Friday, January 30, 2015
The H.A.R.D. Corps #13 (Classic Valiant)
Flatline, a member of superpowered paramilitary The HARD Corps, has been captured while investigating a suspicious factory, and it's up to the rest of the team to rescue him, and put a stop to this installation before its workers can brainwash hundreds...
This is one of the best, and most important issues of The HARD Corps, but for reasons I'll skirt around explaining, because of spoilers.
The story here is very good! The Harbinger Foundation's plan is a neat one (and one that hilariously screws with the continuity of future issues of Harbinger), and while it isn't quite used to the full effect it could have been, it's still very good.
There is one small plot hole in this story-Why doesn't Safeguard automatically put Flatline on Invulnerability once he was knocked out and captured? What's even worse is that the writers could have given this an explanation that would effectively foreshadow what was to come.
The characters here are very good, especially Superstar, who gets one of his best moments here.
The events here are genuinely devastating, and have real impact. It's not just a pointless shock moment to boost sales and never be mentioned again (like Harbinger was wont to do), but rather the series has been leading up to this for several issues, and this is a perfect payoff. Not only that, but more story is built from this development in a few different ways!
The art here is very good, but the cover is mixed. On one hand, it's quite stylish and symbolic. On the other hand, fucking SPOILERS! Although to be fair, the bleeding insignia could suggest anything...unlike the advertising for this issue, which blatantly spelled it out!
Other Valiant series Harbinger frequently tried to do what this issue did, and always failed, while The HARD Corps still stands as strong reading today...