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  1. #1
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    Default REVIEW: Harbinger, #20

    Joshua Dysart and Clayton Henry start a new storyline in bold fashion in "Harbinger" #20, which introduces a new teenage character and gives a peek into a very troubling future.


    Full review here.

  2. #2

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    Interesting. I wonder how similar this Ax will be to the original from the 92 series.
    But let justice run down like water, And righteousness like a mighty stream.

  3. #3

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    Always happy to see the Harbinger membership grow. This continues to be one of my favorite reads each month. VEI has a winner with this title and everyone should check it out.

  4. #4

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    One of the best books around. I started from issue #1 again yesterday because I hadn't read them in awhile, and I'd forgotten exactly how dark the tone was early on in the series.
    Groundhog's Say - A blog on comics and things.

    Top of the Pile: Animal Man|Harbinger|Archer & Armstrong|Batman|Saga|East of West|Hellboy in Hell|Lazarus|Prophet|The Wake|Zero

  5. #5
    Verily VALIANT! BugsySig's Avatar
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    Can't wait for this. Been looking forward to the Renegades getting back on track after Harbinger Wars and Perfect Day. Plus Clayton Henry on art! What's not to love?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cap10nate View Post
    Interesting. I wonder how similar this Ax will be to the original from the 92 series.
    Apparently he won't be a Psiot this time around, but will again be a foil to both Pete and Harada. I could definitely see him with his own band of Psiots at some point like the original.
    VALIANT, Saga, Chew, Manhattan Projects, Revival, East of West, Locke & Key, Hawkeye, Young Avengers.

  6. #6
    BLOOD OF THE MACHINE Mechano's Avatar
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    This issue was a very short read... It was good, but I would have liked to had a bit more of the renegades in the book. The art was great. Kozol really has his hands full, having been screwed over by @x and archer. Hopefully, things pick up a bit next issue.

  7. #7

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    And they're back. Harbinger was my introduction to Valiant and this issue reaffirms my love for these guys. Between this and Unity, this week belongs to Valiant.
    All I need now is for someone to create a Handbook for the characters that I'm reading. I still don't have a grasp on a lot of the powersets of some of these characters.
    Be more constructive with your feedback -- Jemaine

  8. #8
    Senior Member rasx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harashkupo View Post
    And they're back. Harbinger was my introduction to Valiant and this issue reaffirms my love for these guys. Between this and Unity, this week belongs to Valiant.
    All I need now is for someone to create a Handbook for the characters that I'm reading. I still don't have a grasp on a lot of the powersets of some of these characters.
    I think they may have a handbook out on FCBD, I read that somewhere.
    New Avengers*Unity* Shadowman* RAI* TRANSFORMERS* MILES MORALES

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by rasx View Post
    I think they may have a handbook out on FCBD, I read that somewhere.
    Man I hope that's true. Stuff like Harada's physical appearance is driving me nuts.
    Be more constructive with your feedback -- Jemaine

  10. #10
    Senior Member rasx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harashkupo View Post
    Man I hope that's true. Stuff like Harada's physical appearance is driving me nuts.
    New Avengers*Unity* Shadowman* RAI* TRANSFORMERS* MILES MORALES

  11. #11
    Senior Member DaronK's Avatar
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    I've dropped quite a lot of Valiant books lately, but man this book is fantastic! The characterization in this book blows all the other Valiant books away, and most others on the shelves in general.

  12. #12
    BLOOD OF THE MACHINE Mechano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaronK View Post
    I've dropped quite a lot of Valiant books lately, but man this book is fantastic! The characterization in this book blows all the other Valiant books away, and most others on the shelves in general.

    have you tried Eternal Warrior? It has been in my top 3 Valiants...

  13. #13
    Senior Member DaronK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mechano View Post
    have you tried Eternal Warrior? It has been in my top 3 Valiants...
    I've tried every Valiant title as they've come out:

    Eternal Warrior - Two issues into EW I was just left feeling cold. The story nor the character did anything. EW feels like a character that needs to play off someone else (like XO or Armstrong). He just doesn't work on his own...for me at least.

    Quantum and Woody - This one I honestly barely got through the first issue. I honestly hated it. I enjoy fun and funny books, but I didn't find this one to be either. I just found it to be banal.

    Shadowman - This one's been on the fence since the first issue. The 2 issues focused on Darque were fantastic and gave me hope that it would improve, but didn't. Then the new team came on and I had renewed hope. But the first 2 issues again did nothing for me, and I say that as someone who doesn't mind them "rebooting" the main character a bit - I just don't find what they're doing with him to be interesting (love the new art though). Dropped it after the most recent issue.

    Bloodshot - This one like Shadowman did nothing for me from the get go, but I gave it some room to breathe. It never found it's footing, however. Even Christos and Dysart couldn't save this one for me. The main character is a cypher whose direction changes with the wind. Dropped it after the most recent issue.

    Archer & Armstrong - I actually really liked this book until recently. The Sect Civil War story really lost me. The book went from being fun and funny, to just plain silly, while losing it's humor and charm. Dropped it after the most recent issue.

    Unity - So far so good.

    Harbinger & X-O - These 2 have been fantastic throughout their runs. No complaints. I honestly wish the others were as good as these...

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaronK View Post
    did anything. EW feels like a character that needs to play off someone else (like XO or Armstrong). He just doesn't work on his own...for me at least.
    I just sorta wanted them to "get on with it" after the first arc. I'm looking forward to the next arc a great deal - similar to A&A there's a lot of room to take these adventures anywhere in history/future, so I'm hoping they feed off that as much as they do the current era events.

    Quantum and Woody - This one I honestly barely got through the first issue. I honestly hated it. I enjoy fun and funny books, but I didn't find this one to be either. I just found it to be banal.
    It took me 3 issues to 'get' this book, but I'm onboard now. Only complaint is the art, which has gone downhill the past couple of issues.

    Shadowman - This one's been on the fence since the first issue. The 2 issues focused on Darque were fantastic and gave me hope that it would improve, but didn't. Then the new team came on and I had renewed hope. But the first 2 issues again did nothing for me, and I say that as someone who doesn't mind them "rebooting" the main character a bit - I just don't find what they're doing with him to be interesting (love the new art though). Dropped it after the most recent issue.
    I'm willing to give the new team a couple of issues to further the story. Right now I'm loving the art.

    Bloodshot - This one like Shadowman did nothing for me from the get go, but I gave it some room to breathe. It never found it's footing, however. Even Christos and Dysart couldn't save this one for me. The main character is a cypher whose direction changes with the wind. Dropped it after the most recent issue.
    The whole H.A.R.D. Corps thing just felt unnatural to me. I'm still enjoying the book for the most part, but I wish it had remained a solo Bloodshot story. Especially following the excellent issue #0, I just feel that a character driven story based solely on Bloodshot is a better read than another team book.

    Archer & Armstrong - I actually really liked this book until recently. The Sect Civil War story really lost me. The book went from being fun and funny, to just plain silly, while losing it's humor and charm. Dropped it after the most recent issue.
    I'm really enjoying it. I feel that A&A has been the most consistent title as far as tone and quality is concerned throughout its entire run. The whole play on secret societies/alternate history has been executed pretty darn well by Van Lente, and Khari Evans is one of the best artists around IMO.

    Unity - So far so good.
    #1 and #2 just felt like an X-O Manowar issue to me, but I really enjoyed #3 and Livewire's POV throughout. More interested to see where this goes following the initial arc.

    Harbinger & X-O - These 2 have been fantastic throughout their runs. No complaints. I honestly wish the others were as good as these...
    I think X-O is the perfect action comic, where I can switch off my brain and fly through 20-odd pages in next to no time. That's not an insult either, it's just a quick, fun read. Similar to Unity though, I'm more interested in what happens next with the character, and I'm hoping Harbinger goes back to explore some of the earlier ideas, especially around the Bleeding Monk which, given issue #0, seems likely.

    Harbinger is just one of the best written books out there period.
    Groundhog's Say - A blog on comics and things.

    Top of the Pile: Animal Man|Harbinger|Archer & Armstrong|Batman|Saga|East of West|Hellboy in Hell|Lazarus|Prophet|The Wake|Zero

  15. #15
    Senior Member DaronK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groundh0g View Post
    I just sorta wanted them to "get on with it" after the first arc. I'm looking forward to the next arc a great deal - similar to A&A there's a lot of room to take these adventures anywhere in history/future, so I'm hoping they feed off that as much as they do the current era events.
    My issue with EW was the character in his own book didn't in any way resemble the character we were seeing in the other books (especially how his past was portrayed in those books). It felt like an Elseworlds title, which is fine, but it just wasn't what I was looking for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Groundh0g View Post
    It took me 3 issues to 'get' this book, but I'm onboard now. Only complaint is the art, which has gone downhill the past couple of issues.
    I usually give a book 3 issues or an arc before I make a decision, but I disliked the first issue so much (I barely got through it) that there was no way I was going back for more. I honestly can't remember disliking a first issue that much. With that said, I have nothing against the book, and I'm glad other people enjoy it; it's just not for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Groundh0g View Post
    I'm willing to give the new team a couple of issues to further the story. Right now I'm loving the art.
    Totally agree on the art, it's superb and definitely fits with the tone of the book. As for the title itself, I've been on the verge of dropping it since the first issue. I never hated the book, it just never won me over, especially since the titular character was the least interesting of the case. With the announcement of the new team I was hoping we'd get a new direction. And while Milligan definitely gave us one, I'm not digging the direction. Had the main character had mental issues from day one, I'd probably be okay with it, but adding that "layer" a year and half later to try and give him depth feels like grasping. Additionally, the main character is still entirely uninteresting, to me anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Groundh0g View Post
    The whole H.A.R.D. Corps thing just felt unnatural to me. I'm still enjoying the book for the most part, but I wish it had remained a solo Bloodshot story. Especially following the excellent issue #0, I just feel that a character driven story based solely on Bloodshot is a better read than another team book.
    The addition of Hardcorps is unnatural, but I completely understand the reason for it. Bloodshot (as presented in this version of the character) is a complete cypher - he's a noncharacter. He has no personality, no personal history, and no motivation other than to get revenge for things he doesn't quite understand, or who to get revenge against. He's basically the Punisher without the loss of his family to motivate or steer his revenge. (Side note, this is why Whedon's Doll House didn't work - you can't have a show based around a character who isn't character.) Personally, the 0 issue did nothing for me. It really didn't add anything we didn't know, or hadn't already guessed.

    They added Hardcorps to inject the book with some much needed characterization - except that most of the characters are really just fodder. The only one that seems to matter is the leader, but if they focus all their energy on him, why would they need Bloodshot anymore? Honestly, this is one where I think they should have killed the current Bloodshot off, and brought him back as a new character...

    Quote Originally Posted by Groundh0g View Post
    I'm really enjoying it. I feel that A&A has been the most consistent title as far as tone and quality is concerned throughout its entire run. The whole play on secret societies/alternate history has been executed pretty darn well by Van Lente, and Khari Evans is one of the best artists around IMO.
    I have to say I disagree with you on this one. Ever since Archer went from being a naive do-good-er, to a dark and vindictive mastermind, the tone shifted from fun/funny to dark. The interaction of the 2 main characters and their views on the world are what made this book work for me. Their current dynamic is completely unappealing to me. The fact that it's not crossing over with Bloodshot only further cements this direction.

    Similarly, the Sect Civil War, and all the ridiculous sects coming out of the wood work, shifted the book from being fun to silly. Before the war, even the book was much more lighthearted and dealt with some odd storylines, I could still see it correlation to the rest of the Valiant U. Now it just feels over the top silly, and I can't imagine how Harada hadn't already dropped in and wiped all those morons off the planet. It just doesn't feel like it fits anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Groundh0g View Post
    #1 and #2 just felt like an X-O Manowar issue to me, but I really enjoyed #3 and Livewire's POV throughout. More interested to see where this goes following the initial arc.
    Agreed - but I dig that they launched their "event" book out of events that were happening in their universe, rather than creating an event to then try and pigeonhole everything else into. It feels like the book will be able to evolve naturally, and I have to say I wish Marvel and DC did their events like this - in a single title that can involve any character in the universe. Kudos to them on the execution here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Groundh0g View Post
    I think X-O is the perfect action comic, where I can switch off my brain and fly through 20-odd pages in next to no time. That's not an insult either, it's just a quick, fun read. Similar to Unity though, I'm more interested in what happens next with the character, and I'm hoping Harbinger goes back to explore some of the earlier ideas, especially around the Bleeding Monk which, given issue #0, seems likely.
    I think we basically agree on X-O. It is the the summer blockbuster title of the bunch, but it's more like a thoughtful action flick like Batman Begins or Iron Man, rather than a brainless Michael Bay flick.

    Quote Originally Posted by Groundh0g View Post
    Harbinger is just one of the best written books out there period.
    Agreed completely. Definitely in my top 10 of current titles, across the company divide.

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