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Exclusive Interview: Joshua Dysart & Clayton Henry on HARBINGER 'Resistance'

Find out why the upcoming story is part of Valiant's "Must Read" announcements plus an exclusive first look at HARBINGER #17.

You may have heard us here at Comic Vine talk about the Valiant titles a few times. There's no denying just how fresh and exciting the titles are. Each one manages to pack a punch. Valiant is not one to simply sit back and settle for what they have. They continue to push things to strive for more.

Recently, the publisher has started a "Must Read Valiant" series of upcoming announcements. The next one we proudly share deals with HARBINGER.

Beginning with issue 20, Joshua Dysart and Clayton Henry (who just became exclusive to Valiant) will launch "Resistance." Here's the official solicit:

HARBINGER #20

Written by JOSHUA DYSART

Art & Cover by CLAYTON HENRY

Pullbox Exclusive Variant by ZACHARY MONTOYA

Variant Cover by KHARI EVANS

MUST READ VALIANT! All-new arc, all-new jumping-on point! Joshua Dysart and Clayton Henry launch "RESISTANCE" -- and end the Renegades war against Toyo Harada once and for all.

Peter Stanchek and his team of teenage superhuman outlaws have decided that the best defense is a strong offense. Pursued from coast-to-coast by their would-be overlord in the Harbinger Foundation, the Renegades are about to launch a strategic strike on Harada's secret empire – and they'll start by revealing to the world just what kind of power they've been hiding all along. The ace up their sleeve? A seemingly normal teenage hacker named Ax…who knows exactly what Harada has been up to since day one...

$3.99/T+/32 pgs.

ON SALE IN JANUARY!

We had the chance to talk to Joshua and Clayton to find out what's coming up in Resistance.

COMIC VINE: What can you tell us about "Resistance"?

JOSHUA DYSART: I can say this, we are now entering a new phase of HARBINGER. Issues #1–10 set the stage, introduced the characters and solidified our tone for the series. Issues #10–19 took it to the next level and really expanded our protagonists' idea of the world they live in and the challenges they face. With #20, we'll start showing the real implications of the struggle between homeless teen-on-the-run Peter Stanchek and the billionaire with the world in the palm of his hands, Toyo Harada. Things are about to change. The subtitle of the arc is "No More Running". It's time that the Renegades stood their ground, but conflicts have repercussions, and the events that will unfold here are bigger than any single story arc can contain. Cue the motherfucking music.

CV: What do new readers need to know before reading?

JD: Not much. This arc will be incredibly new-reader friendly. We'll spend issue #20 almost completely with a brand new character and he'll be our eyes and ears into this world that current Harbinger readers have been enjoying for 19 issues now. We've built a lot of great jumping-on points into the previous issues, but this will be the easiest one yet. If you've haven't read the book, this is the one to try. If friends haven't read the book, this is the one to hand to them.

CV: With superpowers becoming public knowledge, is it safe to say this arc CHANGES EVERYTHING? (read that with big booming echo-y voice).

JD: I believe your question is jumping ahead too far too fast. It is inevitable that strange truths will out, but not in the way and with the timeline you imagine.

CV: Clayton, congrats on becoming exclusive at Valiant. What are you bringing to this arc?

CLAYTON HENRY: Thanks. In the 14 years I've been drawing comics professionally, I've built up a reputation for good visual storytelling and the ability to bring out the characters' emotions. So, more of that. Seems to be working for me.

HARBINGER #20, Zach Montoya Pullbox Variant

CV: Will you be reworking anyone's appearance?

CH: Yeah, there's a character named Ax that I spent a couple of days designing with the guidance of Josh and Warren [Simons, Valiant Executive Editor].

CV: What can you tell us about bringing Ax into the comics? How will he compare to the original version?

JD: Like with everything we've done he'll be different in all the surface ways, but still very much a callback to what was interesting about him (to me) the first time around. Now he's a comment on information, privacy and technology. Imagine if Julian Assange got his hands on miles of data from deep in the Harada Global Conglomerates computer base instead of from the Pentagon. What if he was mixed with that kid in Texas who's perfecting the 3-D printing of automatic weapons? What if there was a hacker in our world who thought that everything, all data, all technology, all intelligence should be free? That if you shined a light on all the dark corners of the internet, the ensuing chaos would straighten out the world? That's Ax. Or, as he types it out, @X. He is not a psiot this time around. I gave Livewire those powers over technology. Instead, it's interesting to me if his abilities are normal. Natural. If he is one of us.

CV: Did he ever have a name besides Ax? Do you plan on touching on it or why he's called "Ax"?

JD: He has a different name this time around, yes. He's a Mexican kid from one of the more Latino neighborhoods in Los Angeles. @X is his hacker handle.

CV: Clayton, do you have plans on how Ax will look? He only had a few appearances in the original run it seems.

CH: He's pretty ordinary in his appearance. Young guy. Not physically threatening at all.

CV: Will you be approaching HARBINGER any differently than when you were on ARCHER & ARMSTRONG?

CH: The script usually dictates how I approach a title. So far, I've been using a lot more shadows in the panels because of the tone Josh has set in the script. But overall, no major changes in my drawing style.

CV: Josh, have you thought long term plans how this will affect the series?

JD: That's all I've thought about. That's what this is about. We're in the long-term now. It's not a freshman book anymore. It's a sophomore story now. That means no more crazy partying, ignoring homework and living off of our parents' credit card. Now it's time to take this story to a place where we're earning the grades. Buckling down. Doing the work to make the book better, the characters more involved and the narrative bigger.

CV: Will we see any affects from this spill into other Valiant titles?

JD: In time. There's been a lot of Harbinger spilling out of its own book. Harbinger Wars is the obvious example. But also, Harada himself is now a major player across the whole VU. I like having my cake and eating it too. There is a real power that comes with being a unique reading experience that doesn't rely on a larger universe. It allows me all kinds of concessions. At the same time, the Valiant Universe is a shared place. Readers like that. So hopefully we can figure out a way to do both. Have the intimacy and freedom of a single title where anything can happen, but also the spilling out of the narrative that allows for a more textured universe.

CV: Clayton, what are you most looking forward to here?

CH: Working with Josh again. I loved how he handled Harbinger Wars. Other popular mainstream books seemed boring by comparison. I'm sure whatever he's got planned for this arc of Harbinger will be great.

HARBINGER #20 is on sale January 2014. Here's an exclusive first look at HARBINGER #17 by Dysart and Henry, on sale October 23.

22 Comments
Posted by bladewolf

LOL at the Looney Tunes reference

Edited by AllStarSuperman

LOL at the Looney Tunes reference

Posted by new_onslaught

Great news! Harbinger is my favorite Valiant book and probably my favorite comic over-all right now and Clayton Henry is my favorite artist working for Valiant!

Posted by CheeseSticks

Wow, this is amazing! We will probably see Generation Zero because of the girl with cartoon power. Cronus was an amazing character.

Toyo Harada look more badass than ever and i can't wait for a full scale fight between the Renegades and Harada empire.

This is definitely my favorite book with Green Arrow

Edited by frozenedge

I've definitely been enjoying the Harbringer series and a battle between the Renegades and Harda's psiots should definitely be amazing.

Posted by Mucklefluga

That art is so cool.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Cue the motherfucking music

Posted by MaccyD

Is that cartoon powers?! :D

Posted by DonFelipe

Beep! Beep!

Edited by new_onslaught

@maccyd: Actually she can turn into animals, because se were captive most of her live, she's only seen cartoon animals.

Edited by MaccyD

@new_onslaught: It's a memory thing? Shouldn't she able to turn into people then?

Posted by Xwraith

I absolutely love X-O Manowar. Should I read this too?

Edited by UlquiorraSchiffer

Ax? That can't be good... Bloodshot beware. Be interesting to see how they write that character.

Edited by RedheadedAtrocitus

Love it :) Dysart really knows how to bring the stories in this book!

Posted by CheeseSticks

@xwraith said:

I absolutely love X-O Manowar. Should I read this too?

Yes you should, this title is amazing.

Edited by Skaddix

Meh does Harada not have someone have someone on his payroll with absolute control over electronics how much can this be a problem.

Edited by DecoyElite

Good to hear Ax is coming back. Hopefully he'll still be the threat he originally was. The first version was more of a general Valiant villain who started out in Harbinger. He even took on X-O and Bloodshot to try and steal their impressive tech.

Edited by MichaelSacal
Edited by MichaelSacal

@decoyelite: to be fair, Ax was the man who killed Bloodshot :)

Edited by MichaelSacal
Posted by fACEmelter88

WTF? To that preview.