After his first arc finished by firmly establishing the rise of the hero, the ruthlessness of the villain, and the introduction of several major supporting characters, Dysart’s second story-line in Harbinger, Rise of the Renegades, is coming to a close with more than just a bang.
Dysart has carefully introduced the audience to his characters. Revealing just enough to make them compelling and real yet leaving plenty of room for characterization. You know the characters, you just don’t know the characters. After the seemingly benevolent Toyo Harada killed his best friend to keep him in line and part of his army of superhumans, escaped mental patient and drug addicted drifter Pete Stanchek decides to fight back. In order to do so he needs an army as well.
Where as Harada, a super powerful psiot himself has a legion of loyal (and/or coerced) Harbingers at his beck and call to hunt down Stanchek, Pete decides to recruit where he can, and begins to gather psiots Harada deemed unusable or too damaged to be worth training.
Past issues of Harbinger introduced us to Zephyr, an overweight teenage girl with a childlike passion for sci-fi shows and an overwhelming belief she can fly, Flamingo, an abused pyromaniac stripper, and Torque, a crippled, bed-ridden teen with a crazy imagination. Dysart makes you feel one way for a character when they first appear, and then true to life, reveals the reasons for their dysfunctions and mental baggage. He took Pete Stanchek, showed him mind-wiping pharmacists for pills to suppress his powers and keep his fellow asylum escapee Joe doped up, and then turned him into a revolutionary underdog you can’t help but root for… even though you hated him the first two issues.
Amidst this issue’s action of Harada’s competitor in Harbinger-collecting Project Rising Spirit (see issues of Bloodshot for more details) catching up to Pete and his Renegades, we get a glimpse into Zephyr’s life as she lays unconscious from a mental assault. Her severely upbeat attitude despite being friendless, overweight, and having a penchant for Firefly and Star Wars are shown in a new light here. First appearing as almost silly and childlike, you see in the opening pages how this is less a character flaw and more psychological damage.
Pere Perez’s art is crisp and dynamic, and matches up nicely with the artists who have worked on the book before. His action scenes look promising (if you’re wondering why Pete is so pissed at Tull, the PRS agent in the helicopter, he has hunted Stanchek mercilessly from the get go, despite various mindwipes by Pete) and look to do justice to the upcoming epic battle.
HARBINGER #9 – ON SALE FEBRUARY 20th!
Written by JOSHUA DYSART
Art by PERE PEREZ
Cover by MICO SUAYAN (DEC121263)
Variant Cover by KHARI EVANS (DEC121264)