We called it the biggest, most impactful, most ambitious Valiant event ever attempted – and we meant it! From across the Valiant Universe, the paths of all of the world’s most formidable heroes – X-O Manowar, the Harbinger Renegades, Bloodshot, Ninjak, the Secret Weapons, H.A.R.D. Corps, and dozens of newly activated psiots – have finally converged, drawn together by their old ally Livewire’s last-ditch effort to protect the powerless.
Well here it is. The culmination of Valiant’s biggest and most hyped miniseries/event for some time. The company has been building toward this moment for nearly two plus years, and now that it is finally here, does Harbinger Wars 2 end with a bang or a whimper? Are we left with a lot of build up to a lacklustre ending, or did Valiant break the mould and deliver a story that has a high quality and impact-full ending?
Uh… Kind of.
The issue wraps up almost every loose end and plot point, pulls most Valiant heroes to an agreement, and… just feels sort of underwhelming. In a comic that should provide an epic conclusion, Harbinger Wars II #4 feels more like the Cliff’s Notes version of what was an epic conclusion. There’s really no other way to describe the way that I felt coming out of this issue other than with a case of “Huh. That’s it?” To say that is a disappointment would be an understatement after the way the series opened with the Eric Heisserer scripted prologue; unfortunately, Matt Kindt‘s script just never quite lived up to that promise and gradually dropped in quality as the four issues progressed.
The saving grace here is the post finale scene with the surviving psiots talking about the ramifications of the events, and how they should react – it’s not quite enough to save the book, but it adds a bit of an upswing at the end.
Artistically, the issues feels muddled. There is quality there, but once again something feels off – although full disclosure here, I read this comic in a coffee shop on my laptop, and am prepared to give the benefit of the doubt that various contributing factors (glare, the watermark on the review copy and the brightness) may have had an adverse effect on the art, so I’m not going to penalize the comic for things it can’t control.
Although this comic will (potentially) change the way the characters in the Valiant universe react, and it should have very far reaching consequences, you will be able to get the same conclusions and information from reading a preview pages (where relevant) in an upcoming Valiant comic or a synopsis online.
To say I am disappointed this series ended this way would be true, but there’s always hope for the Aftermath, right?
Story: Matt Kindt Art: Tomas Giorello with Renato Guedes
Colours: Diego Rodriguez Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 6.0 Art: 8.2 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read if you’ve come this far
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review