Friday, January 30, 2015
Harbinger #33 (Classic Valiant)
The superpowered Harbinger Foundation B-Team students are driving to New York, but when they go through a small country town, they find it overrun by a psychotic villain who's as powerful as he is insane, and won't stop until he absorbs the necromantic energy of everyone in the area...
Oh look, another good issue of Harbinger! Well, it technically is, anyway, mainly due to the fact that for the most part, it has nothing to do with Harbinger. This issue focuses entirely on the B-Team battling guest villain Doctor Eclipse in a small rural town, and in certain respects, this is a poor decision. Not only is it annoying that this is an issue-long fight scene, but it gets across zero character, not even for Faith, who has a massive turning point this issue. Her decision is so brief and rushed that it has no impact!
Onto the positives, we have Doctor Eclipse! He's a great villain here, and carries the story very well! His insane dialogue is hilarious, with lines like "Hey, a flying fat girl! Cool! I've never eaten one of those!", "Ooo, you've set me on fire, big deal. That trick never works.", and other such golden lines! Eclipse was never a developed villain in any of his appearances in various Valiant comics, but I've always found him to be such an amusing antagonist, with great visuals, and his hilariously wacko personality.
Aside from Eclipse, the writing this issue is pretty mediocre, though I loved the nod to Eclipse's time in The Second Life of Doctor Mirage! The second one bugged me though. It's not that the reference was forced, or even unsubtle but it's unnecessary, as a nod was already made. You can have one, or the other, but not both
The art here is pretty good. I especially like the school scene with Eclipse, where he draws his origin on a chalkboard for the students' benefit. The cover is decent too, with the pitch black background actually being effective, and decent character poses.
I hesitate to recommend this issue. It's not very good, but its villain is worth every penny!...