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Review: Harbinger Wars 2 #2

HW2_002_COVER-A_JONESFrom East to West, the nation has been cleaved down the middle as Livewire’s defensive attack on the U.S. power grid envelops America in darkness and sets the stage for the biggest clash of powers ever witnessed… On one side, Peter Stanchek’s ragtag team of Renegades – alongside their newly activated army of untrained and wildly unstable psiots – ready themselves for an unsparing firefight with H.A.R.D. Corps and the agents of Omen. On the other, Ninjak and Bloodshot prepare to enter Livewire’s domain inside blacked-out Los Angeles. But as the casualties pile up and the losses mount on both sides, none of them will be ready to confront the full fury of raw power personified as X-O Manowar makes his long-awaited return after a year of self-imposed exile among the stars…and delivers a single concussive strike that will send shockwaves across the whole of the Valiant Universe!

Harbinger Wars 2 is the long awaited, and much hyped, sequel to Valiant’s first event series, coincidentally named Harbinger Wars. Needless to say, there are a lot of expectations leveled against the series from Valiant fans, and the question of whether or not the series will meet those expectations remains up in the air.

On the surface, there’s very little wrong with the comic. Certainly nothing that readers who aren’t intimately familiar with the publishers characters will notice, but for those who have read certain series (Harbinger, Imperium, Harbinger Renegade) there may be issues with the specific actions of a certain character. Now, there may be a specific answer to this behaviour that we’ll see prior to the conclusion of the story, but as it stands… it makes no sense as to why a man who can fly as easily as you or I eat would be running anywhere. As it stands, I’m giving Matt Kindt the benefit of the doubt here, but one can claim that there’s a lack of understanding of the character, and fairly so based upon what we’ve seen so far, but the story isn’t over yet – and Kindt has proven himself worthy of patience.

Where you don’t need patience, however, is with the artwork. But with an artistic team of the calibre that this book holds, one shouldn’t be surprised by this. Tomas Giorello and Renato Guedes, who share the line-work duties, are joined by colourist Diego Rodriguez and letterer Dave Sharpe. This book is an utterly beautiful comic, and where one can find issues with the story and plot, one cannot fault the art or presentation of the book.

The story may be struggling, but if you’re looking for a reason to buy this book, it’s the art. Matt Kindt, and Valiant, have earned enough trust over the years that one dodgy book which, in fairness, is still a better than average read – Valiant have a strong reputation for a reason, and the second issue of their big summer event isn’t their best offering this week. It happens. Just not typically to this publisher.

Story: Matt Kindt Art: Tomas Giorello and Renato Guedes
Colourist: Diego Rodriguez Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 7 Art: 9.2 Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review