Thursday, January 8, 2015
Harbinger #13 (Classic Valiant)
Superhuman Harbinger Faith 'Zephyr' Herbert comes across Sam, an old homeless man, on her way to work, and when she finishes up for the day, she's approached by him and asked to accompany him to his secret hideaway. Faith accepts, and the two enjoy each-other's company, but are soon set upon by a group of violent thugs. Now it's up to Zephyr to fight back the criminals and teach them a lesson about justice...
Finally, lovable Harbinger Renegade Faith 'Zephyr' Herbert gets a standalone issue, to showcase her peppy attitude and yearning for justice!...And she gets brutally beaten! One would think the misogynistic Jim Shooter were still head writer of Harbinger!
This story really only needed to be a simple tale, funny and emotional, about Faith connecting with a homeless man she meets. The presence of thugs to stop not only makes the story very cliched, but also potentially uncomfortable, given what happens to Faith.
Althroughout the issue, we get inserts of the comic Faith's been reading, and these feel a bit pointless. The artwork is better than the rest of the comic, but the writing in them isn't very good, and sometimes a little too thematic to what's going on in the real world.
Faith isn't very well written this issue. She learns lessons she should already know, and acts very out of character in the climax. Her beating the crap out of the villains fits for her character, but dangling a thug at least ten storeys over the ground by his wrist does NOT! She's Zephyr, not Mr. T's Batman! As for Faith's monologueing, it's amusing in other issues, as those occasions are better written, and a lot shorter than they are here, where she spouts a solid wall of text!
Sam isn't a well-crafted character either. He gets the start of an emotional scene, but it's immediately interrupted by action, and never brought up again. The villains of the story are just a bunch of nameless, personality-less goons, and nothing more.
The art in this issue is pretty bad. It's gritty and grimy, unappealing, and character mouths are often poorly drawn. As for the cover, it's a parody of Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. I've no idea why, as this story is neither a parody, or a comedy! It's not even all that great a cover here, thanks to the warped aspect ratio of the credits, bizarre logo placement, and the too-small title card.
This issue is a mediocre missed-opportunity that totally wastes a fan-favourite character and does practically nothing with its story...