Harbinger Volume Three: Harbinger Wars
Written by Joshua Dysart. Artwork by Trevor Hairsine and Khari Evans.
Toyo Harada, a psiot activated by the bombing of Hiroshima and mentored by the Bleeding monk has been in a decades long race against Rising Spirit Securities to produce psiots. Psiots are the next evolution of the human race or perhaps a split of the race into psiots and transhumans. They have traditionally been activated by trauma, torture or some of the more humane ways that Toyo has discovered. Now is the time for generation zero, kids who’ve been activated and escaped from RSS to take over the Bellagio and be kids for a brief time.
This volume centers on the Bellagio. The RSS escapees including Cronus are waiting on others of their family who were rescued by the Cyborg Bloodshot to arrive. They are also joined by the Renegades, a group of kids who escaped from Harbinger Foundation (Harada). The convergence occurs at the Bellagio with a massive psiot and military battle. Somebody at Valiant hates that hotel-casino.
The storyline is well done with back story fed to the reader occasionally of how the RSS vs. Harbinger thing began in the 1960s. The artwork is really excellent and surpasses most anything I’ve seen put out by Marvel or DC. These are quality. I’m giving this one 5 out of 5 for sheer audacity. Enjoy!
Harbinger Volume 1: Omega Rising
Written by Joshua Dysart
Illustrated by Khari Evans, Lewis Larosa and Ian Hannin
Peter Stanchek has a mentally ill junky friend named Joe. The two of them escaped from the institution together and have been on the run ever since. They get by using Peter’s powers to secure food, clothing, transport and…anti-psychotics to keep Joe from totally stepping into the worthless zone. A side trip to his old neighborhood gets him a chance to hook up with his crush from elementary school, using to force to persuade her of course, then gets him captured by a super philanthropist (villain).
This was a fun read and the art was pretty good. I especially liked the illustrator(s) delivery of the Harbinger school kids and teachers. The photo-negative of a Marvel product, Valiant has done an excellent job here making certain they do not fall into that trope. That being said here is my after-taste. It feels like a middle finger to, the comic giant that shall not be named again because they have way too much inertia, and as such I respect it but it is not why I read Indie. I may read volume 2 or I may just move on to original stuff that doesn’t seem like ‘so much sticking it to the man’.
Five entertainment points for the artwork, three for the anti-story gives me a four for overall enjoyment.
The Last Days of Krypton
By Kevin J. Anderson
Jor-El is a scientist in a society of ostriches. Over the decades he has submitted invention after invention to the Commission of Technological Acceptance only to have his ideas branded as dangerous and his creations seized by the State. The Council of Kandor, which governs all of Krypton, is made up of social sycophants who delay and prevent any meaningful improvement in society. As the machine of status quo frustrates the scientist Jor-El it grows hatred in the unscrupulous Commissioner Zod. When Zod sees his opportunity he takes it and Krypton never knows what has hit it until it is almost too late, they think.
I absolutely enjoyed this background tale of Superman’s home planet and the integrity of the El family line. That the society is painted in the strokes of isolationism is astounding but builds a sounder foundation as to why Kal-El later arrives alone on Earth. Excellent transitions on point-of-views as the author buries into the inner working of Zod, Lara, Jor-El, Zor-El and Aethyr-Ka. The copy I have was purchased at Denver Comic Con in 2014 and was autographed. I found one misspelled word in the entire book.
Here it goes. I award five out of five enjoyment points for the storyline and the quality of the product. Well Done.
Captain Canuck 002 Ongoing
by Andrasofszky and Team, Published by Chapter House Comics
This issue picks up where the reboot issue #1 left off. Canuck is trying to rescue a bunch of oil workers from a burning rig that has been attacked by some golden goo that is sentient. His team has been roughed up but are still supporting. Meanwhile, his brother Michael has fallen off the grid but apparently is under somebody’s mind control.
The story is good and there is a back up story in the second half of the issue. That one is good too although it seems to be alternate universe Canuck and some aquatic bipeds fighting over an oil rig. Oil seems to be a big theme here. The artwork is top notch.
I award this outing with 4 entertainment thumbs up. One note is that I seem to have an alternate cover and I keep having to scratch my Canuck itch through Amazon. Enjoy!
Shadowman: Birth Rites
Written by Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher
Illustrated by Brian Reber
Jack Boniface has grown up in foster care ever since his mother was killed in a car accident. As an adult he finds his way to New Orleans because everyone says his name is local…there. Finally with enough of a job he can afford to have someone uncover who his parents were and what happened to them. A fit of disgust at what he thinks is the truth of his parent’s results in an impulse decision and now he is visible to things he didn’t know he was hiding from.
Welcome to the tale of a paranormal superhero named Shadowman, a symbiotic melding of Jack Boniface and a shadow spirit called the Loa. This is not a comic for the children. The artwork is graphic and very well done. This volume has the first four Shadowman comics and is a fluid tale of him coming into his powers.
Another good thing is it is not a DC or Marvel product. This is published by Valiant comics and I got my copy from the publisher at Denver Comic Con. I’m giving this five out of five entertainment points. Well played Valiant!
Aquaman: The Others
Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado
Black Manta is trying to eliminate all of Arthur’s super team mates on a revenge move. Well, he’s also trying to turn a favor from somebody who wants to rule Atlantis by retrieving the Atlantean Scepter. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Dr. Shin is in abject apology mode while Arthur tries to keep Mera from thinking him a ruthless killer. That’s a lot of effort for nothing.
This was a good continuing of the Volume 1 where Aquaman tries to get some respect. I’m enjoying these. The artwork was excellent and helped convey the story. Three out of five enjoyment points for this one.
Though I included the link for you to get this from Amazon I purchased this work from my local comic book store. Haley’s Comics in Ft. Collins, CO.
When it makes sense, buy local.