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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, Faith, Kris and Flamingo finally arrived home after spending many months away during the events of Unity. While so much time had passed for them, very little time on Earth actually moved forward. At this stage, getting back to normal living was inevitable even though they still have a conflict with the Harbinger foundation.
With those details laid down, here is a look back at Harbinger #11, published in 1992 by Valiant Comics with a story written and drawn by David Lapham. This comic book marks takes place after the end of Unity.
The story begins with Faith telling Kris and Sting that she’s about to go to a big job interview. While the two conversed, Faith notices a blimp floating in the sky. To her, it seems that it has floated up there really long.
After being reminded of their planned meeting with Shatiqua, Faith flies off into the city for the job interview at a local business called Comics Jungle. Kris then approaches Flamingo whom she notices to be sounding down. Flamingo states that she has been thinking about the late Torque (father of the baby Kris had) and expresses her concern about the possibility of Shatique joining their team. Flamingo adds that she does not think they will ever get safe…
To begin with, this story marked artist David Lapham’s first time to write a Harbinger tale. Building up on what happened in the late stage of the previous issue, Lapham utilized H.A.R.D. Corps (already one of the established regular titles of Valiant Comics) for the Valiant universe crossover element. The good news here is that Lapham made good use of portraying H.A.R.D. Corps as the focused covert operations team that just so happens to be tracking Sting whom they perceive to be very powerful and too dangerous to be left free in society. This aspect of the story brings up parallels between H.A.R.D. Corps and the sinister Harbinger foundation which instantly blurred the line that separates good and evil.
As I don’t want to spoil the plot, I can confirm that as I read the comic book until the end, I literally felt the vibrations of change happening in the sense that a new direction for the Habinger series was materializing.
When it comes to the characters, Lapham did a good job developing the main characters while also shedding a good amount of the narrative on H.A.R.D. Corps’ members. There is a lot of characters to see but the good thing is that the narrative was not overwhelmed by the exposition and multiple speaking parts.
Harbinger #11 (1992) delivers a fine mix of crossover, spectacle (note: lots to enjoy here) and characterization that also succeeds in telling its own concept while giving readers a hint of what changes could come soon to Sting, Faith, Flamingo and Kris. With Lapham as the new writer, the story is surprisingly very good and engaging to read. You will see a lot of entertaining elements from the previous issues within this comic book with some new intrigue added that made this particular Harbinger tale fresh to read. Lastly, I should say that the addition of H.A.R.D. Corps really added some depth into the story and the spectacle.
Overall, Harbinger #11 (1992) is highly recommended!
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