Monday, January 26, 2015

Harbinger #26 (Classic Valiant)

Toyo Harada is the CEO of the Harbinger Foundation, a company devoted to training superpowered teenagers into living weapons. After a devastating confrontation with an opposing Harbinger, Harada has fallen into a seemingly irreversible coma. Former Renegade Faith Herbert has recovered from the Foundation's brainwashing of her, but still has no memory of the past few years, and as she's forcibly enrolled into a Foundation school, she faces adversity from former enemies...

We're finally in the second half of Valiant series Harbinger, where things started going in a very different direction that before. The conceit is changed-up, as is the cast, which is almost entirely new. Gone are the Renegades, and remaining is Faith 'Zephyr' Herbert.

If you're curious about what effects the cataclysmic showdown in Issue #25 had on anything, the answer is jack shit! Harada is in a coma, but aside from that, things are going smoothly for the Harbinger Foundation, as they continue brainwashing children to turn them into living weapons. I for one am glad we got a major cast shake-up, as Pete Stanchek and his Renegades had 26 issues to take Harada and his Foundation down, but they didn't even plant a scratch on them! All in all, they only managed to destroy a single large installation, which other Valiant heroes The HARD Corps do ever other day!

This issue has a lot of characters to set up, which is slightly commendable, but it's a failed effort, as we're left with over half-a-dozen characters, none of whom are developed at all, and not very many who are all that likeable! Faith gets the most focus, of course, but it's not much, and what happened to her between the events of Issue #25 and now is a baffling hole! We get a bit of explanation from her about her travels since then, but it's not much, and the continuity is a bit off.

Then there's Weasel, whose presence here is *rather* surprising, seeing as how she's dead! Along with all of Harada's other top Eggbreakers, she went up against Pete Stanchek, who proceeded to slaughter everyone! Now, we didn't see Weasel get killed, but it's a safe bet, especially considering the building was leveled only a couple of minutes later, so even if she was only out cold, she died! Putting that aside for the moment, she's an annoying character, acting all morally righteous and judgmental regarding Faith being a comrade to who she deems murderers, even though she herself is a cold-blooded killer! Worse than that, she murdered Faith's friend! Villains written like this really annoy me!

Harbinger is going in a new direction, and it's not that good, but at least this series finally has direction, which is more than I can say for the preceding 26 issues!...

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