Spoiler Free Review: Harbinger Renegade #5
“Toyo Harada’s former protege – Alexander Solomon, a “psiot” with the ability to predict and analyze potential futures – has been waiting for this moment. With the Harbinger Renegades – Peter Stanchek, Faith, Kris Hathaway, and Torque – now reunited as a result of his covert manipulations, his ultimate gambit can now begin. But he’s not the only one who has been watching. Major Charlie Palmer has just re-assigned a new division of the militarized psiot hunters codenamed H.A.R.D. Corps to active duty…and they’re about to bring a torrent of blood and calamity roaring into the streets of a major American metropolis for an all-out firefight.
The Harbinger Renegades. Livewire. Alexander Solomon. Generation Zero. Toyo Harada. Secret Weapons. Imperium. None of them are safe…and, when the smoke clears, a pivotal Valiant hero will become the first sacrifice of the massive Harbinger War that is to come.”
I will tell you right now: I was really excited to read this issue – so much so that I literally dropped the other features (because I frequently have multiple balls in the air at once) to read the comic. Understandably, Valiant are extremely cautious about spoilers for this issue, so I won’t reveal anything about the story itself beyond the preview text above. However, it will certainly help your enjoyment of the comic if you’re familiar with some, or all, of the comics and characters mentioned above (The Harbinger Renegades. Livewire. Alexander Solomon. Generation Zero. Toyo Harada. Secret Weapons. Imperium.)So what can I say about this comic? Well it was perfectly okay. Rafer Roberts has written a story doesn’t quite live up to the hype generated by the machine Valiant set in motion for Harbinger Renegade #5, although it’s pretty solid, and honestly I needed multiple readings to really get the most out of it. Obviously I can’t tell you why without risking the spoilers – nor can I tell you some of the reasons I felt the issue didn’t work. Instead, I’ll move on. Artistically, the comic isn’t anything spectacular, but nor is it unremarkable; it’s just about good enough to serve the story without any major hiccups (but again I can’t discuss those). Essentially, where as a good story can lift a comic where the art struggles and vice versa, both story and art are on the same level here; they’re both just hovering between okay and good.
Out of respect for Valiant and their wishes I’ve avoided spoilers, probably far more than I needed to, so what I can say is limited. At the end of the day, this is the weakest of the five Renegade books that have been released thus far, which is a shame given the amount of push that Valiant have out behind it. Though I do wonder if that is a result of Harbinger Renegade #5 simply being a book that didn’t deliver verses it being a comic that just wasn’t able to live up to the hype. I’m edging toward the latter.
If you’re a Valiant fan, whether of the publisher in general or of this property, then you’re going to want to read this. Be prepared for it to be a little disappointing given all the buzz, but I also expect this to fly off the shelves because of the warning on the cover.
Story: Rafer Roberts Art: Darick Robertson
Inks: Richard Clark Colours: Diego Rodriguez
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.