A Look Back at Harbinger #19 (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, the creative team of Fontenot-Simpson told another story that built up Harbinger’s concept some more while introducing yet another new character – Screen – who is not part of the team led by Sting. The story symbolically showed the further growth of the tremendous power of Toyo Harada not only through his control of the Harbinger foundation but also of his connection with the new United States President of the time. 

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Harbinger #19, 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 on the afternoon of January 25, 1993. Inside the New York facility of the Harbinger foundation, a pretty blonde, young lady named Natalie Toynbee – codename: Stunner – gets scanned by the technicians handling the technologies. A technician’s request for Natalie to urinate into a cup reveals that the lady has a huge ego and pride of herself as she reacts negatively. 

Suddenly, the wall near Natalie and the technician got damaged by force unleashed by Sting who is accompanied by Faith, Flamingo and Shatiqua. Their mission is to free Natalie from the clutches of the Harbinger foundation which is a small part of their long-term vision of freeing and recruiting more powered young adults.

After subduing the Harbinger foundation personnel, Sting begins to explain to Natalie the situation and tells her to just trust him. Sting tells her to come with them which only drew more of Natalie’s ego along with skepticism. This reaction makes Faith think Natalie is not worth saving…

Quality

Imagine Iran invading America and causing terror like in this scene. Imagine Joe Biden and the Democrats allowing this to happen to Americans.

While the story was not crafted to follow-up closely on the events of issue #18, this comic book puts Sting and his teammates into a collision course with a new force of evil – the Iranians (note: issue #20 confirms their national identity) who have interests on specific young adults with powers and special abilities. Along the way, the Fontenot-Simpson team introduced a new sinister force in the form of a very manipulative Iranian named Kaliph.

Kaliph’s introduction here is easily the biggest feature of the story and he unsurprisingly overwhelms the debut of Natalie. Kaliph here works in service of his unidentified superiors and as he does his job, he uses his special ability of manipulating people’s minds through sight and sound to gain information, find directions, make them do his orders and gain access into places that he could never have had he been an ordinary person. By the end of the story, I was convinced that Kaliph was created to be an enduring or recurring villain for Sting and his team.

More on the primary characters of this monthly series, Sting and his teammates were portrayed to get more harbingers (powered young adults) to join them and become part of their long-term opposition against Toyo Harada and the Harbinger foundation, even though their own team lacks the resources needed to support themselves. The lack of resources was cleverly highlighted through Natalie’s reactions (related to her big ego) to what Sting’s team has for her to live with. Looking at the bigger picture going back to issue #1, Sting’s vision of defeating Harada and winning the trust of powered young adults without any solid foundation (specifically resources, connections and security) emphasize his recklessness and false sense of maturity as a team leader.

Conclusion

Kaliph and his companion arrive in America with a sinister plan.

In my view, Harbinger #19 (1993) is a solid change of direction for the monthly series complete with the introduction of a new, strong villain who originated from Iran which by today’s standards is the major force of terrorism in this world. The new villain Kaliph has a creepy aesthetic that other villains in this series lacked. More notably, the story remained consistently very engaging and pulled off some notable surprises which were indeed entertaining.

Overall, Harbinger #19 (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 Harbinger #18 (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, some twists of events happened for Sting and his teammates during the Christmas season. The story was part of the continuing build-up and expansion of the Harbinger series’ own space within Valiant Comics’ shared universe under the direction of Maurice Fontenot. As of issue #17, another new character from outside of Sting’s group got introduced for them to interact with.     

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Harbinger #18, 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 on January 1993. Within the city of New York, Faith, Shatiqua and Flamingo are being followed by a young man wearing a trench coat. They know they are being followed. They eventually found themselves just outside the same amusement joint where Shatiqua played a lot of arcade games and decide to enter.

Inside, many people recognized and greeted Shatiqua which reflects her outstanding reputation on arcade games. As Shatiqua, Faith and Kris approach a certain arcade game (that Shatiqua wants to play), they noticed the one playing it is the same little black boy (capable of disappearing) they encountered previously. Shatiqua then takes the first step to approach him and gain his attention.

The boy then disappears and reappears a short distance away from the three and right beside same trench coated man who earlier follow them. The boy then attempts to blow the place up with a hand grenade. The man in the trench coat reacts quickly revealing his power to Faith, Shatiqua and Flamingo.

Quality

Sting shows his ignorance and lack of maturity while getting checked by Dr. Hayward.

This is the latest build-up type of story Fontenot composed and like the previous issue, another new character unconnected to Sting’s team got introduced for them to interact with. The new character here is referred to as Screen and he clearly is a more interesting character than the one introduced in issue #17. Screen here is more impulsive and aggressive and he sure looks like he has what it takes to oppose Sting. I also liked the way the creative team showed the impulsiveness and lack of maturity of both Sting and Screen.

Within the script is the establishment of a new sub-plot which symbolizes the growing danger of the Harbinger foundation towards not only on Sting and teammates but also against the others that oppose Toyo Harada and his organization. In some ways, the sub-plot will make you speculate about the invisible yet sinister forces who wield tremendous power over the top government officials who are supposed to be serving their constituents within the republic.

With all of these details laid down, I can say they are all engaging to read as Fontenot’s writing continued to be really strong. For the art, I can say that Howard Simpson continued to pump out really solid visuals while successfully keeping the primary characters recognizable all the time.

Conclusion

This image is very symbolic as Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary made it normal for the United States to make deals with terrorists (notably Iran and Palestine) and betray the patriotic Americans. This makes this comic book socially relevant and what you see with the corrupt administration of Joe Biden reconnects strongly with the Clinton legacy.

Harbinger #18 (1993) is a very solid comic book to read. The build-up continues to happen and along the way, the titular characters got developed some more and this time around, the Harbinger foundation’s power continues to get stronger which convinced me to look forward to the next issue.   

Overall, Harbinger #18 (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 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 Harbinger #16 (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, the team of Sting, Faith, Flamingo, Kris and Shatiqua only had a minority of the spotlight as the plot was strongly focused on the Harbinger foundation and its team of powered young adults called the Eggbreakers who are trained and funded to do the dirty works of their founder Toyo Harada. The comic book was clearly building up the tension for future conflicts between the Harbinger foundation and Sting’s team, as well as solidifying the comic book series’ own place in the shared universe of Valiant Comics at the time.   

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Harbinger #16, 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 on the evening of December 15, 1992. Sting, Flamingo and Shatiqua are inside the elevator and they have just been greeted by the traitorous Ax, two companions and a little black boy. As soon as he expresses his desire to squash Harada, Ax tells Roxy to strike Sting’s group with her bionic arm. Roxy misses and Sting uses his power to push her out with force which causes her male companion to fire his gun inside the elevator.

Sting uses his power to push away mechanical parts over their hands and then lifted himself, Flamingo and Shatiqua up the elevator shaft. Flamingo then uses her power to heat up cables to boost her group’s chance of escape. Shortly after coming out of the top of the building, the three flew and landed on the top of the next building. Sting then falls exhausted. Back inside, Ax and his team continue their pursuit of Sting, Flamingo and Shatiqua.

Elsewhere, Faith and Kris talk about the prospect of attending a Christmas party. Kris suddenly notices man in a trench coat standing outside of their home…

Quality

The Eggbreakers and an armed man who was once an Eggbreaker.

To be clear to all those reading this, especially fans of this comic book series, Sting and his teammates once again only got a minority of the spotlight as the story was written to show of the Eggbreakers as well as the other individuals who are not in league with Toyo Harada and his foundation. While the lack of focus on the main characters could be disappointing to the dedicated fans, this comic book’s script is still of very good quality.

That being said, there is some richness to the way Fontenot crafted the story with the goal of emphasizing the Harbinger foundation’s Eggbreakers and armed personnel plus Ax who opposes Harada as well as Sting and his teammates. Ultimately, the plot established that while the Harbinger foundation is the biggest and clearest danger within its own spot of Valiant’s shared universe, there are still powered young adults other than Sting’s team who oppose the said organization. This also shows that even though it has tons of financial resources, technologies and a lot personnel under the very powerful Harada, the Harbinger foundation still has a long way to go before it convinces all powered young adults to join its cause of world domination. In fact, the foundation has not done a good job trying convince the powered individuals to give up their respective lives and private affairs for the sake being part of the organization that is so capable of providing their needs and freeing them from society’s constraints.

The Eggbreakers, like in the previous issue, got developed further here. I noticed that the comic book creators have been building up Eggbreakers member Spikeman for something and he has some sort of personal connection with Ax. The mysteries about Spikeman added some suspense to the narrative.

Compared to the previous issue, the action and superhero spectacle has been ramped up here. You will see action scenes that would look good in an R-rated movie and there is also a rather gory scene that was surprising to see.

Conclusion

Faith and Kris were at home while Sting, Flamingo and Shatiqua were in the more urbanized part of the city.

Harbinger #16 (1993) is another really solid story of this comic book series. The creative team just kept on building up the people who serve Harada as well as the others who oppose him which unsurprisingly left Sting and his teammates with not a lot of spotlight. Clearly the team of Fontenot and Simpson were building up something for future stories and even managed to do some pay-off to certain elements that were built up in the previous issues. Ultimately, this comic book is a very intriguing and fun read!  

Overall, Harbinger #16 (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 Harbinger #15 (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, the story heavily emphasized the thoughts, feelings and acts of Kris who is trying to live a normal life, maintain her relationship with Sting and also dealing with the vision she had about the infant she lost who eventually grew up to be Magnus the robot fighter. While Sting and his teammates deal with their domestic matters without the hassle of being held accountable for the crimes they committed, the Harbinger foundation keeps on training several powered young adults called Eggbreakers for dangerous missions.   

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Harbinger #15, 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 on the morning of December 15, 1992. Ax, the computer expert who turned traitor against Sting, Faith, Torque, Flamingo and Kris before (for reference, click here and here), returns home concealing his left arm with his jacket. He tells his companions that he just ran into a bit of trouble and that encountered Bloodshot. When asked about what happened to his arm, Ax just makes an excuse to move away.

Moments later, Ax is inside a large room filled with computers and other high-tech pieces of equipment. The male companion who asked about the arm realizes that Ax’s left arm is gone. Ax then admits he lost his arm and has to build himself a new arm as soon as possible.

Meanwhile inside a top secret facility of the Harbinger foundation, members of the Eggbreakers are training hard and even having fun talking as the action happen…

Quality

Nothing like a youth member getting the rare opportunity to meet the big boss right after the end of a big meeting.

I will go straight to the point here. The biggest and most surprising aspect of this Harbinger comic book is that much of the narrative focused strongly on the Harbinger foundation and its young adult members which left little spotlight for Sting, Faith, Kris, Flamingo and Shatiqua.

As this is the story of the people from the other side of the spectrum, writer Maurice Fontenot crafted a script that emphasized the Harbinger foundation to be more human than the usual sinister force that was portrayed before. You will not only see the founder and main villain Toyo Harada here but also the members of the Eggbreakers who are composed of young adults not too different from Sting and his companions. Unlike Sting’s team, the Eggbreakers are constantly trained with a high-tech facility and necessities provided by Harada who is simply uncompromising with his way on achieving things. There is also one particular young adult member who looks up to Harada as a great and positive figure who is dedicated on making the whole world a better place.

The good news here is that Fontenot’s writing is rock-solid! The character development is very in-depth, the young adults of the Harbinger foundation act and speak naturally, and strong focus on the Harbinger foundation’s internal matters and developments really gave me a clearer understanding of the organization on top of its reputation in this comic book series. That being said, Howard Simpson’s art here maintained the visual tone of the series while moving along smoothly when visualizing Fontenot’s script.

If there are any weaknesses in this comic book, it is the need to re-read it in order to get yourself oriented with who is who among the Eggbreakers and the other Harbinger foundation people. This is because there are lots of characters here.

Conclusion

The Eggbreakers in training.

Considering all the story build-up and character build-up that was focused mainly on Sting and his teammates, Harbinger #15 (1993) is clearly a major surprise and a major pay-off which ultimately adds to the anticipation of the future conflicts between the two sides. What Fontenot and Simpson presented here was outstanding work and it sure is entertaining as well as refreshing to read. At the same time, this Valiant comic book gave me some X-Men vibes but in a twisted and bastardized manner. As such, this Harbinger issue is very unique.

Overall, Harbinger #15 (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 Harbinger #13 (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, Faith, Kris, Flamingo and newcomer Shatiqua pursued a mission recklessly with revenge over the death of Torque as the main motivator. That story symbolically shows that the boundary between good and evil has been blurred away as Sting and his team just kept on pursuing their goals disregarding the rule of law and committing acts that make them no different from the sinister Harbinger Foundation. In some ways, Sting himself is gradually becoming as evil and abusive as his target (and former mentor) – Toyo Harada.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Harbinger #13, published in 1993 by Valiant Comics with a story written and drawn by David Lapham.

The cover that closely imitates the iconic image of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.

Early story

The story begins with Faith flying high above the streets of New York City talking to herself as she enjoys the flight as well as the flight of fantasy in her mind. After discreetly landing in an alley, she bumps into a man as she moves into the city sidewalk. Two other men could not help but laugh at what they just saw.

The man Faith bumped into gets mad, grabs her by the shirt and pulls out a knife. Suddenly, an old man comes out of nowhere and threatens the knife-wielding man which in turn prevented Faith from getting hurt. Upon realizing a lot of people are around them and watching, the knife-wielding man and his two companions move away.

The old man then befriends Faith. She thanks him for his help…

Quality

Faith and the old man.

As I expected another Harbinger tale about Sting and his team going up against Harada’s foundation, I can say that this comic book surprised me in a rather delightful way. To be clear, this is a story mainly focused on Faith and under Lapham’s direction, readers will see her personality emphasized more than ever and what she is capable of with not just her special abilities but also with how she deals with problems.

The good news here is that the writing by Lapham is solid. Faith is clearly the comic book geek among her teammates and to see her work inside a comic book store in the city is amusing as her portrayal captures how comic book fans react when they see something really fascinating or special among the many printed materials displayed. It should be noted that Faith’s independence is nicely portrayed and she has her own way of dealing with the harshness of reality without ever letting her personal obsession with entertainment overwhelm her reasoning. The ironic thing about Faith’s view of life around her is that she does not show any regrets about the crimes the she and her teammates committed.

Those who are looking for superhero spectacle will find something gritty and short with regards to Faith. Adding further zest in this comic book are fantasized excerpts from a particular comic book Faith reads in the story.

Conclusion

Faith working inside the comic book store.

Harbinger #13 (1993) is a very surprising read that clearly delivered a good bout of fun. Its main attraction is Faith herself and this comic book has the most in-depth development of her character to date. Through her, comic book readers will have something to resonate with when it comes to comic book culture and geek interests. Ultimately, David Lapham succeeded in defining Faith and telling a solid Harbinger tale mainly focused on her. In some ways, this comic book is like a relief from all the tension built up on the rivalry between Sting’s team and the Harbinger Foundation. That being said, this comic book is no filler and it fits right in the monthly series.

Overall, Harbinger #13 (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 Harbinger #12 (1992)

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, Faith, Kris and Flamingo adjusted themselves to normal living. As far as they are concerned, several months had passed for them during their time in the unknown world during the events of Unity. For their real world, however, very little time had passed. They also took a renewed effort to search for powered beings like themselves as part of their plan to protect themselves and be able to take down the Harbinger foundation in due time.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Harbinger #12, published in 1992 by Valiant Comics with a story written and drawn by David Lapham.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins during the wee hours of September 4, 1992 inside the rented house occupied by Sting, Flamingo, Kris and Faith. Flamingo wakes up from another nightmare causing her to unintentionally burn part of her bed. Her teammates rush in to comfort her and it turns out Flamingo just had her third nightmare of the week which reflects her sadness over the death of their late teammate Torque. In response to this, Sting takes Faith with him to fly out and do some information gathering at the Harbinger office in New York.

It turns out Sting had been covertly breaking in to the said office in recent times primarily to get information about the latest moves of the one organization that wants them defeated. After sneaking into the New York office of Harbinger, Sting uses his power on a Harbinger employee named Joan to get codes from her to get into the organization’s computer network…

Quality

Clearly Sting and his teammates are becoming as bad as their counterparts at the Harbinger foundation. Sting looks like he is destined to become sinister and unstoppable as his target Toyo Harada.

Considering how I felt after reading issue #11, this comic book series indeed took a turn to a new creative direction under David Lapham’s writing (note: this is the 2nd Harbinger story Lapham wrote). Not only did Sting and his teammates gain a new member with Shatiqua, they daringly pursued another dangerous mission that could be described as reckless and even idiotic. Even though they knew that the Harbinger foundation was strongly powerful and had many powered young adults as opposition, revenge over the death of Torque motivated them to take on their enemies head-on one member at a time.

David Lapham successfully portrayed Sting and his team to be as ruthless as Harbinger which strongly symbolizes the blurring of the boundary between good and evil. With regards to Sting, I saw a powerful teenager who could someday grow to be an evil leader similar to his rival and main target Toyo Harada. The mere fact that revenge was the objective for the team shows how dark Sting has turned even though he believes that he and his teammates are victims trying to survive and be free from the present danger of the Harbinger foundation.

Along the way, this comic book shows Flamingo at her most emotional state as she still clings on to the ate Torque. Her portrayal in this comic book is quite believable as it reflects the difficulties that teenagers in real life experience when it comes to letting go of the past and struggle to move forward as they carry bitterness and pain with them.

If you are looking for superhero spectacle, there is a lot to enjoy here. I won’t say how it is presented because that is something you yourselves should read and discover.

Conclusion

Breaking in and hacking into a private company’s network are crimes that Sting and Faith are comfortable with.

Harbinger #12 (1992) is a very solid read! What Jim Shooter established for this series with the first ten issues, David Lapham carefully moved the narrative forward to a new direction while still maintaining the elements that defined the main characters, why they exist and what they are fighting for.  At this stage in the Harbinger series, Sting, Faith, Flamingo and Kris (plus new member Shatiqua) continue to operate as a team while disregarding the laws and morality because they truly believe that they are victims and moving targets of Harada and the Harbinger foundation. This comic book also has an excellent mix of storytelling, characterization and superhero action while still feeling like it is all grounded with reality (note: the X-Men comics published the same year as this had more fantasy elements). Right now, I’m happy with the way Lapham is handling the story and I’m looking forward to the next issue.

Overall, Harbinger #12 (1992) 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 Harbinger #7 (1992)

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, his teammates and Solar left the Harbinger facility in Texas after having an intense talk. As far as Solar is concerned, Sting is dangerous and irresponsible. He also advises the powered teenagers to abandon their mission of crushing Toyo Harada. As soon as Solar leaves, Sting decides to lead his teammates back to the Harbinger facility to resume their quest without any real preparation nor analysis. This led to a series of unfortunate events.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Harbinger #7, published in 1992 by Valiant Comics with a story written by Jim Shooter and drawn by David Lapham.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins late one evening on a road in Louisiana. Sting, Kris, Faith and Flamingo are agonizing over the sight of Torque who was just been killed by an insider while inside an ambulance.

As Flamingo starts the model prayer, Sting reveals to them that he was inside Torque’s mind and witnessed him bidding goodbye. As the police suddenly arrive, Sting and his teammates quickly climb up a tree and watched from a distance. As the cops check on the wreckage and Torque’s dead body, Sting says that the ambulance was probably registered to Eight Day or some phony front for Harbinger. Faith, Sting, Flamingo and Kris discreetly fly away to get some rest and reorganize themselves.

Elsewhere, a team of powered young adults receive much-needed assistance from the Eight Day crew and truck that arrived. They have a few teammates who got seriously injured during their battle with Sting’s team. Harada’s limousine arrives and the head of Harbinger talks with Weasel and Rock. While the two young adult tell Harada they eliminated Torque whom they identified as priority number two, the powerful boss tells them of their personal weak points and that they lost their focus on eliminating Sting who is the number one priority as he is perceived to be the greatest threat to Harbinger. Harada declares Weasel and Rock placed on probation…  

Quality

Sting and his team commit another crime for the sake of their departed friend Torque.

The best way to describe this story is that it is essentially the aftermath of the hard battles they went through in issues #5 and #6. The main theme in this comic book is the loss of a friend (as opposed to the loss of a super human) and Jim Shooter used the loss to redevelop the main characters in varying ways. That being said, Shooter showed what the false sense of maturity among teenagers is like and why such young people lose self-control and let their emotions overwhelm their ability to reason. The pain of Torque’s death conveniently kept Sting, Faith, Flamingo and Kris from feeling any guilt about the crimes they committed (as seen in issue #2) as their leader’s obsession with beating Harada remained unchallenged. For those who love dramatics, the funeral scene is a must-see.

Apart from the story of Sting and his teammates, this comic book sheds light further on the Harbinger foundation’s use of powered young adults who were trained to use violence without any regret nor restraint. In relation to this, I find the dialogue of Toyo Harada during his interaction with Weasel and Rock to be richly layered as it emphasizes his authority and insight about priorities as well as his own in-depth knowledge on each member of his personnel. This makes Harada even more intimidating as this series’ primary super villain.

Conclusion

The impact of Torque’s death is felt strongly.

While it lacks spectacle as it was focused more on character development related to the loss of an established main character, Harbinger #7 (1992) is a dramatic character study that was compelling to read from start to finish. While the previous few issues subtly showed that the boundary between good and evil was blurred away, this comic book dramatized Sting, Faith, Flamingo and Kris to be more human and emotional. The death of Torque in the previous issue really showed its impact on his teammates realistically. Readers who enjoy dramatics will enjoy this.

Overall, Harbinger #7 (1992) 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 Harbinger #6 (1992)

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, Peter and his teammates took a vacation together in New Orleans, Louisiana. That vacation was immediately cut short when Peter senses the presence of their deadliest rival Toyo Harada who himself was present in the same city before he traveled to Dallas, Texas to attend to an emergency. That incident in Texas eventually caught the attention of Peter, Faith, Kris, Flamingo and Torque who eventually encountered Solar.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Harbinger #6, published in 1992 by Valiant Comics with a story written by Jim Shooter and drawn by David Lapham.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins 12:41 AM of March 6, 1992 at the sub-basement of the Harbinger Foundation’s building in Texas. Toyo Harada and his armed personnel cornered the group of Sting and Solar with Harbinger’s own Puff and Thumper standing nearby.

Sting’s team are clearly not in tandem with Solar in the conflict with Harada. Solar finds Sting a dangerous and irresponsible person. Realizing that Solar is indeed a very powerful figure that he could not bring down mentally, Sting decides that their team should abandon their goal of defeating Harada. After Solar tells the powered teenagers to move out, Harada decides to let them all go even though their sides fought with each other.

After flying away from the facility altogether, Sting’s team and Solar have a small discussion. After trying to make Sting, Faith, Flamingo, Kris and Torque realize their recklessness and their ill-conceived goal of defeating Harada, Solar leaves them by vanishing. Sting then decides that they resume their quest to go back and defeat Harada…

Quality

In this issue, you will see Sting, Faith, Kris, Torque and Flamingo really struggle with the newer forces unleashed by the Harbinger foundation.

Now that build-up of plot and character development in the previous issue have been established, the story here works as a major pay-off complete with twists and turns that I found compelling and intriguing to read. For one thing, this story has lots of superhero action and for the first time in this particular monthly series, the lead characters have really been pushed to the edge and became truly vulnerable as the Harbinger foundation unleashed its might against Sting and his teammates. Fortunately, the action did nothing to overwhelm the narrative which remained solidly written. This is not a brainless form of superhero entertainment but rather a progressive development of the Sting’s team just as Harada’s force became a tremendous opposition towards them.

The crossover with Solar was noticeably short but every moment the said major character had in this comic book was wisely executed by the team of Shooter and Lapham. Solar did not just appear to showcase his powers as he tries to talk sense with Sting and team while showing restraint on dealing with powerful figures like Harada. That being said, Solar’s dialogue with Sting and the team is very insightful and the words expressed easily reminded me that Sting, Faith, Kris, Torque and Flamingo themselves are guilty of crime (note: look what they did in issue #2) and are bad like Harada. I can also state that this comic book will make you speculate if Sting and his teammates have been consumed by evil or have decided to become evil while believing in their survival and their goal of defeating the Harbinger foundation’s leader.

Furthermore, this comic book has very notables twists with its storytelling and the action presented. Those you must see by getting a copy of this comic book!

Conclusion

Read the dialogue of Solar closely and observe how reckless Sting is on leading his team.

If there is anything to be said about Harbinger #6 (1992), it is the fact that Jim Shooter and David Lapham did not let the high quality storytelling down a bit, not even for a second. The continued progression of the main characters, the further emphasis on the danger the Harbinger foundation has against them kept growing, and other elements established in this particular comic book series just kept getting deeper and more intriguing to read. In addition, the boundary between good and evil was blurred out creatively which will challenge how readers will perceive Sting and his teammates with their continued struggles. Without spoiling anything, I can say that the end of this comic book convinced me to anticipate what will follow next.

Overall, Harbinger #6 (1992) 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 Harbinger #5 (1992)

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, Peter/Sting, Kris, Faith/Zephyr, Charlene/Flamingo and John/Torque plus Ax returned from space. Due to his traitorous act against them, Ax was dropped by the team with a sense of rejection. It turns out, months had passed by on Earth which really shocked Sting and his teammates.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Harbinger #5, published in 1992 by Valiant Comics with a story written by Jim Shooter and Janet Jackson, and drawn by David Lapham.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins on March 5, 1992 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Sting, Fatih, Flamingo, Kris and Torque are on vacation together. With hours to spare before having a group dinner, the team decide to split up and have fun discovering the local places individually.

That evening, while having a nice dinner together, Kris notices Sting looking tense. Sting reveals that he senses the presence of Toyo Harada and moments later, he and his teammates saw the TV news about the terrible explosion on a building in Dallas, Texas.

Over at the airport in Dallas, Toyo Harada arrives from Louisiana. He and his personnel travel together to the site of the explosion…

Quality

Harada arrives in Dallas, Texas.

I really liked the story here. Without spoiling the plot, the writers crafted a tale about a major incident that affected not only Sting and his teammates but also the Harbinger foundation  (including Toyo Harada himself) and even Valiant’s major figure Solar. Along the way, the creative team slightly expanded the lore of Harbinger within Valiant’s shared comic book universe further (specifically through the Harbinger foundation) before the crossover with Solar happened.

The story started in a really interesting way. I really enjoyed the way Sting, Faith, Kris, Torque and Flamingo were portrayed when they were not doing any superhero-related stuff as they enjoyed their vacation New Orleans. That being said, I felt like I was watching scenes of American teenagers from the 1980s movies written or directed by John Hughes. The scene in which Faith surprised Torque in the city zoo was amusing and believable to read.

Conclusion

Flamingo, Kris, Torque and Faith on vacation in New Orleans.

With a fine balance of spectacle, characterization, exposition and the obvious crossover with Solar, Harbinger #5 (1992) is yet another solid Valiant comic book to read. The progression of the development of Sting and his teammates moved forward some more while simultaneously building up the presence of the Harbinger foundation as the most antagonistic non-military organization in the entire Valiant comic book universe of the era. This is a must-read!

Overall, Harbinger #5 (1992) is highly recommended!

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others as well as 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