The new Valiant universe is having it’s premier crossover this April and it looks like a doozy. Harbinger Wars is co-written by Joshua Dysart and Duane Swierczynski, writers of Harbinger and Bloodshot, respectively. Nothing is better for a crossover event than having the writers of the books it is crossing over between write the main story.
Now-a-days crossovers tend to make collectors wince a bit, but Harbinger Wars seems to have the makings of a good one. Its short (4 issues in the main mini series), it only affects the titles it’s connected to (4 issues each of Bloodshot and Harbinger), it evolved organically out of two story-lines building in both titles, and the creative team behind it has a vested interest in its success.
Here’s the checklist:
Dysart and Swierczynski have done a more than admirable job on Harbinger and Bloodshot (if you have no idea what’s been going on in those books and are thinking of getting Harbinger Wars, check out the following links to past reviews on those titles Harbinger/Bloodshot reviews) and collaborating on Harbinger Wars can only be a smart move. Both have demonstrated great storytelling styles and as different as these two titles have been thematically, the lead up to Harbinger Wars has been weaving in and out of both titles with subtlety.
And now the Claytons! Clayton Henry, a Valiant “veteran,” (he was the initial artist on Archer and Armstrong) brings his tight, clean pencils to Harbinger Wars and the preview pages show that he can capture the serious drama and all-out action that is setting the tone for the mini. In what I hope is a dream sequence, Henry shows Bloodshot taking out Pete Stanchek’s Renegades with apparent ease. Henry constantly puts his best foot forward when it comes to storytelling, and Harbinger Wars seems to be the next step in his evolution as an artist. Speaking of which:
When I first heard Crain was the second Clayton on the art I was like, “wow.. they’re going to make this book really dark and gritty.” Crain’s previous work on books like X-Force, Carnage and Ghost Rider was very heavy on the blacks and grays, and at some points very murky; especially in X-Force, which had scenes of groups of techno-organic zombies running around, fighting.. well other groups of dark-clad slightly glowing people… sometimes you couldn’t tell who was who.
But the preview art blew me away! It was like Crain found a whole new color palette. His art is bright and sleek, his color use is insane when it comes to energy patterns and the overall style looks very manga-esque. His switch in style shows he is an artist who can adapt his style to fit the story he’s telling, a skill which can be handy in a field with so many different sub-genres.
Valiant constantly adding to their talent pool and the production value of their books makes them a force to be reckoned with. Their first crossover looks promising and I hope it leads to more, which leads me to a thought that has been nagging me since the Valiant universe’s re-inception: Can you have a Unity miniseries without Solar and Magnus? Hmmm……..
ON SALE – 5/1/13 (FOC – 4/8/13)