issue. It makes me want to read these first eight issues again.
Originally from ValiantCentral.com