Friday, January 30, 2015

The H.A.R.D. Corps #14 and #15 (Classic Valiant)

Following the devastating events of last issue, the HARD Corps, a superpowered paramilitary team, have a bit of downtime before they're flung into their next mission, where they have to investigate Star Step, a scientific R&D department of the malevolent Harbinger Foundation. Unfortunately, waiting for them is young technological genius Earl Simkus, who's developed a way of blocking the HARD Corps' powers, which proves dangerous when the Star Squad attacks the team...

This two-parter of The HARD Corps is decent, and has not only some neat new villains, but an extremely dangerous new threat against the team.

The plot here is well-written, and we get some character development in a few places. One part of the story doesn't make much sense though, and that's why Flatline is concerned about the group killing the Star Squad, as the HARD Corps kill bad guys in combat/self-defense all the time, Flatline included!

This story introduces Earl Simkus. He's not likeable, but certainly readable. He's an unlikeable dick who you enjoy reading, and he has some depth to him too, though a couple of his lines are a bit clumsily written, such as one at the end of his first scene.

One last thing to note about the story is an important subplot concerning Heydrich. I won't say what it is, because of spoilers. Let's just say that it concerns the events of Issue #13, and blackmail. It's a very intriguing subplot, but after a few scenes of setup, it's never followed up on ever again! What happened was this subplot's conclusion was made a part of the crappy Secrets of the Valiant Universe comic, which showcased less secrets and more things we already knew, and in the case of HARD Corps, it actually removed an extremely important ongoing plot thread from the series just to stick in in another comic! Making this worse is not only the abrupt conclusion given to the story in Secrets, despite the major ramifications it should have in the series, but also the crappy artwork, which doubly insures that you're not gonna bother reading this 'supplemental material' when reading through the series.

The art here is quite decent. The covers aren't very good though. Issue #14's is ok, but the lack of background is annoying. The foreground stuff of #15's cover is good, but I wish the background was detailed. It wouldn't even take much work, as all that's needed is a jail cell wall! That fact makes the cover's lack of background seem even lazier!

This is another highly enjoyable story of The HARD Corps, and introduces an important new character into the mix...

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