A Look Back at Harbinger #17 (1993)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the early 1990s and explore a part of the Valiant Comics shared universe through the Harbinger monthly series.

In my previous retro review, Sting, Kris and Shatiqua got into trouble upon seeing the traitorous Ax and his powered companions. Their encounter turned into a radically different turn of events when the Harbinger foundation’s armed personnel and Eggbreakers members arrived targeting Ax.    

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Harbinger #17, published in 1993 by Valiant Comics with a story written by Maurice Fontenot and illustrated by Howard Simpson.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins in the past – January 11, 1991 at the Woodville State Mental Institution in Pennsylvania. One of the local doctors leads two formal visitors into the secured room of one of their patients described as a “fascinating subject”. His name is Simon and the visitors turned out to be from the Harbinger foundation. They tell Simon, who is invisible, that the Harbinger foundation was established to help special people like him, help him understand and control his talents, and he will not be alone as the foundation has others like him.

In the present day of December 23, 1992, Faith is flying just above a truck which is slipping out of control along a major bridge in New Jersey. Sting is barely holding on the top of the truck. Being unable to utilize his power to control the situation, Sting instructs Faith to pull the driver out of the truck. Moments after Faith saves the truck driver, the truck itself stops but ended up hitting a vehicle.

As Flamingo uses her power to put out a fire, Kris finds Sting on the side of a car feeling terrible. Sting wonders what is wrong with him as he failed to stop the truck…

Quality

Even though he is already in a relationship with Kris, Sting focused on the blonde lady in the middle of a party.

I want to point out that this is yet another build-up type of story from Fontenot and Simpson, only this time it introduces Simon who is involved with the Harbinger foundation not as a trained Eggbreakers member but rather as a patient still relying on medical and psychological care. Through Simon, you will feel his loneliness, his trouble to fit in with society and his personal pain related to being unwanted. Through him, you will also realize that even though it has lots of resources and experts as employees, the Harbinger foundation is not the ideal replacement for Simon’s father (who rejected him in the first place). That should also remind you readers that government units also can never be your parent nor your guiding light no matter what socialists and Commies say in this age of Joe Biden and the fascist Democrats (read: the Satanic Left). Fontenot’s script here is, unsurprisingly, really strong and Simon’s introduction never felt like a throwaway piece.

Apart from Simon, Sting and his teammates got a lot more of the narrative’s spotlight this time around which is like a breath of fresh air since the previous two issues focused more on Harbinger and the Eggbreakers. Even though they are already dealing with their domestic problems, the primary characters still make efforts to solve problems and help others knowing that they would not be compensated by society.

More on character development, the team leader Sting continues to desire recruiting and helping powered young adults before the organization of Toyo Harada gets them first. This shows his arrogance and delusion as he rejects the reality that he and his team don’t really have the massive resources the Harbinger foundation has when it comes to recruitment and providing the constant needs of recruits. Furthermore, Sting does not even see his current problem (with his super power) as a hindrance at all when facing the Harbinger foundation.

Storywise, this comic book is more balanced with the spotlight on characters on the two sides of the spectrum with Simon being symbolically caught in the middle of the conflict. This is really solid storytelling.

Conclusion

Something’s wrong with Sting.

I like Harbinger #17 (1993) very much. What it lacks in spectacle, it bounces back big time with character development, deep dramatics and introducing a new character who gets connected with both Sting’s team and the Harbinger foundation. This story obviously keep on building up something for a future conflict between the two forces and already I am eager to find out what will happen in the next issue.

Overall, Harbinger #17 (1993) is highly recommended!

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

A Look Back at What If #47 (1993)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1990s arts and culture enthusiasts, Marvel Comics fans and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the year 1993 and explore a part of Marvel Comics’ universe through the reimagined tales emphasized in the What If monthly series.

Back in 2021, I reviewed What If #46 (1993) which told a compelling story about division between the mutants, the clash of beliefs between Professor X and Cable, and how terrorism affects everyone. The comic book was also a mesmerizing portrayal of how the X-Men would have organized themselves without Charles Xavier, Jean Grey and Cyclops.

Considering all the chaos that happened in What If #46 (1993), the time was just right for Magneto – the X-Men’s most dangerous enemy of all time – to come in and make an impact not only on mutants but on the world.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at What If #47, published in 1993 by Marvel Comics with a story written by Kurt Busiek and drawn by Tod Smith.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Magneto leading a huge legion of mutants to take overwhelm the remaining resistance – including Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Captain America, the Avengers and the dedicated American soldiers – in Washington, D.C.

A fierce battle then took place with both sides hitting each other hard. After noticing Magneto’s lack of presence during the battle, Captain America then realizes that the long-time enemy of the X-Men took advantage of the fighting to penetrate the U.S. Capitol’s bomb shelters and got the nation’s leaders hostage. After easing some of his fellow heroes, Captain America decides not to escalate the fight against Magneto in consideration of the lives of America’s top officials…

Quality

A recap of the events in issue #46.

To begin with, I can say that this story is a well-planned follow-up to the events of issue #46. While Magneto’s presence has been magnified a lot here, there are still strong story connections to the previous issue.

With regards to what was emphasized on the front cover of the comic book, this story explores what would happen if Magneto took power to control the entire United States while leading a group of mutants with a platform focused on crushing anti-mutant racism even though it includes pushing the non-mutant people (which is the great majority of America’s people) as well as the dissenting mutants out of the way.

For one thing, this superhero fantasy concept is actually socially relevant with today’s geopolitics and the way America has turned out under the fake leadership of Joe Biden (who is NOT leading as US President but only following the modern-day American Communists and reckless SJWs dictating him to do their evil bidding. Biden also arrogantly denies reality when it goes against the desires of his administration and his Satanic Democrats) It should be noted that the US President visualized in this comic book eerily looks like Joe Biden complete with that absent-minded facial expression.

Next, a clear theme in this What If story is absolute power and why groups who crave for it would sacrifice so much and hurt others just to acquire it. Magneto, who carries deep hatred towards people he perceives to be obstacles or opposition for his quest of uplifting mutants, takes advantage of mutants who have lost hope and are depending on someone to lead them. Indeed, the long-time X-Men nemesis gains power to control America but finds himself facing a new force of opposition which leads the nation into a drastic series of change that clearly do not alight with his vision of a better future for mutants.

Still on the theme of absolute power, the US government in this story was portrayed to have developed technologies designed to overwhelm its citizens, as well as the means to establish infrastructure and protocols to transform America into an automated dictatorial state that enslaves its citizens and violate their rights without restraint. Once again, this aspect of the story makes it socially relevant.  

Considering the epic concept and the dark turn of events the creative team prepared, this comic book does not have a clear good-versus-evil approach but rather it emphasizes chaos that comes with the pursuit and abuse of absolute power over the nation. You will see key elements from the classic X-Men storyline Days of Future Past here in relation to America’s deformation.

Conclusion

Wow! The US President in this comic book eerily looks so much like Joe Biden whose leadership led America into a lot of problems and hardship. Sky high inflation is just one of the problems that happened under Biden.

What If #47 (1993) is truly a very captivating read mainly because of its core concept which goes way beyond the scenario of Magneto taking control of America. Considering its portrayal of America and the exploration of dark themes about people getting overwhelmed by power abusers, the story is a warning about the fall of America told in superhero fantasy form. Considering the intense social degradation that rocked America the past few years (note: riots by the Black Lives Matter terrorists, SJWs disturbing the peace, Democrats allowing more illegal immigrants into the country, socialists in colleges continuing to brainwash students and more), this story is very socially relevant. It will keep you thinking and reflecting deeply, even if you strongly desire whatever superhero entertainment you seek in this comic book.

Overall, What If #47 (1993) is highly recommended!

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco