Review: The Harbinger #5
Peter Stanchek’s mission to “Be Better” as The Harbinger has emboldened him to become the hero he never thought he could be, but he’s attracted even more attention to his actions as a result. Both good and bad! As a monstrous behemoth tears through the city demanding Peter’s attention and testing his strength like never before, a certain high flying hero is furiously rushing in that will shock Peter to his core! The Harbinger #5 is one fans don’t want to miss!
The Harbinger #5 begins a new era for the new Peter Stanchek as he attempts to use his fresh start, free of his old memories, to embrace becoming a bonafide super hero by the name of the Harbinger. The comic opens up with a montage of people affected by his evil doppelgänger, the Renegade (my understanding is that the Harbinger and the Renegade are two sides of the same coin – literally) as he activates new Psiots and lets them run loose only for the Harbinger to do his superhero thing. Co-writers Colin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing spend the first dozen or so pages highlighting how the Peter Stanchek underneath the Harbinger’s mask is very different than who we’ve seen before, but there are similarities there; the need and desire for solace and solitude drove the old Stanchek to live in space at one point, although now he just wants to be in his apartment alone.
Robbie Rodriguez and Rico Renzi (artist and colourist respectively) and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou continue to give a relatively unique aesthetic to the comic, piling on a ton of detail and pulling the text into panels that deliver mini snippets of story for the psiots featured. We also see the Harbinger continue to try to avoid conflict, which But it’s the introduction of Faith that had me grinning from ear to ear when Faith, reacting poorly to somebody pretending to be Peter Stanchek, starts to throw the Harbinger around with casual ease. The casual narration throughout the scene didn’t match what was happening on the page, as the creative team show for perhaps the first time just how tough Faith can be. It was a fun twist to see a character known for her geeky side becoming a proverbial beast.
The Harbinger #5 keeps the series chugging along at a consistent quality – but what gives it the extra little steam whistle is that Kelly and Lanzing keep referring back to previous events which serves to remind readers that the Valiant Universe is all interconnected. This is something that Valiant’s books have been missing of late, and so it’s refreshing to see familiar faces and be reminded of events I read years ago, which makes this book another check in the win column.
Story: Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing Art: Robbie Rodriguez
Colours: Rico Renzi Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Story: 8.7 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review