Campbell’s Valiant Corner – Advance Review: Harbinger #22

image-2By Chris Campbell

Thanks for checking out our advance review of Harbinger #22 from the creative team of Joshua Dysart, Clayton Henry, and Brian Reber.  This is the first issue of the much-anticipated arc “Death of a Renegade”, and we will certainly refrain from any spoilers in this review.

The story picks up from the previous issue, with Dysart cleverly placing the reader and Torque in a similar situation of catching up on events “the morning after”.  Even more so than the previous issue, we are treated to further character development of Torque, Faith, and Flamingo alongside significant advancement of the Pittsburgh storyline. The dynamic between the characters continues to evolve, both clumsily and beautifully. This feels real, this feels right, this feels fragile. Just like life.  And even without the foreshadowing of the arc title, I feel protective of and scared for our little band of Renegades. This type of writing is rare and I struggle every month not to take it for granted.

While this article is primarily a review of issue #22, I can’t help share my feelings that Dysart’s run on Harbinger may very we’ll be one of the most fulfilling and well-crafted stories of the past decade. A bold statement, for sure, but one I’m comfortable making at this point.

Not to be outdone, Clayton Henry continues to put his stamp on the Renegades and the Valiant universe in general. If we were to talk about a Mt. Rushmore of Valiant Entertainment, Clayton Henry isn’t in the discussion; he’s already on the mountain.  Again, I struggle to avoid taking Henry’s amazing work on this title for granted. For example, Henry made a great choice with the scene involving Harada and the semi-truck by having a plain background, and the result is the best scene in the book.

As the story progresses to Pittsburgh, you begin to realize that not everything is as it seems. Earlier in the issue, there is a moment when the reader and the Renegades share a joke that Harada may not be as clever as he thinks he is. But then Dysart flips the script on the reader, and perhaps we don’t know much more than Harada after all. Which might be for the best, because I don’t know if we could survive being in Pete’s mind for long.

Rating: 9.75/10

For more coverage of the Valiant universe, please check out the Valiant Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher. Follow us on Twitter at @ValiantPodcast, and @ChrisCampbell8, @TheVoice123, and @MikeMyersBrunch.

 

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