Sunday, June 25, 2017
Home  >  Features  >  HARBINGER WARS #4: A MightyVille Review

B.J. Morgan read the explosive finale to Valiant Entertainment's first crossover and wants to fill you in on the details. If in war there are no winners, only losers, where does that leave Bloodshot and the Harbinger Renegades in Harbinger Wars #4? Let us know, B.J.!

 

B.J. Morgan read the explosive finale to Valiant Entertainment's first crossover and wants to fill you in on the details. If in war there are no winners, only losers, where does that leave Bloodshot and the Harbinger Renegades? Let us know, B.J.!

 

Harbinger Wars finishes the first crossover event for the renewed Valiant Comics in decent fashion. Building off the tense set-up of the last issue, this final issue offers plenty of action and a small slice of resolution.
 
For the uninitiated, this miniseries follows the exploits of two groups of "Psiot" children. In a recent battle at a Project Rising Spirit facility, Bloodshot freed these young Psiots from imprisonment. One group split away from the others, while the other group sticks with Bloodshot. The group that got away, calling themselves Generation Zero, made their way to Las Vegas where they have taken over the Bellagio. Cue half of the Valiant Comics universe converging on this point.
 
I could tell from just the first couple of pages that a lot was going to be crammed into the last few pages of this miniseries. The pacing is breakneck and frenetic, lending a healthy dose of immediacy to this issue. Fans who have been turned off by the glacial slog of recent crossovers from Marvel and DC will find the pace of Harbinger Wars to be both jarring and welcoming. No reader can accuse Harbinger Wars of having nothing happen. Lots of stuff happens between the covers.

 


 
And … that is kind of a problem. Sure, slowly paced crossovers like Age of Ultron are numbing for readers, but the opposite end of the spectrum can be just an unsatisfying. There are lots of moving pieces in this issue. LOTS! H.A.R.D. Corps, Bloodshot, the Renegades from Harbinger, and Toyo Harada and his crew of Eggbreakers. Because of the bedlam surrounding the issue, there have to be some natural sacrifices for screen time. The biggest sacrifice made comes in the form of Bloodshot. He has played such a vital role thus far in the series that one would assume he sticks around for the ending.
 
By his nature, Bloodshot is kind of a punching bag that is somewhat meant to take gobs and gobs of punishment. He shows up just for a few pages only to be dispatched rather quickly and unceremoniously. In my “mental build-up” for this issue, I imagined Bloodshot playing a much larger role than he actually did. That was very disappointing to me. Harada also has very little screen time, but he is saved for the deus ex machina to bring it all to a close. That’s not terribly surprising to me because that is generally Harada’s usage. You will never hear me complain about “less Harada.”   

I won’t go so far as to say this is the most rewarding end for the miniseries, as it appears the natural conclusion for the players involved appear to be taking place in Harbinger #14 and Bloodshot #13. That’s sort of become the nature of crossovers recently. Ending events within the miniseries has become antiquated and quaint. In this, Valiant seems annoyingly more in line with its Big Two counterparts. I was hoping Valiant would buck this convention (their strong suit thus far) and that Harbinger Wars would be a more self-contained affair that would not force me to go elsewhere for my pesky desire for closure. Instead, readers get a very jam-packed issue that ends the current big battle, but goes little beyond that forgone conclusion. 

 

 

While the rushed conclusion was disappointing, one thing that hasn’t disappointed me the entire series has been the art. Clayton Henry, Pere Perez, and Mico Suayan bring their super-heroic best to this final issue. Their art is remains very clean, crisp, and stark, despite depicting a bloody battle like the one portrayed in this issue. The writing has been decent, but it is the art that helps carry this miniseries over the finish line in sterling fashion.

If you believe comic books need more free-for-alls, Harbinger Wars #4 is for you. I am not totally sold on this being a standalone story that a new reader should start with, but anyone who has read the first couple of Harbinger or Bloodshot trades will find much to enjoy with this series.

Ultimately, this miniseries is a worthy start at bringing the titles of the Valiant Universe closer together.

Harbinger Wars #4

Preview Gallery

 

Who were you rooting for? Bloodshot, the Renegades, or HaradaCorp? Let us know!

 

More Reviews on MightyVille:

STAR WARS Double-Shot Advance Review

CONAN THE BARBARIAN #18: A MightyVille Advance Review

QUANTUM & WOODY #1: A MightyVille Advance Review

 

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