How does everyone feel about this new bad guy Alexander Solomon? I’m still a little on the fence myself. Probably just because I’m SO gosh darn ready for some new Harada vs. Stanchek action; and introducing a new antagonist is prolonging the fated showdown.
In Harbinger Renegade #4, Rafer Roberts provides us with a little more insight into Solomon with a six page mini-origin detailing his first meeting with Toyo Harada, the pragmatic and enigmatic tyrant himself. We get a closer look at Solomon’s power set, which is rooted in an ability to view different possible futures, allowing him to plan accordingly to realize a favorable outcome. This gives us a better idea of his threat level, and you know, I’m fine with some Paul Atreides of Dune shenanigans. Alright Rafer, you’ve got my attention.
So, what’s up with Peter Stanchek? I was expecting him to be a bit more god-like after spending so long detoxing in outer space and growing Jesus hair. The first panel he is present for in this issue instead has him being manhandled by an enemy psiot; trapping him in a fantasy within his own mind. Not exactly the Peter we saw in Harbinger Omegas now is it? This is probably why Rafer Roberts is being paid to write comic books and I am not. From a storytelling perspective, it probably wouldn’t be very exciting if Peter could just obliterate anything in his path. That, and one of the biggest draws to Peter (for me) is how flawed he is. Don’t worry though. You’ll still get to see him kick some ass omega level psiot style before issue’s end.
Overall, Roberts executes a satisfactory level of command over the characters. Faith, Kris, Peter, and Toyo work well in general. Torque, in particular, brought a smile to my face with a noble and heroic moment; rare for him, of course. The plot direction still seems to be on somewhat shaky ground, interesting enough but not approaching the concise structure that Dysart’s Harbinger and Imperium runs shared, or even the more recent work Van Lente has been doing on Generation Zero. While it might (so far) be the weakest of the modern Harbinger continuity, Harbinger Renegade is still a worthy addition.
I don’t have a lot to say about Darick Robertson’s pencils in this issue. They are fine. The art fits in with the Valiant house style without being cookie-cutter. Although, I’m not a huge fan of Kris’ new design in this series. Well, mainly just her haircut, I guess. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it just irks me. I accept the likelihood that literally no one else feels this way. Reber’s colors are, as always, an asset to the book. His work on lighting and shadows adds a nice depth to the art and the wide range of color he uses keeps the book looking dynamic. I was particularly fond of the vivid pink shirt he put Solomon in during the mostly dull brown flashback sequence.
If you are a fan of Dysart’s Harbinger and Imperium or Van Lente’s Generation Zero then you absolutely have to read this book. You probably already are. If you are a Valiant fan looking to expand your pull list, Harbinger Renegade is definitely worth a look, but is not necessarily required reading. If you are neither of those, go pick up Dysart’s run and we can talk again when you finish that.
- Peter Stanchek is back and the Renegades are together again!
- Alexander Solomon is becoming more interesting with every issue
- Ya’ll got anymore of them Harada vs. Stanchek?
- Could benefit from a more concise plot direction