Review: Harbinger #2 – Slow down a minute

Issue: HARBINGER #2
Writer: Joshua Dysart
Pencils: Khari Evans & Lewis LaRosa
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Release Date: 7/11/2012

The hunt for Peter Stanchek intensifies after an epic battle with Pittsburgh S.W.A.T forces him to use his powers out in the open. Now he faces the most difficult decision of his life. Continue to put his friends in harm’s way…or abandon them for the safety of Toyo Harada’s Harbinger Foundation?

Story: 8/10 • Artwork: 8.5/10 • Overall 8.3/10
After an insane first issue I was pumped for issue two of Harbinger. What happens when you wait a month for a book that you’re hyped for? It never meets your expectations. The second issue took a long time to get where it was going without a lot of emotion. Peter Stancheck has to make a decision at the end of this issue and there doesn’t seem to be as much weight to his answer. If Joshua Dysart developed the characters for a couple more issues Peter’s decision could have had some serious weight to it. Also, battle lines were drawn in the first issue and they felt brushed aside in the second.

What seem like fluid layout design in the first issue was very awkward in the second. This was supposed to be Peter’s first big battle. He destroyed everything but no one page or panel had me nerd-out. All the action seemed to follow the dialogue instead of matching or leading. This delay made it hard to realize that Peter was causing the destruction. I know that Peter is using his mind and we can’t see inside his head but there has to be a better way to tell the story. Peter is losing control but the reader doesn’t understand why because the issue doesn’t visually show it and Peter doesn’t communicate it with his dialogue.

The plot-line and mystery progressed well in this issue but I wanted more. I know that Dysart has this grand world that he wants to show us but my only advice would be to slow down and develop characters so that when an emotional moment happens, it means something.

What is awesome about this issue is if you add a few editor tweaks to it, you have a great issue. Which means issue three will knock your socks off.

Follow Matthew Sardo on twitter @comicavult

Matthew Sardo
Matthew Sardo
As the founder of Monkeys Fighting Robots, I'm currently training for my next job as an astronaut cowboy. Reformed hockey goon, comic book store owner, video store clerk, an extra in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon,' 'Welcome Back Freshman,' and for one special day, I was a Ghostbuster.

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