Friday, January 9, 2015
Harbinger #21 (Classic Valiant)
Superhuman Harbinger Renegade Peter Stanchek has been diagnosed with Mononucleosis, and is left bedridden. However, after a nightmare of his abusive father, he leaves his apartment to got back to his hometown, where he plans on confronting his father once and for all. He soon realizes that the old man is in critical condition in the hospital, so Pete decides to enter his father's mind before he dies...
This is a character-centric issue for Pete, at the expense of all other characters, who barely appear. The writing isn't terrible, but this story is pretty rushed, and the elements of Pete's harsh family come pretty out of left field, as we've learnt next to nothing about Pete's family life over the course of the series.
The story ends abruptly, on a note that's akin to Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, and it quotes Shakespeare in an effort to try and sound smarter than it actually is.
Pete suffering from Mononucleosis is completely pointless. It adds nothing to his character, and while it's left him groggy in the last few issues, it's never a problem here, the issue that actually reveals he has the condition. The Mono provides no trouble for Peter as he goes through the issue's story. Worst of all, it's never mentioned again past his issue!
One really stupid scene when Peter leaves to go to his parent's house. He's asked what he's doing by Kris, who had earlier forced him into bed. Peter tells her that he's going out somewhere, despite his condition, and the very late time of night, and Kris lets him go!
The art here is good, and the cover is decent and effectively simplistic, although the regular art doesn't really mesh with the filtered background. The same goes for scenes within the issue with that as a background.
While it is at least appreciated that Pete gets a bit of character here, it's not enough, and it's far too late for anything like that, since his part in the series is almost over...