Review: Harbinger Wars 2 #1

HW2_001_COVER-B_SUAYANFor the rare and immensely powerful subset of humanity known as psiots, their unique abilities have come with an enormous cost. Once, their existence was known only to a select few. Now, the revelation that thousands of these latent telekinetic “harbingers” secretly live among us…with the potential to be activated at any moment…has led the American government to a dramatic tipping point…

Armed with new extra-governmental authority, the deep-black military contractor known as Omen has been authorized to identify, evaluate, and, if need be, eliminate all super-normal threats to the homeland. H.A.R.D. Corps units have been deployed into cities and towns across the United States to enforce their orders.

In the East, one of the most powerful minds on Earth, Peter Stanchek, is leading his band of Renegades across the country, activating any potential psiots willing to join them, and building an insurrection force of ultra-powerful and unwieldy new abilities that will soon bring war to Omen’s doorstep…and the unstoppable force known as X-O Manowar raging back to Earth…

In the West, Livewire – the telekinetic technopath with the ability to bend machines and computers to her will – will be forced to choose between her former allies…or her newfound team of Secret Weapons. As the situation escalates beyond human control, the United States will be plunged into darkness from coast to coast, launching Bloodshot and Ninjak into a dangerous mission to neutralize their one-time teammate – and setting the stage for the most shocking, most violent, and most consequential clash of powers ever witnessed in the history of the Valiant Universe!

Valiant have been building to this series for some time now, and as with anything a publisher has been building and hinting toward for nearly two years, there are some lofty expectations that Harbinger Wars 2 is going to have to meet. Without any preamble, the first (or second if you count last month’s Prelude as the first) issue of Harbinger Wars 2 establishes a quality that given the caliber of the creative team shouldn’t be a surprise, but it is a welcome relief to know that Valiant’s biggest event in years doesn’t start out with a fizzle.

Instead, Matt Kindt spends the issue carefully establishing where the different aspects of the Valiant universe ahead of the inevitable conflict that fans should expect in the following issues. That isn’t to say that there is no tension within the issue, because while he’s establishing the players Kindt is also setting the stage for which each character will take when the conflict begins. With the stage set for allies to go against allies, at least within the first issue, there isn’t a clearly defined set of antagonists or protagonists which allows the reader to come to their own conclusion as to who they agree with based upon the information at your disposal. As far as these things go, Kindt expertly stays within the grey area and the comic is all the stronger for it.

Harbinger Wars 2 #1 also excels in its visual presentation. Tomas Giorello (art), Diego Rodriguez (colors) and Dave Sharpe (letters) lend the script a suitably moody atmosphere with Giorello’s hyper detailed work complimented by the muted colour palate that Rodriguez uses to emphasize the impending doom in the script.

As far as opening salvos in top billed events go, Valiant have a nigh on perfect offering here. I can’t wait to see where the pieces fall as the story unfolds.

Story: Matt Kindt Art: Tomas Giorello
Colors: Diego Rodriguez Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 9.2 Art: 9.3 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review