Peter Stanchek, Bloodshot and Toyo Harada will all clash over control of super powered kids called Harbingers. Based on what we've seen so far, the outcome will be chaotic and quite brutal. We had a chance to chat with the two writers about the event and what it means for their titles.
Comic Vine: For reasons I'll never understand, some people out there still haven't checked out BLOODSHOT or HARBINGER. What can you say to persuade them into giving Valiant's first big event a shot?
Joshua Dysart: I will paint your house if you read my book. But I will only paint it aqua. It's my favorite color. Your Home Owners Association can go $@&! itself. The other reason to check out HARBINGER WARS is because it's going to be smart, crazy, over-the-top super-powered fiction. In general, I believe action plays best when you hold off until just the right moment to unleash it. We've had some great action in HARBINGER, and BLOODSHOT has been a battering ram of a book, but this is the culmination of all of that. This is the time. Time to unleash a full-scale character clash across an amazing environment (I'm not going to spoil it by telling you where we've placed a great deal of the action, suffice to say, it's an epic location).
Duane Swierczynski: Bloodshot will paint your house, too. Red. With the arterial spray from your gushing head wound, because that's how serious he is about you hearing his side of the story.== TEASER ==
Not that you have to snap up the previous nine issues of BLOODSHOT to fully enjoy the HARBINGER WARS crossover. But if you pass them up, you might feel a slight tingling at the back of your neck. Is that a laser scope, pinpointing the location where your spine meets skull? Gee, who knows? You certainly won't. Not until it's too late…
CV: We know the primary motives for each key player (Peter, Toyo, Bloodshot) with the Harbingers, but could you elaborate a bit on why each firmly believes they're doing the right thing?
JD: Sure. Peter and the Renegades see Toyo as everything that's wrong with the world. Toyo is anti-democratic. He is certain that his vision is the only path forward. Inversely, Toyo Harada sees Peter as a drain on his life's work, unstable, dangerous, a revolutionary with no real grasp of his own potential and power. A man far too dangerous to live. They are both totally right, and totally wrong about each other. And both of them are motivated by hubris, blind to their own folly, but limitless in their ability to see the faults of the other. As for Bloodshot, I'll let Duane tackle that.
DS: Bloodshot's motives are simple at first: he's been massively #$^@'d over by Project Rising Spirit, and he's dead set on discovering his real name. But as the events of HARBINGER WARS (as well as the most recent BLOODSHOT arc) play out, ol' Mr. Nanites-in-my-blood realizes that it's not all about him. And that maybe protecting innocent people is a better use of his time than indulging in a self-serving quest.
The question is: what are Josh Dysart's motives? I've suspected him of something sinister from the very beginning...
CV: What sets 'Harbinger Wars' apart from other big events?
JD: I think that we have a less expansive universe to work with here. And even then, we're really just crossing two books and making that the event. I know that sounds like a dig, but the truth is, less is really more. We're going to shake the pillars of our books, but we're leaving lots of room for characters to breath and events to play out. It's way more punk rock... that is small, dirty, hard and fast…
DS: We're going to create something wild, fast, hard and dirty, just like Josh said. Also: these aren't events for events' sake. We've been planning this collision since the beginning.
CV: One of the covers has an incredibly ominous tone for the Renegades. Please tell me Faith makes it out of this event without a scratch.
JD: I hate to spill it here and blow the surprise, but this is Faith's last mission. Bloodshot is going to skin her and wear her like a dress. Oh, should I have put a spoiler alert there?
DS: Bloodshot wearing Faith as a ladysuit is the sole reason I agreed to write for Valiant.
CV: As much as I'm loving Bloodshot, the odds definitely don't appear to be in his favor, despite that crazy healing factor of his. How do you plan on having him hang with these insanely powerful beings?
DS: Never underestimate a man too stupid to die.
CV: From Flamingo setting a dude's crotch on fire to Bloodshot using his own broken bone as a weapon, can we expect to see more creative brutality in 'Harbinger Wars?'
JD: The original title of the crossover I pitched was called, "Innovative Styles in Murderous Abominable Atrocity". But Warren [Simons, Valiant Executive Editor] told me to shut up and keep painting his house.
DS: Sorry… was busy plucking the grape husks from Warren's beard. But yeah! Plenty of the ol' ultra-violence. Any kook can mow down a crowd of bad guys with a Howitzer. I prefer it when our heroes are armed with nothing but knitting needles and a rusty beer opener -- then ordered to save the world.
CV: If you had to compare Peter Stanchek and Bloodshot to a Marvel/DC character, who would it be and why?
DS: Bloodshot's closely modeled on Dazzler.
CV: If you could use one word to describe 'Harbinger Wars,' what would it be?
DS: Cleveland! (What?)
CV: Will this event have a lasting impact on both titles?
CV: Aside from your own title, what is your favorite series in Valiant's reboot and what do you believe makes it so superb?
JD: I'm not going to answer that, you divide-and-conquering son of a bitch! These people are my friends!
DS: We all know that X-O MANOWAR is the title to beat in terms of brains and action, and that ARCHER AND ARMSTRONG bring a surreal yet giddy fantasy epic to vivid life every month, and SHADOWMAN makes the toughest of tough guys curl up and cry out for their mommas, and HARBINGER plays out like Hunter S. Thompson was given a case of Chivas Regal, a suitcase full of drugs, and 48 hours to rewrite THE BREAKFAST CLUB…
Crap, BLOODSHOT is the weak link in the lineup, isn't it?
CV: Are there any other Valiant characters you'd like to see appear in the reboot or even have their own title?
JD: Oh sure.
DS: Yes, but my programming does not allow me to comment on such things.
CV: And because I always feel the urge to ask this: Bloodshot vs Batman?
DS: I love Bats. Have loved him ever since I was a kid. I think he's the smartest, toughest detective on the planet. The heir of Sherlock Holmes, with the flair of Zorro and the raging unstoppable heart of Godzilla. But Bloodshot could take that rich boy down with one bullet to the kisser. A Death in the Family, indeed.
CV: Thanks for your time!
HARBINGER WARS #1 will hit the shelves on April 13th.
Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine and IGN Entertainment. Follow him on Twitter and together you can rule the galaxy.