Valiant Hero Of The Week: Peter Stanchek/Harbinger
Every Monday for the next few weeks, Valiant Entertainment is running a poll on Twitter to provide fans with some escapism while new comics are in short supply. The poll allows Valiant fans the opportunity to select the “Hero Of The Week” from four choices. That week’s hero will then be the focus of free pdfs featuring the character, videos from Valiant staff, giveaways and more. This week, the poll featured Peter Stanchek/Harbinger, Divinity, Eternal Warrior, and Doctor Mirage.
This week’s winner was…
Who is he? One of the most powerful psiots in the Valiant Universe, Peter Stanchek has incredible telepathic and telekinetic abilities. He also has the ability to activate other psiots without having to subject them to the painful procedure they would otherwise need to go through. Peter is, theoretically, a hero standing against Valiant’s major “villain” Toyo Harada, though Peter is far from the angelic paragon you would expect. A drug addicted psychic who can’t shut his powers off, he is guilty of some serious telepathic actions that will leave you uncomfortable when you really sit back and think about what is going on – and yet, you can’t help but root for the guy as he tries to find redemption for what he has done.
Because Peter has really appeared in the Harbinger family of books that really doesn’t work if you read them out of order, the below section will cover the first three or four trade paperbacks in detail, and then provide a list of the remaining books in a reading order. I’ll include the full story, which also includes Imperium and The Life And Death Of Toyo Harada as they wrap up the stories of certain characters introduced in Harbinger. Plus, they’re also fantastic.
What should you read?
Harbinger: Omega Rising
Super-powered teenager Peter Stanchek is on a dangerous path. Skipping across the country in a desperate attempt to stay one step ahead of the authorities, Peter is quickly realizing that he’s a psionically-charged “harbinger” with the potential to reshape the course of human history. But Peter’s plight has not gone unnoticed. Respected philanthropist and fellow harbinger Toyo Harada is about to offer Peter the chance at the things for which the boy has always longed — family, inner peace, self-control — and induct him into the sprawling, secret network of conspiracy and subversion known as the Harbinger Foundation. Now Peter begins his long road towards a destiny that will shake the very foundations of the Valiant Universe. His first lesson? All power comes with a price.
This volume kicks off an epic tale by Joshua Dysart that spans Harbinger and Imperium, and because I devoured the first twenty issues in two days I don’t really remember exactly what happened in the first volume, so I took the above text directly from Valiant’s website.
Outside the law. Inside your head. Welcome to the Renegades.
Battered and broken after his escape from the Harbinger Foundation, telekinetic teenager Peter Stanchek only has one option left – run. But he won’t have to go it alone. Crisscrossing America with the only two people he can trust, Peter will have to activate a new team of super-powered recruits before Toyo Harada and his Harbinger shock troops can reach them first. Peter Stanchek. Zephyr. Kris. Flamingo. You’ve never met a team of super-powered teenagers quite like the Renegades. And, together, they’ll dismantle Harada’s global empire one brick at a time.
Harbinger Vol. 3 Harbinger Wars
Before the Harbinger Foundation, before Project Rising Spirit, Toyo Harada spent decades circling the globe, recruiting empowered individuals to his cause through coercion, intimidation and influence. But how is one deal brokered in secret between Harada and Rising Sprit Securities forty years ago now wreaking havoc in the modern day? And when the past comes roaring back, how will Peter Stanchek and the rest of Harada’s most wanted react to the revelation of Rising Spirit’s secret mission and the Harbinger hunter known as Bloodshot?
Harbinger Wars, Valiant’s first crossover event, begins here! Two dozen undisciplined, untested and untrained superhuman children have just escaped from a top-secret research facility and into the world. When Bloodshot, Toyo Harada and Peter Stanchek join the chase, will the Valiant Universe be ready for its first all-out superhuman showdown?
If you’re confused about the the inclusion of Harbinger: Harbinger Wars and Harbinger Wars, it’s worth noting that the former collects the tie in issues from Harbinger and the latter contains the actual four issue miniseries. For the full story, there’s also Bloodshot: Harbinger Wars. This was the first major crossover in Valiant ‘s relaunch, and for many it still ranks as one of the best crossovers the company has published since relaunching.
Below you’ll find a reading order if you want to follow the story of Peter Stanchek and Toyo Harada through to its (current) conclusion based on publication order.
- Harbinger: A Perfect Day
- Harbinger: Death Of A Renegade
- Harbinger: Omegas
- Imperium: Collecting Monsters
- Imperium: Broken Angels
- Imperium: The Vine Imperative
- Imperium: Stormbreak
- Harbinger Renegade: Judgement Of Solomon
- Harbinger Renegade: Massacre
- The Life And Death Of Toyo Harada
It’s worth noting that you can get Deluxe Editions of many of these stories that collect what amounts to three trades in a hardcover. They are comparatively better valued, but present a higher initial cost (based on standard retail pricing not including sales and discounts). They’re my personal preference.
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