The Renegades successfully managed to reach Harada’s stronghold and get to his computers. They also lost one of their own in the fight and Peter and Harada are still facing one another. In exposing Harada’s double-dealing and planning, they achieved their main goal. Now, they have to deal with the aftermath and the question, “Was it worth it?”
To Dysart’s credit, the question does not get answered. Those of the Renegades who are still together meet and mourn, no one is quite sure what to do next. It’s a poignant pause for a battered group of perhaps-heroes. Peter and Harada have their confrontation only to be rudely reminded that they aren’t in control of all of the factors. This is not a merry wake where everyone drinks to the dead; instead, it shows the distances as well as the ties between the group. The issue is a near perfect follow-up to the tense build up and action of the last few issues, and it wipes the slate clean.
Kris and Faith’s joint mourning shows how different the two are, even though they have fought together for so long. Torque has to face the fact that he was vulnerable during the battle, and he doesn’t know how to do this or how to reconnect with his teammates. Peter has to deal with some truths about himself, his former mentor, and his place in the world. The character work here is some of Dysart’s best.
Khari Evans ably portrays the grief and shock the Renegades feel, showing their vulnerability in their positions and relationships to one another, though occasionally Faith looks a bit lumpy. The battle between Harada and Peter is both ferocious and unexpected on several levels, and Evans is careful to distinguish between the different layers of reality and event. The cost of the battle to those other than the Renegades, bystanders that have nothing to do with the combat, is also starkly portrayed. Backgrounds are minimalist which, for this tale, is as it should be: Most of what is happening is internal; the grain of wood or the fine detail and decoration of housing are superfluous.
Harbinger is an intense read at any time and never more than in this issue.
Writer: Joshua Dysart
Artist: Khari Evans
Colorist: Brian Reber
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Cover Artist: Lewis LaRosa, Clayton Henry