A Look Back at Harbinger #8 (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 struggled with the completely unexpected new reality that their teammate Torque had died. As they mourned, Toyo Harada and his foundation just kept on operating and preparing themselves for a future conflict with the protagonists. Harada specifically perceives Sting as the most dangerous object for his organization to deal with.  

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Harbinger #8, 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 on April 4, 1992 inside the nice home of Dr. Heyward. There, Heyward, his wife and their two kids are enjoying the company of Faith, Sting and Flamingo. Upstairs, Kris could not fit jeans as she has gained weight. Heyward’s wife Moni arrives, offers her new clothes to wear and shares with her some insight about being in a relationship.

After dinner, Sting and Dr. Heyward have a nice chat with drinks. At the kitchen, Kris and Moni begin to talk about pregnancy with Flamingo present. As soon as Kris says that she is thinking about asking Dr. Heyward about getting an abortion, Flamingo tells her not to do it as the baby inside her all that is left of their dead teammate Torque.

Just as Kris begins to play dumb and divert attention away, a weirdly dressed teenager suddenly appears inside the home. He identifies himself as Geoff McHenry the geomancer…

Quality

Faith collects and then flies high for a grand view.

To get straight to the point, this issue of Harbinger is easily the wildest story I’ve read in this series and for a very obvious reason – it is part of the Unity crossover storyline that established the Valiant Comics universe’s overall concept. For the newcomers reading this, Unity was published in 1992 composed of eighteen chapters – beginning with Unity #0 – which saw story parts told in issues of other Valiant titles like Eternal Warrior, Archer & Armstrong, Magnus Robot Fighter, X-O Manowar, Rai and Solar Man of the Atom.

That being said, the story here is not only wilder than ever but also really went higher with its flight of fantasy which really impacted the protagonists. In her, Sting, Faith, Flamingo and even the pregnant Kris get recruited to join what turned out to be a major battle waged by a group of adult heroes (Solar, Eternal Warrior, Archer & Armstrong, X-O Manowar, Rai and others) against Erica Pierce (the Mothergod) who is obsessed with destroying the universe as she wield immense power.

More on the plot, the transition of Sting and his teammates going into battle on an unknown realm progressed very smoothly which surprised me. As there are lots of battle scenes and other forms of superhero spectacle to see, the creative team managed to maintain a compelling narrative that moved at a medium pace which makes following the exploits of the powered teenagers easy to do. Sure, you get to see the other Valiant Comics heroes share the spotlight in this comic book but Sting and his teammates are the clear protagonists.

Even though there are lots of battle scenes, Jim Shooter still succeeded in setting up a good amount of character development scenes which resulted in clear development of Sting and Kris. Not only that, Shooter convincingly captured the impulse of youth and the false sense of maturity on the part of Sting who at this point has to take special care of Kris, think about the future of becoming a father while dealing with pressure from the other Valiant superheroes who need him to really advance against Erica Pierce. This comic book’s script is very strong and richly layered!

Conclusion

Sting and his teammates stand along with the other heroes of the Valiant Comics universe.

Being the eight chapter of the Unity crossover storyline, Harbinger #8 (1992) has this almost perfect mix of the epic superhero conflict, spectacle and characterization while maintaining sufficient focus on the exploits Sting, Faith, Kris and Flamingo. At this point of the monthly series, Sting (note: whose immense power was portrayed here) and Kris are preparing themselves for the future while failing to realize they are not really mature enough to deal with both the anticipated parenthood and the Unity conflict at hand. This comic book is a must-read as it works excellently both as a standalone story as well as a chapter of Unity. That being said, I’m looking forward to the next issue already.

Overall, Harbinger #8 (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 #4 (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 travel to another city where they meet Ax, a computer specialist with Harbinger potential. This gradually sparks a chain events that lead to one wild outcome to another. Indeed, issue #3 was really fun and compelling to read.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Harbinger #4, 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 inside an alien facility on the moon. With her teammates unconscious and Ax suffering from the intense pain on his genitals, Flamingo finds herself alone facing a freakish cyborg and alien pawns. She only has her power of heat as her weapon and defense. Even though she got hurt, Flamingo manages to heat up a part of the floor near her which causes the freakish cyborg to fall down into an unexpected deep pit.

With not much time left, Flamingo manages to free Sting, Kris, Torque and Faith. Just before leaving for Earth, Sting decides to bring the traitorous Ax with them into the space ship. After some computer work done by Ax, the ship then shifts into auto-pilot mode going to Earth…

Quality

Kris got really close with Torque which causes tension between her and Sting.

The story here is remarkably written, believable and engaging to read. While the events in issues #2 and #3 had their respective wild turn of events, the story here literally grounded itself yet managed to deliver spectacle as well as a new conflict for the readers to focus on. Without spoiling the plot, I can say that Ax, the newcomer in issue #3, has a stronger presence in this comic book and you will get to see more of the impulsive and obsessive sides of his personality which leads to a new conflict (note: Sting and the team face-off with a worthy force of opposition).

The most attractive feature of the writing done by Jim Shooter for this comic book is characterization. Remember how the main characters in The Empire Strikes Back got developed a lot as a result of getting separated? You will some of that here and you will be delighted to see Faith, Kris, Flamingo and Torque return into their private lives which is a creative pay-off in relation to how much time they spent together in the previous issues. Along the way, you will feel their emotions and even relate with the changes they went through. Like a 1980s Hollywood movie about American teenagers, the story sheds light on the aspect of young adults wanting to be with each other as a result of them living with a false sense of maturity or independence. Remember when I mentioned that Peter and his team got away with committing crime in issue #2? Their complete disregard of guilt highlights their failure of taking responsibility of their actions.

If you are looking for superhero spectacle, you will find a good amount of that right here. You should read this comic book and find out why.

Conclusion

The traitorous Ax was even treated on the way home from the moon.

Harbinger #4 (1992) is another very solid read from the Shooter-Lapham team. This comic book literally grounded itself into Earth but still delivered a careful mix of plotting, character development and superhero action. At this stage, the team of Sting, Torque, Kris, Flamingo and Faith just keeps on persevering with their shared co-existence even though they have an uncertain future with the Harada organization still hunting them.

Overall, Harbinger #4 (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. 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/