harbinger 7 coverHARBINGER 7

Writer: Joshua Dysart
Artist: Barry Kittson
Publisher: Valiant
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka Optimous Douche – Ain’t It Cool news)

I know there will eventually come a time when I no longer harken back to the Ghost of Valiant past in my reviews. With the quality they keep churning out, they join the cast of “indies” who are anything but. Eventually Valiant will soar past its ancestral roots into new numbers, new stories, and a new mythology that will make the 1.0 world from so many years ago forgotten history.

For now though, in these beginning stages, they are playing the game right – keep what was wonderful from the old universe while extracting the dated elements to reflect modern mores and sensibilities.

Issue 7 follows its predecessors in not only darkening the HARBINGER mythos, but each mother-lovin character as well. I haven’t given this much adoration to a single series since ALL STAR SUPERMAN. Please don’t think they are the same book, they’re not. This is a series going for the long haul; epic is not the name of the game. However, it entertains me in the same sense it sits at the top of my read pile each week it come out, I can always find words about it, and damn if it doesn’t surprise me. It is one of the most stark, dark and honest portrayals of the mutant comic mythos. It’s Valiant Now in the truest sense of the word Now, I will also give it Valiant Here, because it truly feels like I’m watching our world evolve. Now after reviewing about three issues of this book I do have one gripe that I’ll get to in a minute.

This issue shows the true forming of a team for Pete Stancheck, his non-powered yet clearly the strongest of fortitude…let’s call her God Keeper…Kris, and the fat and floaty yet also endearingly innocent Zephyr. Now that they hhave completely uncovered the eeeevil plans of Toyo Harada and his fuel to rule the world by activating and employing every mutie on the planet the true game of a powers land grab can begin. Kind of like Far and Away minus bad acting and Enya.

This week we meet Flamingo. In Valliant 1.0 this small town cutie tweaked young Optimous nether regions with her skyscraper bangs, Daisy Duke cut offs and small town slut ways. Valiant portrays the same naughty, but like every girl of promiscuity story these days we now the learn why and for anyone who is not a sociopath it induces instant boner deflation. Dysart does a great job making the back-story of this stripper soon-to-be turned Flamethrower natural and perfectly flowing with the story today. Everything shitty in her life, from her job to her current abusive beau all stems from negligent and abusive daddy issues. And before some blowhard crises cliché from the parliament party of pain in the ass, go to a stripclub sometime and actually talk to these girls. If you’re average isn’t 7 out of 10, then you probably also found the one where the same number have degrees instead of “currently looking into Sociology.”

Real, timely and full of great yuck nugetts from Zephyr’s first experience in a house of dollar stuffing ill repute, to Kris truly realizing her place as leader of this group since she controls the heart and thus the will of living God Peter – HARBINGER 7 basically just makes me excited for HARBINGER 8.

Oh, wait I did say I have one gripe (and no not the art, Kittson is grand and really kept this issue sexy, yet clean, and also impactful when sexy time for Flamingo was over). My gripe is with Harada. And again I say this gripe because I come from the context of just rereading Jim Shooter’s SOLAR from Dark Horse a few years ago. Here’s the thing. I think Harada needs to be a little more sadistic like Shooter’s portrayal. Taiwanese hooker punching bags is all I’m going to say. After sixty plus years of being a living God, you go where you can for your kumbayayas. Show us the human and thus inhuman side of Harada in an issue. Right, we’ve only seen the business half of the character mullet – bring forth the oh so wrong party in the back please.