The lessons of Harbinger Renegade so far is, when one would be terrorist dictator disappears, there is always someone to take his place. Toyo Harada hasn’t been seen in any of the Valiant titles since the end of Imperium. Now, someone else is developing a secret network of psiots to revolutionize the world. The world’s only hope is the Renegades. You might feel safer if the Renegades’ members were so broken.
If you aren’t following Valiant (and you should be), psiots are people with mentals powers that allow them to do many things. Sometimes these are expressed physically like Torque, whose ability is expressed as physical invulnerability. Many are variations of mental power like telekinesis and telepathy. Most of the people who are psiots only have the latent potential to activate these powers. Think of mutants, and Harada was their Magneto (if Magneto was not only a revolutionary leader, but a competent business executive, and president of his own nation).
With Harada gone, a former protegé, Alexander Solomon is working to not only reproduce the mechanical means Harada had of activating psiots’ talents, but take over as their leader. And he is actively working to side line the only real threat to his plan, the Renegades.
The Renegades should be an effective team, but many of them were broken in the event known in the Valiant universe as the Harbinger Wars. So not only does Faith have to get the band back together, they have to relearn how to work together. The real question is can they pull it all together now that they have entered into Solomon’s trap and hat will be the costs this time.
Rafer Roberts (4001 AD, Faith, Bloodshot) is doing a great job of keeping all of these elements together while propelling the story forward. He has a good balance of actions and story telling. However, he does seem to rely on monologues from key characters to dump a lot of information on the reader. With all the experience he’s had with the Valiant characters he should be able to weave the background in more deftly.
Darick Robertson (Wolverine, Transmetropolitan) and Richard Clark (Creepy, Batman: Arkham Unhinged) handle the art of the book very well. The composition and flow of their pages really show their skills. There is real sense of classic comic art in their pages.
However, their style is undercut by the excellent work that Juan Jose Ryp (Britannia) displays in his pages that feature the past foreshadowing the present. His skills are put to work here and his style seems so much cleaner than Robertson and Clark. If it wasn’t for his art, I’d argue that these past prologues aren’t needed in the book.
I really can’t wait to see how Roberts is going to pull this all together.
Writer: Rafer Roberts
Art: Darick Robertson, Richard Clark
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment