It’s a new jumping on point for Harbinger, but should you take the plunge?
After the events of the Harbinger Wars, Peter and his Renegades head to California in desperate need of a vacation from the struggles and trials of their first few weeks together.
It’s an old-fashioned vacation issue, where everyone winds down after a big story. Most of the issue takes a laid back and humorous path as Peter and Faith go flying over LA, Torque goes to a metal gig and Kris and Charlene head to an out of town rave. This means there’s a lot of space and time in the dialogue for banter amongst the group and for reflective character moments. However, there is always a sense of uneasiness about it all that leads to an excellent cliffhanger ending that will definitely have you coming back for more.
This issue is reminiscent of Chris Claremont’s X-Men and early New Mutants, especially with Barry Kitson’s traditional superhero art style. It’s Kitson’s second issue (he also drew issue #7) and he shows once again that he’s a great superhero comics artist. His style works perfectly for this story. There are two inkers working over his pencils, and based purely on knowledge of their styles (no page refs available for their work in this issue), Pennington’s work is the most interesting. He lends a scratchier and subtler feel to the art which really does kick it up a level.
Harbinger #15 feels like how superhero comics used to feel. Like Marvel before the widescreen movie, writing-for-the-trade style that’s so prevalent at the Big Two now. To some that could mean it’s out of date, but to others yearning for that type of thing there’s a lot to enjoy here. If you’re looking for a straightforward, traditional superhero comic that feels both comfortable and fresh, then go ahead and dive right in.
Joshua Dysart (W), Barry Kitson (A), Stefano Gaudiano, Mark Pennington (I), Valiant, $3.99, August 14, 2013