HARBINGER #15 is quite a unique reading experience. The team desperately needs some downtime after the events of HARBINGER WARS, so it's fun seeing them let loose -- they've certainly earned it, after all. What transpires is a totally unexpected issue of each of them just doing their own thing to have a good time while they're enjoying what California has to offer. What prevents this from oozing with cheese is Joshua Dysart's ability to make characters act in a totally natural manner. There's no forced dialogue, no awkward jumping into exposition -- it all seems to legitimately stem from the heart of each character.
There's some reflecting on just how dire their previous situation was, but for the most part, this issue jumps from good time (Torque rocking out at a metal concert) to greater time (Peter and Faith having a tender moment as they enjoy the city from above). My personal highlight has to be Peter and Torque being super obnoxious and crashing a muscle competition, though. Everything they're saying and doing makes me want to hate them, but damn it, I just can't help but laugh along with Charlene and the rest. I don't want to dive into what follows, like, at all, because I don't want to give any clue whatsoever about the direction the book takes. What I will say, though, is that it's a superb way to conclude the book and will absolutely leave you counting down the days until the next issue. There. That's spoiler-free enough, right?
Barry Kitson's pencils, two colorists and two inkers do a fine job complimenting Dysart's story. From the eerily soothing crash of the waves (and what lies within them later on... talk about a powerful image!) to an explosive and totally vivid dance party, the many talented hands working on the pages are more than able to immerse these characters in a lively atmosphere. I have some small gripes here and there when it comes to character detail and proportions in a few instances, but overall, they're able to roll with Dysart's script and bring the proper tone and locations front and center. From Torque smiling like a moron to the final scene, the art team does a more than able job.
Honestly, nothing major. This is an excellent jumping on point, so what are you waiting for?
Can the next issue be here now? Please? Dysart has once again proven he's an incredible writer and does a stellar job bringing each and every one of these characters to life. This is a book that works so well because of his ability to craft organic conversations, build a strong emotional connection to the unique cast, create believable relationships between characters and still manage to throw in an overall narrative that'll leave your jaw on the floor.
HARBINGER #15's a super offbeat issue that'll make you laugh along with the characters as they do whatever ridiculous stuff they need to do to have a blast in California. All good things must come to an end, though, and eventually Dysart throws us in the book's brand new direction. If you're even kind of interested in the world of Harbinger, then this is an issue you absolutely cannot miss.