For the second month in a row, none of the Renegades have shown up in their own book. Which is strange, since last issue not only gave the final resolution to what happened to the Generation Zero kids, but set Project Ris… Omen’s H.A.R.D.Corps to go after Solomon, who is manipulating the Renegades for his own plans. Clearly, this book is setting up the second Harbinger War. But this issue doesn’t do the expected.
Instead, we jump back to nearly a millennium ago to when a secret order of knights is given the job to hunt down a demon they call The Stormbringer, but whom longtime Valiant readers know as The Alpha from Unity. While The Alpha kept a low profile as part of Unity, it appears that wasn’t always the case.
Rafer Roberts (Rai, 4001 A.D., Plastic Farm) tells the story of The Stormbringer as a crusader tale, told through the eyes of a member of a secret order of knights, The Brotherhood of Cuth, one Gerard of Catalonia. Gerard seems to be the Brotherhood’s go to guy for all the impossible tasks. And Roberts sets this one to be more impossible than most. The monster has set himself up as the ruler of Antioch and Broken away from the Byzantine Empire. Gerard’s tasks is to end the threat of the seemingly demonic being and restore order.
In many ways, this story parallels last issue’s take down of Generation Zero. We have a mercenary force brought in to end the threat of a dangerous psiot, who has broken away a piece of an empire. If the city is restored to the empire all is well and good, but they are really focused on ending the threat, no matter how many people get killed in the action.
Juan Jose Ryp’s (Clone, Lady Death, Generation Zero) art continues to knock it out of the park in this issue. He has the style and detail work of an earlier generation, but he gives it a more modern touch that readers can’t help but love. Andrew Dalhouse’s (Irredeemable, Titans, Rai) colors elevate the book and add those touches that make the art in it a classic.
How this story plays out into the coming war between the Renegades, the psiots under Solomon, and Omen’s H.A.R.D.Corps will be interesting to see. It looks like they are clearing the game board of any unnecessary pieces in order to launch the second Harbinger War. It will be interesting to see who is going to make it to the start of the war. If anything, last issue proved that Roberts can be brutal in his housecleaning.
Writer: Rafer Roberts
Penciller: Juan Jose Ryp
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Letters: Simon Bowland