As the H.A.R.D. Corps continue their murderous rampage against psiot cells, the two most powerful groups of super-powered people must decide how they will respond. Will they join together or will they turn on each other? Will they lie low or will they take on the H.A.R.D. Corps?
The way that Rafer Roberts (Plastic Farm) and Darick Robertson (Transmetropolitan) have set up all the factions is both clever and compelling. The Renegades are still reeling and re-grouping both from the slaughter of Generation Zero and from their own kick in the teeth last issue. They are holed up in one of Toyo Harada’s old — and presumably still secret — safe houses. They are slowly trying to recruit new members and figure out what their next move should be.
Under the direction of Omen, H.A.R.D. Corps has become more direct and vicious in taking out psiots (think of them as the Valiant universe’s mutants) than Project Rising Spirit ever was. Armed with anti-psiot weaponry, they continue to increase their tempo in killing psiots wherever they can be found.
Harada was devious and treacherous, but compared to Solomon, he was easy to deal with Solomon continues to manipulate and influence all sides of the fight, even when they are going up against his forces. It is hard to see what his endgame is. With Harada, you knew that he wanted some territory where all (useful) psiots could be safe, if under his control. Solomon isn’t even offering that.
The Renegades best road to survival right now would be to lie low and keep on recruiting new members, but is looks like they are being manipulated to walking directly into the line of fire. It is clear that Kris is having a hard time trying to find the line they should walk. Why else would she try to make amends with her parents now?
Harbinger Renegades is clearly the title that is most developing the events that will lead to next year’s Harbinger War 2. This series remains at the center of the Valiant universe. You really do need to understand the universe’s continuity to understand the undercurrents of what is going on and what is feeding some of the important character’s decisions. But despite that, I find it much more compelling than the last couple “big events” from DC and especially Marvel.
If you are following any Valiant titles, you really do need to be reading this series. If you aren’t reading Valiant, you need to ask yourselves why not?
Writer: Rafer Roberts
Penciler: Darick Robertson
Inker: Tom Palmer
Colors: Diego Rodriguez
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment