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Harbinger #5 - Omega Rising: Conclusion Review

4

Filled with rage after suffering the loss of a close friend, Peter brings the fight to Toyo Harada in a barbarous issue.

The Good  

Wow, talk about an emotionally charged issue.  All too often protagonists will suffer some kind of tragedy and unfortunately, they aren't always handled fittingly.  That's not the case here and writer Joshua Dysart handles Peter Stanchek's backlash incredibly well.  You feel Peter's animosity, immaturity and frustration working at full strength as he goes off on a suicide mission.   
 
Sure, there's explosions, bones breaking and some awesome powers at display, but HARBINGER is first and foremost a character driven book.  Without that strong emotional connection, the violence is meaningless or reduced to mere popcorn entertainment.  Thankfully, If you've been following from issue #1, odds are you've developed a strong connection to Peter (courtesy of Dysart) and that helps make this brutal issue one hell of a ride.  And even if you haven't read the previous 4 issues, this can still serve remotely well as a jumping on point.
 
Speaking of brutal, the action here (complimented by artist Khari Evans' pencils) is absurdly powerful.  You'll cringe as an arm is broken or a jaw is dislocated.  It shouldn't be a surprise when this issue finds its way into my "Best Battles" segment Friday.   
 
Evans' facial work is great too, always striking the right mood for Peter's drastic feelings.  It'll often hit the right balance between pure hatred and a sick smile at the thought of revenge.  It's almost disturbing as Peter stands broken and beaten, with a twisted smile on his face and his eyes radiating.
 
You simply have no heart if you don't love Faith.  She's essentially one of us.  First a foremost she's a fan (plenty of references to be found) and her overwhelming appreciation of being in such a surreal situation is especially cheering.  It's a refreshing change from the often darker tone found in the book. 

Oh, and I think all fights should end with the victor saying "wave goodbye, a##hat."   

The Bad

There's a bit of silly exposition here and there which could have easily been covered in the opening recap ("Hidden Moon!  The man who holds the leash!"), but thankfully, remarks like that are quickly turned into some stellar and snarky dialogue ("How's that leash feel now?  Too tight?").   
 
Why are powerful telepaths striking a fighting pose like video game characters ready for round 1?  I imagine fisticuffs is hardly their go-to response.  

The Verdict 

Valiant has been absolutely killing it.  Each title is crafted exceptionally well and HARBINGER is all about Peter's flawed character and an assortment of superbly cool powers.  With The Bleeding Monk finally taking center stage, I have a feeling you won't want to miss what's to come.  Don't let the extra dollar on the price tag scare you away from this fantastic book.
9 Comments
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

The thing I love the most about Harbinger is that I can kind of relate to the guy. If I suddenly developed amazing powers I would do the stuff Peter does, not some world saving golden boy or the slick cool anti-hero but just a kid with powers.  

Posted by k4tzm4n
@Jonny_Anonymous: Agreed.  It really is a shame more people aren't read this.
Staff
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@k4tzm4n said:
@Jonny_Anonymous: Agreed.  It really is a shame more people aren't read this.
IKR 
 
What the hell have you pepole got against good books?
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

bump

Posted by turoksonofstone

Great review.

Posted by k4tzm4n
@turoksonofstone said:

Great review.

Thank you. 
 
@Jonny_Anonymous said:
@k4tzm4n said:
@Jonny_Anonymous: Agreed.  It really is a shame more people aren't read this.
IKR  What the hell have you pepole got against good books?
Your guess is as good as mine.  Maybe if it was called "Harbinger....and maybe Spider-Man!" it would get more love :D
Staff
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@k4tzm4n said:
@turoksonofstone said:

Great review.

Thank you. 
 
@Jonny_Anonymous said:
@k4tzm4n said:
@Jonny_Anonymous: Agreed.  It really is a shame more people aren't read this.
IKR  What the hell have you pepole got against good books?
Your guess is as good as mine.  Maybe if it was called "Harbinger....and maybe Spider-Man!" it would get more love :D
The Harbinger of Batman?
Posted by k4tzm4n
@Jonny_Anonymous said:
@k4tzm4n said:
@turoksonofstone said:

Great review.

Thank you. 
 
@Jonny_Anonymous said:
@k4tzm4n said:
@Jonny_Anonymous: Agreed.  It really is a shame more people aren't read this.
IKR  What the hell have you pepole got against good books?
Your guess is as good as mine.  Maybe if it was called "Harbinger....and maybe Spider-Man!" it would get more love :D
The Harbinger of Batman?
The Amazing Harbingerman
Staff
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@k4tzm4n
@Jonny_Anonymous said:
@k4tzm4n said:
@turoksonofstone said:

Great review.

Thank you. 
 
@Jonny_Anonymous said:
@k4tzm4n said:
@Jonny_Anonymous: Agreed.  It really is a shame more people aren't read this.
IKR  What the hell have you pepole got against good books?
Your guess is as good as mine.  Maybe if it was called "Harbinger....and maybe Spider-Man!" it would get more love :D
The Harbinger of Batman?
The Amazing Harbingerman
Lol