With the truth of Harada’s intentions finally revealed to Peter, the action is cranked up past ten! His best friend is now dead at the hands of his “benefactor,” and Peter intends to make sure Harada pays with his life, as will anyone else who gets in his way. This is what Dysart has been building up to with this arc, and the payoff has been well worth it. This is an action packed and brutal issue that lets us see what Peter is capable of when he’s angry and his back is against the wall. Dysart has made sure that Peter has had everything that has mattered in his life taken away by a violent act, and it’s these events that have helped to shape his character. What’s also a compliment to the writing is that Peter is a hard character to actually like, but it’s hard to dislike him as well. He’s one of those characters that straddles the line of good and evil, but Dysart has also given him a solid build, making him less of a protagonist cliche in this story. We are also treated to some very good character building for some of the secondary characters that has been evident since their introductions (or reintroduction).
We get a slightly different art team in this issue with the trio of Khari Evans, Matthew Clark, and Jim Muniz. Things start off fantastic as Peter and Hidden Moon battle it out. As the story progressed there were times when the artwork lost the dark and serious tone the dialog was attempting to show. This doesn’t mean the artwork was bad, just that the particular style didn’t flow well with what came before it in the previous pages. This back and forth was a bit annoying as the story progressed, and hopefully we get back to what we’ve been seeing in the previous issues again.
Harbinger has definitely been a surprise hit from the Valiant stable, and since we’re beginning to see small connections between the various titles, it’s evident that more excitement is in store for the readers. Dysart has given us a character in Peter that may not be likeable (yet), but has written a story so good that you’ll want to get on board for the journey.