Harbinger #22 is another Valiant winner. Peter takes his Renegades out to face Harada. Thanks to @x, he really doesn’t have any choice, which makes everyone, reader and team alike, wonder if they’re really ready for this battle.
This is also the issue in which Harada, who normally keeps himself under control, loses it. That contrast makes him more frightening than usual as it gives him that much more reason to come after Peter and his people. Dysart also takes the chance to demonstrate just why it is that Harada keeps so many powerful people under his control: Not only is he powerful himself, he knows how to give a great motivational speech. Peter shows himself a more complex figure here as well. Whatever he’s fighting for, he is definitely willing to make some questionable calls in the battle, and he references previous less-than-admirable moments.
One of Valiant’s greatest strengths lies in its strong, character-driven work, and Dysart and Clayton continue that tradition here. Clayton’s work focuses on developing the characters as individuals, giving them different body types and body language, showing visually how much each has invested in the fight, and how much they stand to lose if (when) things go wrong. The art also serves to underscore Harada’s contradictory nature: He does seem to believe what he is saying; he’s also giving his speech about peace to an extremely well-prepared army.
And the Death of a Renegade? We don’t know for sure who will die, not yet, but Dysart’s already working on the tears; there are at least two, probably three, people who are going to have their lives changed by this, no matter who dies.
Writer: Joshua Dysart
Artist: Clayton Henry
Color: Brian Reber
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Cover Artist: Michael Walsh, Zach Montoya, Barry Kitson