Review of Harbinger, Vol. 1: Omega Rising
Review of Harbinger, Vol. 2: Renegades
The adventures of Peter Stanchek, now known by his new title as Sting, and the other Renegades continues into the events of the huge crossover event, Harbinger Wars. Volume 3 of Harbinger serves, not only to continue their story and beef up their personal viewpoint, but also to introduce the parallel storytelling of the first Harbinger War in 1969. Collected in Harbinger, Vol. 3 are issues #11-14, as well as a #0 issue used solely to set the stage for said parallel storyline, with Toyo Harada at the helm.
The #0 issue is a gripping tale of how Harada’s powers manifested themselves to him during the bombing of Hiroshima in WWII, and how they grew throughout its aftermath. It itself parallels the ‘now’, which appears to be a period of time just before the Harbinger Foundation reaches out to Peter Stanchek. This is perhaps one of the best #0 issues I’ve ever read, and it flows extremely well into the events of Harbinger Wars.
We start where we left off with the characters at the end of Vol. 2 (or issue #10). They’re on the run, being rebellious, living it up, starting bar fights, robbing banks and getting away with it via telepathy. Faith, resident idealistwith the ability to fly, just about has enough with the Renegades at this point. She freaks out on them, encouraging them to do something better. Just prior, Peter has a vision from the powerful and unreadable Bleeding Monk in which he must save a group of psiot children on the run from the P.R.S. (Project Rising Spirit). So, the team chooses to go and help them out in Las Vegas. Several other parties, either introduced in Harbinger Wars, or in the Bloodshot crossover, also head to Las Vegas for their own reasons. A large scale fight between 5 opposing teams begins.
Project Rising Spirit has been giving Toyo Harada and his company trouble for a very long time. Much of Harbinger, Vol. 3 is dedicated to telling Harada’s back story, and how he and P.R.S. have fought in a Harbinger War in the past. Harada’s backstory is truly one of interest to me, but at the same time the creators of the comic went out of their way here to make this as gruesome as can be. That wasn’t cool. Several times it was too far. But as a historical background for the series, it grounds itself well into the canon.
This is pretty much the first time The Renegades have fought together as a team. And as such, it’s the best volume yet. Although it often retread what the banner series, Harbinger Wars, was doing, it spun it in their own perspective, ofetn adding far more content than we knew we needed. If one were a fan of just Harbinger and not Bloodshot, you could easily read this and feel as though you’ve consumed a full story, despite only being a portion of it. The writers do an excellent job of making this a stand-alone piece. But you will get more out of it if you also read the other series.
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