The evolution of the Harbinger Foundation continues this week with issue #2 of Imperium. How will Joshua Dysart follow up the explosive first issue? Find out what the Valiant Central crew had to say!

Amy’s take

I’ve been waiting for this book since I read the previous issue. Dysart does not disappoint. Despite reading the preview, I still felt like this book was chock-full. The story’s focus is on Gravedog, an intriguing new character with more than a few surprises up his sleeve. There’s more to this character than meets the eye, and it’s easy to underestimate him if you don’t look further than the surface. A popular team with new members makes an appearance as does a character we haven’t seen since early Harbinger days. We’re also introduced to another character who will become much more in the storyline. Like Imperium #1, Dysart uses secondary characters to form our impressions of Toyo Harada. I enjoy this outside-looking-in viewpoint of both followers and adversaries. Dysart employs the same sleight-of-hand techniques in his writing that Harada does in his manipulations of the world. He focuses our attention on the activities of Gravedog while subtly advancing the plot in regards to Harada’s new foundation and the progress of its goals. Public opinion is changing, and the absence of Harada in the first-person allows us to disregard our feelings about him and instead turn a critical eye to the goals and activities of our world’s governments. I have the feeling that when Harada steps back into the spotlight, the results will be explosive.

Jesse’s take

“All warfare is based on deception…” -Sun Tsu, The Art of War

In any war, heroes and villains exist on all sides of the conflict; and all sides make claim to a “Just War.” With grit and with style, Valiant Entertainment’s IMPERIUM #2 expands the battlefield that we know, and introduces us to GRAVEDOG, a new original character and key-player in this saga and the Valiant Universe. He is a character who all but demands to be in the pages of future Valiant literature; and has in just one issue shown tremendous character depth and potential. Is he a hero, villain, or self-serving monster? Time will tell…

What I can say is that THIS IS VALIANT!!! The Harbinger Foundation; Project RISING SPIRIT; The H.A.R.D. Corps; it’s all here, and if you thought IMPERIUM #1 was amazing; IMPERIUM #2 takes it to the NEXT level! If you are looking for clearly defined lines denoting what is right and wrong, and what is good and evil, stop. You won’t find that here. What your will find is the same as what all who fight long enough know all too well; war is hell… …and “War does not determine who is right – only who is left.”

Paul’s take

This comic will most likely be one of my top five favorite of the year. It may seem like it’s not focusing on the central point of the story, but the end result of the book is huge to the story line. Great story telling comes in many different forms. In my opinion, the best story telling progresses the central thread of the story without focusing on it. Things continually come together as you read them without the pathway being obvious. In issue one, we saw this with the vision Darpan had at the beginning. This vision was very telling of Harada’s character. In this issue, the status quo as we thought we knew it is thrown on its head. Once again, I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Scott’s take

This is a good issue that is coming at the wrong time. Joshua Dysart has jokingly compared Imperium to the Legion of Doom, and this issue is almost entirely concerned with one single member to the point where the series’ star, Toyo Harada, only appears in background news clips. While it’s incredibly well-written (as can be expected from any Dysart script) and features the return of a popular group that he had previously written, it also does not move the main narrative forward in the slightest. In fact, over the course of the first two issues, very little has happened since Harbinger: Omegas. This particular issue would have worked great further in the title’s run, but here it just feels like Dysart is procrastinating when it comes to settling on a direction for the book. While the writer has earned a mountain of goodwill from me to the point where I will always give him the benefit of the doubt, I’m concerned as to whether new readers will be patient enough to stick around. I hope so, because there is so much to praise here.

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