Valiant’s titles have been doing a bang up job of reinventing their characters from the 90’s. Bloodshot and Harbinger have been some of the best and now the inevitable crossover, Harbinger Wars, is taking place. It all ends here but does the final issue satisfy? Read on to find out!
Exciting fast paced action
Great consistent art
HARBINGER WARS #4
Writer: Joshua Dysart
Artist: Clayton Henry, Pere Perez, Mico Suayan
Letterer: Dave Lanphear
Colorist: Brian Reber
Editor: Warren Simons
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Harbinger Wars: Bloodshot liberated a group of psiots from the Project Rising Spirit facility that ended up splitting into two groups. The first, Generation Zero, took over the Bellagio in Las Vegas while Bloodshot’s remaining group hunts them down. Now Peter Stanchek and the Renegades have joined Generation Zero and Project Rising Spirit has deployed their soldiers H.A.R.D. Corps to wipe them all out.
NO ONE WILL FEEL THESE AFTERSHOCKS
Valiant’s solicitation for this issue states “No hero in the Valiant Universe can escape its aftershocks.” That’s hard to see as, other than a few character’s deaths and Toyo Harada now possessing more psiots, not much has changed. Peter’s group is still on the run, with Faith possibly dead, and Harada’s Harbinger Foundation still in control and fighting Project Rising Spirit. After loving the previous three issues of Harbinger Wars, this issue was an incredible let down. Most everything has returned to the status quo with stories that can continue and some questions go unanswered. Bloodshot’s barely in the issue, only having a short fight with Peter before completely disappearing, leaving his fate unknown. I suppose it will be revealed in his title but considering that up until now reading the ancillary books wasn’t necessary, this was incredibly irritating. Joshua Dysart does a great job at keeping the action heavy and fast paced with events escalating throughout. Unfortunately, it all winds up being a large fight with little consequences. It seems like Dysart had so many sides of the war to show: Peter’s Renegades and Generation Zero, Bloodshot’s group and H.A.R.D. Corps (love that name), that little space was left for a resolution. Harada shows up, stopping the battle, and that’s the end. Many of the deaths were shocking and Vegas will never be the same (seeing the Welcome to Vegas sign destroyed broke my heart) but overall it was quite the let down. I was so looking forward to this issue and expected Valiant to continue with the quality that the Harbinger and Bloodshot books have brought, but was given a return to status quo and requirement to read the other titles for the full conclusion, and that is extremely upsetting.
CHANGE HARDLY NOTICEABLE
With three artists on the book, the change is barely noticeable and, unlike the story, that’s a good thing. Apart from the last page, everything gels nicely and never interrupts the reading experience. I’m not one to be bothered by drastic art changes but those that are will be pleased with this issue. Everyone does a great job and the composition and details of the battle flow perfectly. The scale of the destruction is displayed fantastically and gives the reader a great look at how violent and large this war is. It all keeps the pace flowing quickly and made for an exciting read.
BOTTOM LINE: VERY UNSATISFACTORY
This issue, for those readers familiar with the term, is like edging. There’s a great build up with no satisfying end. While the action is exciting, fast paced and drawn wonderfully the story suffers from little conclusion and change and a requirement that the reader pick up the next issues of Harbinger and Bloodshot. At the issue’s end, the Bloody Monk tells Harada “No war truly ends.” That’s certainly the case here, but in comic book mini-series, it’s nice to have one. Harbinger Wars #4 earns 2 out of 5 stars.