Harbinger Renegade #1
Writer: Rafer Roberts
Artist(s): Raúl Allén, Juan José Ryp, & Darick Robertson
Colorist(s): Frankie D’Armata & Diego Rodriguez
Cover: Darick Robertson, Richard Clark, & Diego Rodriguez
Its been some time since the previous Harbinger series ended so Rafer Roberts sets you up with a fantastic recap to get you acclimated and settled in nicely with Harbinger Renegades. This is not a “feel good” superhero team book but more of a gritty and intense adrenaline rush of the darker side of heroism. This is the story of a team that ultimately failed in their quest to do good and the consequences were heavy.
Roberts’ opening is a great mix of action, suspense, and mystery that leaves you wanting more. The brief conflict between Harada and Solomon is pretty much a game of chess but with explosions and dead bodies. Getting over on Harada isn’t something that is easily accomplished so this makes Solomon the most interesting man in this issue so far. The rest of the is a series of moments that introduce the team to readers. Roberts delivers some strong character moments and gives the cast a welcomed amount of depth while catching us up. Making this issue very new reader friendly and still worth the time for those already familiar with these characters by not retreading too much of the past. Roberts is all about moving things forward here and I’m all for it.
There are several artists on here but each handles a specific part of the story so it’s not a back and forth and shifting of styles from page to page. The recap is a series of images by Raúl Allén highlighting specific parts of the narrative. Letterer, Patricia Martin, also adds to this part and helps to make this more than just a boring recap. For the Prologue we getake Juan José Ryp who gives this short sequence a really nice kick along with Frankie D’Armata. The amount of detail and character body language nail the tense moments up to the attack and Solomon’s facial expressions are perfect. He couldn’t care less and is several steps ahead of his enemies. The main story by series artist Darick Robertson and Diego Rodriguez has just as much powerful visual storytelling and let’s you know you’ll be in good hands here. From the detail and gore in the exploding face panel to the many character moments that take place this is yet another title from Valiant that looks as good as it reads.
As far as first issues go this one is damn near perfect. Don’t know what a Psiot is? Roberts has you covered. Don’t know much about Harada? He’s got you covered on that too. Not too sure who the Renegades are? Well if this is any indication of the quality of storytelling that we’re in store for then you’ll definitely want to find out!