Friday, January 30, 2015
Harbinger #32 (Classic Valiant)
At the Harbinger Foundation school for superpowered teenagers, visiting mentor Gilad Abrams gives Faith new purpose to find out the mystery behind her forgotten past, and the whereabouts of her parents. Meanwhile, Foundation Eggbreaker (supersoldier) Blast has been dating student Natalie 'Stunner' Toynbee under false pretenses, claiming that he'll ensure she gets Eggbreaker status. She finds out the deception soon when another student steps in to take Blast to for his actions, and she swears vengeance...
This is more of a character-centric issue of Harbinger, and doesn't have all that big a plot. It does an ok job at focusing on Stunner, but it doesn't develop her enough, and what's worse is that nothing here is ever followed up on again. Stunner did almost nothing prior to this point, and literally never appears again.
Blast is just an annoyingly unlikeable jerk. The guy's got connections though, I must admit, because I could've sworn he died in Issue #25! As with Weasel's reappearance in Issue #26, Blast is another character we didn't see die onscreen in the Eggbreakers' final battle with Peter Stanchek, but there's no way he survived, in any way. Even if he was only knocked out, he would've been crushed to death by the collapsing building.
Gilad here is completely pointless, and while he does inspire Faith to find her parents, the scene is very confusing, and only makes sense if Gilad's really against the Harbinger Foundation, which he isn't. On that note, how does he not know the Harbinger Foundation is evil? The fact that he doesn't paints him as incredibly stupid!
Gilad is not only stupid in this issue, but also very unlikeable, given what happened to Stronghold and Livewire, which is tangentially his fault! At one point here, he says "This is my fault. I failed them." No shit, jackass! Rather than make me feel sympathetic for this character's mistakes, this line just makes me dislike him, because he did fail his friends, irrevocably!
The remaining characters here are underused and underdeveloped, save for Butch, who gets a couple of decent moments.
The writing in this issue is sometimes ok, but there's some terrible dialogue, like after Butch says "This guy's a lying leaze, Mira! He's been promising Stunner that he's gonna make her an Eggbreaker", Ms. Kabuto replies to Blast with "Is that true? You know you don't have the authority to choose who's in our elite paramilitary group!". I don't know how dialogue like that got past the editing stage!
One last thing to talk about is a bit of dialogue I find so amusing! Butch calms Natalie down from her rampage by telling her how amazing he thinks she is, and says "You don't need help from a creep like him to get a shot at being an Eggbreaker. You'll be one someday. A damn good one.". And then she'll get violently killed by the HARD Corps.
The art here is decent, and I like the effects for Stunner's powers. The cover is ok, but has an annoying lack of background.
This issue of Harbinger is tolerable, but not worth your time...