Harbinger Wars

harbinger wars cover trade paperback
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

The big showdown that both Bloodshot and Harbinger have been leading up to

Doesn't necessarily work as a stand-alone or jump-on title

 
Comic Info

Comic Name:  Harbinger Wars

Publisher:  Valiant Comics

Writer:  Joshua Dysart/Duane Swierczynski

Artist:  Clayton Henry

# of Issues:  4

Release Date:  2013

harbinger-wars-#1

Harbinger Wars #1

Reprints Harbinger Wars #1-4 (April 2013-July 2013).  A group of Psiot children have been liberated from Project Rising Spirit.  Now the battle for the children is beginning, and Las Vegas finds itself the battleground when the children hide in the Bellagio.  With Bloodshot moving in from the desert with a group of the children and the group H.A.R.D. Corps being controlled by Project Rising Spirit, the Psiot children who are calling themselves Generation Zero must team with the Renegades to protect themselves.  As the battle wages, Toyo Harada has his own agenda to end the war.

Written by Joshua Dysart and Duane Swierczynski, Harbinger Wars represents the first big crossover event of the relaunch of the Valiant Universe.  The series taps into both Harbinger and Bloodshot and events in the story overlap the individual series.  The series also featured a tie-in downloadable game called Harbinger Wars:  Battle for Las Vegas, and the issues were also collected as part of Harbinger Wars—Deluxe Edition.

Valiant’s relaunch has been an interesting event to watch.  When Valiant exploded in the early ’90s and then imploded, I didn’t know if it would be back.  I wasn’t a big reader of the company at the time, but between then and the relaunch had read a number of issues.   With last year’s Summer of Valiant reintroducing the world and the characters with new backgrounds and generally tighter writing and looked forward to seeing what would be done with a limited series.

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Harbinger Wars #3

For the most part, I enjoyed the Harbinger Wars, but I don’t know if it holds together as a stand-alone story.  Both Marvel and DC’s biggest problem is that they constantly create multi-series storylines that instead of bringing readers in, end up distancing them.  The reason I believe is that series used to be an event…something to look forward to.  Now I look for the calm between the storms.  I hope that Valiant doesn’t follow this trend and continues to tell solid stories.

DC and Marvel often tell stories that cannot be read without reading the corresponding titles.  Harbinger Wars suffers a bit from this.  When I read Secret Wars as a kid, I could understand what was going on and it encouraged me to read other comics.  I don’t know that I’d understand what was happening in Harbinger Wars without having read Bloodshot and Harbinger.  There are a ton of characters, a ton of groups, and very little exposition within the comic to explain them.  I enjoy the comic, but I am also a reader of the Valiant Universe…and as someone who reads the Valiant Universe, I sometimes struggled with what was going on in the comic.  I think these big event comics need to be more reader friendly since they are often the things that people pick-up as an introduction…if a reader cannot understand them, there is little chance of keeping them.

Harbinger Wars is a must for Valiant readers, but I don’t recommend just picking up as a jump on point.  The new Valiant Universe is pretty young, and you should be able to catch up easily before you tackle this volume.  The series has ramifications on both Bloodshot and Harbinger so make sure you do sometime make the effort to check it out.

Related Links:

Harbinger 3:  Harbinger Wars

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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