Valiant Entertainment 2015
Written by Joshua Dysart
Illustrated by Kano
Against the Bleeding Monk’s counsel-and with Peter nowhere to stop him-Harada waged war to realize his vision. This is the story of the fall of Peter Stanchek and his friends and enemies. This is the story of the fall of Harbinger…..
I’ve been wanting a comeback for the characters in Harbinger for quite some time so it’s nice to see they haven’t been forgotten. When Charlene died and the team fell into disarray I feared we wouldn’t hear from them again still this gives me hope we’ll see them again down the road. Joshua really did a number on this story that gives the Valiant Universe hope that we’ll see more of the kids as they grow up and once again take to the spotlight.
We open with the team hurtling through space towards the approaching Toyo Harada. It seems that Peter and Toyo will forever be locked in an eternal struggle one against the other and this is their final conflict. It does amaze me however how long these characters live, I mean these powers are a boon to the right ones. We switch very quickly to the events that have lead to the opening page. In the year 2183 C.E. there’s an event that wasn’t supposed to happen the Bleeding Monk has bled to death.
This isn’t the story of how or why Toyo Harada left Earth or the Foundation Zone on the Somali Coast. Nor is it the story of how Peter came to rule that land and be the Omega of the Harbinger foundation. Both events however do show us that hopefully we’ll see so much more of what’s happened and will be happening to these characters and the world they live in. This gives me hope for more Harbinger. Joshua’s amazing at telling a story and glossing over the past to hit the present, in this case the far future, so that there’s plenty of room open for learning exactly what will or has happened. This means a plethora of untold stories waiting for us to read.
After a brief conversation between Monk Keeper Curtis Mayfield and Peter about the Monk it makes more anxious than ever to see more. There’s an unexplored history between Peter and the Monk and their feelings about Harada that scream for attention. This conversation between the Monk and Peter is portrayed to perfection in both words, characterization and interior artwork that it goes far beyond capturing the mind and imagination of the reader. It also beautifully sets up what’s to happen next.
We go back twelve years to the final meeting between Peter and Harada before he left the planet and learn why he did. As Joshua details the events that happen on Earth as Harada gets closer and closer, more powerful than ever things start to take on a more surreal aspect. I have to admit I love it! He uses his powers to travel bring with him all his friends and former teammates along for this final confrontation. This has to be some of the most trippy and interesting dialogue/characterization i’ve seen. It is completely not what you should expect but what you always hope you’d see. Everything leading up to the last page is the kind of storytelling you dream about getting and it just makes you want more. This may be the final story for Peter Stanchek but it’s really laying the groundwork for the Harbinger’s return. Hopefully this will be just that the return of these characters and a team that helped re-launch this company to greatness.
Kano does some of the most amazing illustrations on this book. There’s so much depth, emotion and just a sense of overall awe inspiring feeling that you can’t escape from. There’s so many examples of exemplary work on these pages but honestly the only real way to do it justice is for you to see it and understand why it’s so powerful.
This may come from the Book of Death but for me it means life for these characters to follow to these points.