The GoodJoshua Dysart gives us characters that are beyond rich. There's no trite dialogue and no eye roll inducing moments... they feel organic and will drain you of every little bit of empathy you've got. This book isn't about the powers -- it's about the individuals. Without making them so layered and fascinating, this whole dilemma would never rise above mediocre. But thanks to Dysart's ability to breath so much life into this cast, it's a world I love diving into every month. I care about these characters. I want to laugh and cheer with them with they're victorious... and I want to be right there in the gutters with them when they're down and all hope seems lost. It's just brilliant how much emotion this book has behind it and how much it succeeds as a character driven title.
But enough of my overwhelming general praise, time to get into the specifics of what made this issue so good. Each character naturally brings something different to the table, but Zephyr's the one most of us can relate to, and issue #9 is all about her origin story. She's one of us -- she adores the franchises we love, and she's thrilled to have a power and be in such a surreal situation. This refreshing amount of charisma and optimism makes her a character you've simply gotta appreciate. She's essentially what we'd aspire to be if thrown into her scenario... who knows if we'd really have her amount of courage, though.
She delivers some big laughs in this one ("But I'm not really much of a poet) and absolutely melted my heart with her little self-motivational thoughts. Her origin tale is gut-wrenching yet inspiring. Some might think the method of diving into characters one by one is too repetitive of a process, but the top-notch writing makes it worth it. Each character is fleshed out so well and that's going to make 'Harbinger Wars' a particularly painful read if we lose one of them.
Pere Perez and Ian Hannin make this a great experience for our eyes, too. The variety of powers light up each panel with warming colors, the bright and plentiful stars scattered throughout the sky are gorgeous and the style manages to deliver both a realistic and cartoonish style. Whether it's Faith giving a goofy smile or Peter screaming with rage, the facial work is solid as well. I especially love Peter's vivid shield. Seeing him hover as everything around him catches fire is quite a sight.
Despite Faith's emotionally investing story, my favorite moment is easily Charlene's last stand. WHOOM! "Did I get any of ya'll?" Hilarious stuff right there.
The BadThe only small thing that stood out to me was Zephyr flying to reach Peter. Half of the trailer was surrounded by woods, so couldn't she technically just loop around that way? I get it would take longer, but if they can cancel out your powers, I'd say that's a stroll worth taking. Regardless, this isn't that big of a deal because her opting to fly was a significant moment -- once again, she was okay with risking her own safety to help. It was yet another testament to her heroism.
The VerdictHARBINGER is a book you need to be reading. This has everything you'd ever want or need from a great story: fantastic characters, sharp dialogue and humor, creative powers, and plenty of fun action. Go do yourself a favor and give it an honest chance. You can thank me later for the recommendation.
I know some of you are wondering if it's mandatory reading for 'Harbinger Wars.' The answer is technically no -- it's not mandatory, but I highly recommended it. After all, what good is a story if you're not connected to the characters?